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Six McKnight Artists
September 22 – October 29
Northern Clay Center presented an exhibition of new ceramic art by six winners of prestigious McKnight Artist Fellowships for Ceramic Artists and McKnight Artist Residencies for Ceramic Artists. McKnight Artist Fellowship recipients, Maren Kloppmann and Tetsuya Yamada, were awarded grants of $25,000 each in recognition for excellence in the Minnesota ceramics field. McKnight Artist Residencies were awarded to Edith Garcia, Audrius Janušsonis, Paul McMullan and Anita Powell. The residency grants award mid-career artists from outside Minnesota a $5,000 stipend and a three-month residency at Northern Clay Center.
Maren Kloppmann is a professional artist living and working in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her minimalist, sculptural vessels recall the tradition of Ruth Duckworth or Hans Coper, in their common effort toward pushing the ceramic medium beyond utility.
Tetsuya Yamada is a professional artist and Assistant Professor of Ceramics at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. His abstract sculptures have a geometric and measured sense of balance and rhythm that ambiguously evoke aspects of industry. In doing so they draw attention to the materiality of the contemporary machine age.
Edith Garcia is a professional artist living and working in London. Her figurative sculptures playfully and somewhat fiercely alter and exaggerate the human form by erasing features or subtracting limbs. She ignores the boundaries of the natural world to allow a freer exploration into fantastical ideas.
Audrius Janušsonis is a professional sculptor and lecturer at Alytus Art School in Alytus, Lithuania. He makes figurative sculptures in series that evoke narratives with recurring characters and scenarios. Janušsonis describes these as "fables without morals."
Paul McMullan is a professional artist and Assistant Professor of Ceramic Art at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan. He makes sculptural amalgamations of hand-built and slipcast elements, the surfaces of which juxtapose drawings and mass-produced decals that reflect his experience as a printmaker.
Anita Powell is a professional artist and Assistant Professor of Art at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. She makes sculptural dress forms constructed like sewn dresses, from two flat planes joined at the seams. The surfaces of her dress forms are painterly and usually represent archetypal femininity such as pitcher plants, 1950s domesticity and chest/waist/hips measurements.
Pictured above: Maren Kloppmann, Dual Container, 2005, porcelain, 8" x 12" x 1.5"; Tetsuya Yamada, Externization #13, 2002, stoneware 17" x 15" x 28"; Adrius Janušsonis, Checkers, 2004, stoneware with glazes, 14cm; Edith Garcia, Siempre Animales, 2005, hand-built stoneware under glazes, 26" x 23" x 12"; Paul McMullan, Boy, 2004, earthenware, 11" x 9" x 6"; Anita Powell, New Dress, 2004, low-fire white, sgraffito, 30" x 19" x 6"
Six McKnight Artists
The tour was organized by Northern Clay Center and featured work by recipients of McKnight Ceramic Artist Fellowships and Residencies, Eileen Cohen (California), Andrea Leila Denecke (Minnesota), David S. East (Missouri), Satoru Hoshino (Japan), Matthew Metz (Minnesota) and Kurt Brian Webb (Illinois). This exhibition and tour was made possible by funds from The McKnight Foundation, Minneapolis.
MacRostie Art Center – Grand Rapids, MN – February 1 – 28www.macrostieartcenter.org
The Phipps Center for the Arts – Hudson, WI – May 5 – June 11www.thephipps.org
Arts Center of Saint Peter – St. Peter, MN – June 15 – July 23www.artscentersp.org
University of Minnesota-Morris – Morris, MN – August 18 – September 24www.morris.umn.edu/events/gallery
Pictured above: David East, fullranch.cycle, 2004, mid-range ceramic, 23" x 23" x 12", exhibited at the MacRostie Art Center
2006 American Pottery Festival
September 8 – 11
Galleries M & A
This three-day celebration of the art of the pot brought together collectors and artists, providing the perfect opportunity to share their love of clay while providing much-needed resources for NCC. As always, an exciting roster of artists participated. In addition to well-established regional and national potters including Ron Meyers, Josh DeWeese and Minnesota's Warren MacKenzie, the American Pottery Festival prides itself on including the best of emerging talents, whose work is becoming more widely known and increasingly collected. Participating in APF workshops and panel discussions were Sequoia Miller, Bernadette Curran, Andy Brayman, Christa Assad, Steve Godfrey and Ron Meyers.
Artists featured in the 2006 American Pottery Festival include: Christa Assad (California), Andy Brayman (Missouri), Linda Christianson (Minnesota), Michael Connelly (Vermont), Bernadette Curran (Pennsylvania), Josh DeWeese (Montana), Steve Godfrey (Alaska), Ursula Hargens (Minnesota), Matt Long (Mississippi), Elizabeth Lurie (Michigan), Missy McCormick (Arkansas), Ron Meyers (Georgia), Sequoia Miller (Washington), Mark Peters (North Carolina), Brenda Quinn (New York), Pete Scherzer (Minnesota), Andy Shaw (Louisiana), Will Swanson (Minnesota), Shannon Williams-Adams (Montana) and Rosalie Wynkoop (Montana).
Pictured above: Installation view of gallery ? during the American Pottery Festival.
RAW: Unfired Clay Installations
July 14 – August 27
Galleries M & A
Guest curator Forrest Snyder designed a show for Northern Clay Center of three contemporary ceramic artists, who currently work outside the ceramic tradition by producing finished, but unfired works. Walter McConnell, Kristen Morgin and Clare Twomey each make large installation sculptures with raw clay materials, but each works very differently. Walter McConnell houses his moist clay sculptures in pillars of plastic, mimicking the otherworldliness of an aquarium or natural history museum installation. Kristen Morgin renders actual-size models of automobiles or musical instruments, but uses clay’s tendency to flake and break as it dries to endow her sculptures with an aura of the antique. Clare Twomey makes large installations of slip-cast porcelain forms, the fragile components of which she frequently hopes will break during the course of the exhibition.
Each of the artists were in residence at Northern Clay Center during the two weeks preceding the exhibition, during which time they built and completed their exhibited works on site.
Pictured above: Walter McConnell, Itinerant Edens, 2006, clay, wood, styrofoam, plastic, light, 103" x 109" x 109"; Clare Twomey, Temporary, 2006, clay, mixed media, 104" x 480"; Kristen Morgin, Mighty Mouse, 2006, clay, wood, wire, paint, 43" x 18" x 20", & Popeye, 2006, clay, wood, wire, paint, 61" x 20" x 34"
May 5 – July 2
Lawson Oyekan was artist-in-residence in Studio D at NCC for five weeks during spring 2006. The work he created during the term of this residency is the subject of a solo exhibition in Gallery M. Oyekan makes abstract forms that range from thin porcelain vessels to thickly built, earthenware monoliths. His large sculptures are frequently constructed from irregularly shaped patties that are joined and punctured to allow the passage of light. The rich surfaces of his sculpture are composed of individual patties that are elaborately scored and marked with sparing use of colored slips. Oyekan is interested in globalization and references of place. Oyekan aimed to reflect the colors and settings he observes in the landscape of Minnesota.
Pictured above: Lawson Oyekan, Ero, from the Solstice Lip Series, Minneapolis, Northern Clay Center, 2006, Stoneware, 34" x 9" each; Lawson Oyekan, Oyin (Honey), from the Solstice Lip Series, Minneapolis, Northern Clay Center, 2006, Stoneware, 31" x 23"
Does Size Matter?
May 5 – July 2
This exhibition displayed work by Beth Lo, Justin Novak and Peggy Preheim, each of whom makes figurative ceramic sculpture that is remarkably small. Because all of this work is small, we look more closely. Whether it is to draw our attention to culture clash and combination, or to think critically, even commenting politically about cultural values, or to make the familiar seem strange, each of these artists makes it clear that size does, in fact, matter.
Pictured above: Installation view of Does Size Matter? with work by all three artists.
2006 Regis Masters
March 3 – April 23
2005 Regis Masters: Val Cushing and John MasonVal Cushing, in his 40 years as professor of ceramics at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred, fostered "imagination, intelligence, discipline and integrity" in a generation of ceramic art makers. Cushing makes functional pottery, the organic forms and sensuous surfaces of which invite touch and communicate the beauty of making and of use.
John Mason, as a member of Peter Voulkos’ "Otis group," made very large wall sculptures that showed new possibilities for a medium almost entirely associated with utilitarian pots and architecture. These various resulting possibilities define Mason’s career: from dinnerware design in the beginning, to huge abstract wall pieces of the 1960s, to fire brick installations of the 1970s, to abstract torqued figures and almost-vessels of the past 10 to 12 years.
2006 Regis Master: Paul SoldnerPaul Soldner developed "extended throwing" while a student of Peter Voulkos, a technique using hand-building to increase the height of his wheel-thrown pots. When he found raku in 1960, he discovered its dramatic and unpredictable possibilities for range of color, which forever transformed the otherwise traditional Japanese tea ceremony aesthetic of the medium. His raku vessels are cut, folded, built upon, creased or stepped on; his surfaces and forms embody experimentation, which he considered imperative to the art-making process.
The Regis Masters Series is organized by Northern Clay Center, cosponsored by The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and underwritten by a generous grant from The Regis Foundation.
Pictured above (left to right): Paul Soldner, untitled, 28" x 23" x 27"; Val Cushing, Jar
VIVID: Work by Rebecca Harvey and Wendy Walgate
March 3 – April 23
VIVID featureed highly colored ceramic works by Rebecca Harvey and Wendy Walgate. Harvey and Walgate attended the M.F.A. program at Cranbrook Academy of Art together in the early 1990s. Both artists dedicated much of their graduate work to notions of color, decoration and pattern. In this exhibition, now 10 years since graduate school, Harvey and Walgate revisited how these ideas still affect their ceramic work.
Pictured above (left to right): Rebecca Harvey, Cake, porcelain, 14" x 11" x 11"; Wendy Walgate, Abimsa Trophy Yellow, 2005, white earthenware, 17" x 10" x 7"
Three Jerome Artists
January 13 – February 19
The Jerome Foundation of St. Paul funds project grants awarded by Northern Clay Center to emerging ceramic artists in Minnesota and New York City. In 2005, the Clay Center announced two project grant recipients from Minnesota, Cynthia Levine and Kristin Pavelka, and one residency grant recipient from New York City, Kathleen Moroney. Three Jerome Artists was an exhibition of work created by each of these artists during their grant terms.
Pictured above (left to right): Cynthia Levine, Pair of Vessels, 2004, soda-fired earthenware, 8" x 10" x 10" each; Kristin Pavelka, Butterdish, 2005, earthenware, 8" x 4" x 4 1/2"; Kathleen Moroney, work in progress, clay, 1.5' x 2' x 1'
January 13 – February 19
Born in Czechoslovakia, Daisy Brand is currently a Massachusetts artist working in porcelain, stoneware and wood. Her wall sculptures frame images of landscapes she links to particular historical events, which increasingly include her memories as a Holocaust survivor. Rather than using more widely recognized symbols and images of those events, she tries to represent her personal memories of the particular landscapes and architecture that surrounded her. Because they are not necessarily archetypes of the Holocaust, her images expand a singular concept of that event and demand that its history remember the ambiguity of personal experiences.
Northern Clay Center thanks the University of Minnesota’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies for its generous support of this exhibition and its corresponding catalogue. See the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies website for more information on Daisy Brand.
Pictured above: Daisy Brand, Brickyard #4, stoneware and wood, 28" x 20" x 4"