Saturday, May 22, 2010

Portrayal of Another

Opening the same night as Setting The Mood: The Arful Table was Benjie Heu's solo ceramic exhibit: Portrayal of Another. This talented local artist's sculptural work hangs from our walls in the Charak Gallery.

The pieces presented are a narrative of the evolving hero and his many trials and tribulations. The hero's journey is a voyage of self-discovery, an expedition whose true destination is the realm within each of us, where we must find our own unique center with all its strengths and weaknesses. The journey is not just physical, but a spiritual one, as the hero evolves from ignorance and innocence to experience and enlightenment. The most outlandish adventures are accounted with an eye fixed on the bare essentials. Battles against time, against the obstacles that prevent the fulfillment of desire or the repossession of something cherished but lost are themes that provoke me. Revealing truth and humor in the face of horror and the seemingly absurd is my answer. - Benjie Heu

Setting The Mood

Friday night was the opening for Setting The Mood: The Artful Table juried by Bruce Hoffman, Director of Snyderman - Works Gallery in Philadelphia. Of the more than 120 entries, Hoffman accepted 50 pieces to be included in the exhibition. 15 local artists were chosen for the show including John Baltrushunas, Clinton L. Berry, Matt Keim, Kitty Mollman and many more! Unfortunately Bruce could not make it to the opening but many of the artists did! The show is up through July 11th in our Delmar Whitaker Gallery.

When Craft Alliance asked me to jury Setting the Mood: The Artful Table, I immediately said yes. Viewing the submissions was like looking at photos of old friends. The functional world has somewhat escaped me the past few years, and it was a joy to meander through the images of cups, bowls, platters and serving utensils. I hope this exhibition inspires everyone to throw a dinner party, pull out the family heirlooms, or better yet find a craftsman you love and commission something that your grandchildren will remember as fondly as your grandmother’s warm hug. -Bruce Hoffman

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fun For All!

We recently held the Crafting-A-Future opening the same night of our Friday Fun-For-All!
The friends and family of our Crafting-A-Future students stopped by for the opening of their end-of-year exhibit featuring the work they have created in the classes at Craft Alliance! They are all such talented emerging artists!
Later in the night, our studios were filled with budding artists as they learned new skills! Enameled copper pendants, glass beads, clay pots and more were made with the help of our accomplished teachers during the Fun-for-All. It was quite a fun filled night! Despite a looming storm, so many people came out to make art!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Interview with Michelle Hamilton

Our Mother's Day Trunk Show in the Gallery Shop includes the work from local ceramic artist Michelle Hamilton! Her Spring inspired pieces are colorful and functional! I love her nestled bowls! They are the perfect size for dipping sauces!

During her visit, Michelle agreed to answer a few questions for us!

Tell us about your process:
My Work is wheel thrown cone 10 porcelain. It is multi-fired in an electric kiln. The imagery comes from two sources. The flowers are photographs from my garden. The birds and french posters are book images from the 1800's. All imagery is manipulated using Photoshop and printed using a fireable decal process.

What is the inspiration for your work?
My number one source of inspiration is photographs of my garden and the orchid show at the Missouri Botanical Garden. My photographs are integrated into two different series. My functional line combines my love of bright colors with the simple act of using a piece of art in your everyday life. My large Urn series also utilizes multi-layered botanical imagery but combines it with classic forms and the occasional tongue and cheek look at life.

What do you love most about working with clay?
It depends on the day or where I am at in the creative process. I love to throw and honestly think that a freshly thrown piece is at its most beautiful state. I love to glaze. Anticipating the energy that color can bring can be a thrill. Finally, using one of my pieces or better yet a piece from a friend or admired artist. Functional clay art just makes food taste better!

Do you have and advice for budding ceramic artists?
Listen carefully to the masters. Read about processes and look at other work. Then go to the studio shut the door and create what makes you happy.