Last night I caught the tail end of a three-hour art reception at Clayscapes Pottery in Syracuse, New York. The IPA (Independent Potters’ Association) displayed their wares in the wonderful gallery in this basement establishment located at 1003 West Fayette Street.
Clayscapes is where I get the clay I use in my classroom. It is a retail business with walk-ins welcome; it is a gallery and it is home to studio space for ceramic artists, as well as a venue for ceramics classes for all ages.
I can’t spend a lot of time in there, however – big secret revealed – I am allergic to clay! When I do clay projects with students, I limit them to a four-class affair. I do it, of course, because it is really an important media for sculpture and functional art.
This gallery is really cool because many of the works are functional and so, when art lovers and customers see them, they want to use them immediately. And they can because it is a cash and carry show.
The glass shelves were formerly in the Everson Museum of Art before the museum went through renovations. Everything looks amazing. Every artist’s work is unique – there is really something for everyone.
I spoke with Wes Weiss, a local guy and Nottingham High School grad who spoke of his process in such an interesting way, which totally resonated with me. He said he took negative feelings of the political climate in this country and infused his feelings with positive text creating the message of melting his painful thoughts and keeping the good ones. He said an idea grips him and it is almost painful until he purges it via creation. He is “a slab guy”, using said technique to create tiles, lanterns and other pieces scattered throughout the show.
You can claim a free tile from his bowl of positive words located at the entrance to the gallery. I loved the sentiment of walking away with a piece of his goodness. It really blends with my belief that we all work together to create our experiences. Loved that so much.
Also in this show are the following: Casey Cleary-Hammarstedt, Jen Gandee, Matt Hill, Michael Hughes, Sookie Kayne, Bobbi Lamb, Tom Krahe, David MacDonald, Jamie Noce, Tina Parker, Jessica Pilowa, Margery Rose, Millie St. John, Tim See, Don Seymour, Karen Jean Smith, John Smolenski, Alan Stankiewicz, Peter Valenti, Sarah VanDerVoort, Michele Walters and Rebecca Wind.
This exhibition continues through May 5, 2018. Visit IPA at www.ipa.org for more information about this group. Clayscapes Gallery is open Tuesday – Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.