Earth and Water 10: Ceramic Art in the St. Croix Valley

Oct 21 to Nov 27

Northern Clay Center in partnership with The Phipps Center, presents Mark Lusardi

Friday, October 21, 6:00 p.m. – Gallery Talk with Mark Lusardi, free

Opening reception: Friday, October 21, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Mark Lusardi holds a B.A. in fine arts and has extensive training in glaze theory and raku firing from both the University of Maine at Presque Isle, University of Minnesota–Twin Cities and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine. He has been conducting raku and glaze workshops throughout western Wisconsin, eastern Minnesota and Maine for over 30 years. Currently, Lusardi is a clay technician and glaze designer at Continental Clay Company, and has a studio on Bass Lake in New Richmond, Wis. His own ceramic work is both wheel-thrown and hand-built.

For this exhibition, Lusardi has chosen to show a body of work inspired by his time spent in Acadia National Park, to thematically tie into the concurrent exhibition in The Galleries, National Parks – Personal Narratives. He writes, “My work is a reflection of the mystical land of Acadia and the area surrounding Mount Desert Island. It’s a passage of my time spent wandering the many trails and conquering my darkest fears while sailing in the aftermath of a hurricane at the hands of a weathered sailor, yet feeling alive and inspired by Mother Nature in all her splendor. The sheltered coves and the melody of the water coursing underneath the rocks in a sound so long and drawn out you would have thought you were in a distant realm.

“As with all my work, my inspiration comes from the essence of those moments, dreams and travels while living in Acadia. Even though I cannot remember all the details of my experiences I have found a solution that allows me to relive a fraction of those moments – I call them spirit maps.

“I hope that, in some way, you may see your own travels mirrored in the patterns and shapes of my work and that it sends you off into some hidden glades and sheltered ponds for your own reflections.”

Northern Clay Center and The Phipps have joined forces on an exhibition partnership aimed at increasing the profile of ceramic artists located throughout the lower St. Croix River Valley watershed. This cross-state collaboration features three ceramic artists annually in the Atrium Gallery at The Phipps.