Tag Archives: clay

Matter of the Minefield

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Size Matters is the title of the latest art exhibition at Clayscapes Pottery, Inc. (1003 W. Fayette Street, Syracuse, New York 13204).  The ceramic sculptures by Syracuse University grad student Peter Smith will be on display and for sale through February 23, 2017.

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The show is a combination of two things – the idea of farm equipment enlarged and age simulated to act as a metaphor for man’s “relationship with the environment” according to his literature, and brilliant-hue glazed ceramic weapons mixed with porcelain gas masks, which I am assuming constitutes man’s willingness to destroy it.

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The work is found attached to walls, resting on tables, hanging from the ceiling and strewn about the floor.  This, for me and my band of fun artist friends, created a sort of surreal adventure in art wonderland, as we contemplated the minefield of meaning around the space.

It was the dialogue I was having as we posed in these pictures. Guns and missiles glazed in beautiful colors, a wall of blades that reminded me of the backdrop in a knife throwing performance at the circus….   Should we laugh or be afraid?  Pretty weapons.  Fragile weapons.  But still weapons.  And the haunting effect of decaying metal artifacts produced a kind of guilt-ridden sorrow.

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There is definitely something about Peter’s work that makes you want to start a discussion.  I love the idea of that narrative.  Love the way the work fits together in a cohesive way and yet any one of the pieces could find a home and continue to resonate on its own.  These gas mask castings are priced individually.

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It was surreal and beautiful. Like whimsical horror. I just love this meeting of minds, love the way a college student can be such a free thinker, creating art for art’s sake but also as a means to tell a story or voice an opinion of the world as he sees it.  It’s all in the perspective!  You really ought to see this show.

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You can read about Peter in this month’s issue of Ceramic Monthly.

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The gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Call (315) 424-6868 for more information or visit their web-site at www.clayscapespottery.com.  They are also on Instagram (clayscape_pottery) and have a Facebook page (Clayscapes Pottery)!

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Great Feats

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Last night I went to the opening reception for the Feats of Clay student art exhibit at the Ann Felton Multicultural Center at Onondaga Community College, Syracuse, New York.  It is located in Ferrante Hall beneath Storer Auditorium.

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I was invited by my friend Bobbi Rock Petrocci who teaches art at Christian Brothers Academy.   I guess I expected to see a lot of student grade work, but noooooooooo!  This ceramic artwork is exquisite!  The quality is really breathtaking, as you can see from all the pictures I took.  But you should really have a look for yourself.  Because there are nuances in the glazes that the camera cannot capture.  And of course, everything is dimensional.

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The work comes from many area high schools, and it is not like one school dominates over the rest.  So amazing!  So much to see – hand built works, pottery wheel creations, slab sensations, etc.

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I did six weeks of student teaching  with Robert von Hunke at Fayetteville-Manlius High School over twenty years ago.  He, along with fellow retire-ry Peter Valenti (formerly of East Syracuse-Minoa High School) created Feats of Clay twenty-nine years ago.  Much like an Olympics for ceramic students, they participate/compete in several events creating clay items, throwing clay – each school working as a team.   This year’s competition will take place Friday, May 6, 2016 from 9:45 am – 1:00 pm  at OCC.

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It has grown exponentially to include this art exhibition, which is currently on display until the same day.  Individual area ceramists as well as the IPA (Independent Potter’s Association) awarded students prizes for their work.

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These awards included the best in teapots, hand building, wheel thrown and wall pieces.  Clayscapes pottery offered an award too.  See the complete list of winners on their website – here.

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The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm or by appointment by calling (315) 498-7220.

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Cup Almighty

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The Almighty Cup is a national juried show, as well as international ceramics exhibition.

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The difference between this show and any other I have ever been to at a gallery is touch, as in you can pick up the artwork!

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The mugs are functional, meant to be used.  Held. Caressed?  Lol  – so of course, you will want to hold the handle in your hand to see if it is comfortable there when you drink your morning coffee, tea, hot chocolate, warm milk etc., etc., etc.!

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Jen Gandee owns and operates the Gandee Gallery, which is tucked away in the nook of Fabius, NY in the old hardware store on Main Street.  It is here she lives and breathes art alongside her husband Errol Willett.  She also entertains birthday parties and nights out for friends who want to dabble in pottery making parties, which is GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!

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The art exhibit is nearly sold out due largely to internet sales and a great turnout at the opening reception I attended on Saturday night.

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Now is a great time to check out this adorable place!  (The amazing autumn in New York country drive is really spectacular.)  The Gandee Gallery is open Thursday-Saturday 11:00 am-6:00 pm, Sunday 11:00 am-4:00 pm or by appointment.  Contact Jen at (315) 416-6339 or jen@gadeegallery.com.

http://www.gandeegallery.com/

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