On May 17 we started with pottery at the Signature Shop and Gallery, moved on to the High Museum, and finally to the Marcia Wood Gallery.
At the Signature Shop: We love the title of this show: “Potters of the Roan,” which is also the name of the artists’ guild in the Roan Mountain area. Searching for works that go beyond the decorative has its pay-offs. (Through June 28.)
The show includes works by many others. Michael Kline was a resident artist at the Penland School, and Jenny Lou Sherburne has been a studio potter for over 25 years. Mr. Kline’s blog includes a Vine clip showing creation of a scalloped rim.
At the High Museum: The big show is currently set aside for concept cars. We felt drawn instead to the new display of African masks. According to the exhibit, “Pende masks with black-and-white faces are often referred to as masques de maladie, or sickness masks. Each represents a person who has fallen into a fire and whose face is permanently disfigured. Performances of these masks promote compassion toward individuals who have suffered such calamities.”
On the question of what should or should not be displayed as “art,” Dr. Jerry Cullum in an essay at Burnaway.org explores the harmonies between showing automobiles in an art museum and the Carter Center’s showing (through September 21) of functional objects from Kongo society as an art exhibit.
Medford Johnston’s works at the High through June 8 perhaps represent aspects of a foot-borne culture from the viewpoint of an American raised in a car culture. (Johnston was born in Decatur, GA.) The Museum’s wall text: “The jagged contour of the [herder’s walking] staff in juxtaposition with the graceful poise of its owner, seen in silhouette against the horizon of East African plains, inspired Johnston’s years-long study of balance, counterbalance and dissonance in the interdependent relationship between people and nature.”
At Marcia Wood Gallery: David Humphrey gave a delightfully casual talk on his paintings and sketches. The exhibit title, “Blind Handshake,” is also the title of his book of art criticism and studio art. It was obvious that Humphrey is an intellectual force. He was mostly unfazed by an overly confident and vocal thinker in the gallery’s audience. Thank goodness for Ms. Wood’s hospitality on the patio, and for afternoon sunshine.