Friday, 2 October 2015

Scratching the Surface Opens October 2 @ Red Lodge Clay Center




Opening Reception October 2, 2015, 5-7 PM Exhibition

Exhibition Posted Online: October 5, 2015, by 10 AM Mountain Time

Curator’s Statement


Originally the Ceramic Surface Forum grew out of a personal need for community and to allow time and space to engage and connect artists at various stages in their career. However, the forum itself, named after the late Matthias Oesterman's book "The Ceramic Surface", promoted discussion among artists to discuss personal approach to surfaces with the same inventiveness that is applied to research whether it is narrative, form or function and to reflect upon what we do and why we do it. Individuals invited represent a wide array of paths in the ceramic field, and are people who invest so much to the field beyond making. They may also be at transitional moments and casting a larger communal net that can create significant support to strengthen relationships within our field.

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts provides the perfect setting and location. As a craft school, it's structured to embrace community. The studios are close to one another promoting dialogue, exchange of ideas, and encourage personal risks and exploration. The studios are educational studios: large and equipped for many artists working in various styles. Located in the heart of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, participants get the serenity of the Smoky Mountains to escape the rush of everyday routine and to take time away from their daily routines. Being in a tourist destination bestows a wide array of entertainment and spontaneity outside of the studio creating memories and experiences. A week provides time to re-ignite and spark inspiration, work through an idea that's been in a sketchbook for months or time to research a new one. It also allows the affordability of time for those away from work and family.

The Ceramic Surface Forum started in 2012 with eighteen clay artists working in Arrowmont's clay studio and living together in the quaint quarters of Stuart Cottage. Now five years later, the essence of the Ceramic Surface Forum grew into something larger and spread across all disciplines. It's now what Arrowmont calls The Pentaculum, a focus on Arrowmont's five primary studios; clay, wood, textiles, metals, and two-dimensional media. For the first time in the history of the Pentaculum, a writing component has been added.

The ceramic artwork that has been selected for the Scratching the Surface Exhibition is a portrayal of the exchange that happens at The Ceramic Surface Forum/Arrowmont Pentaculum. Artworks are rooted in and influenced by their time at Arrowmont. Whether it's the development of a new form, color and glaze palette, technique, and the diversity of artwork made, shows the energy and end result of what can happen during these short bursts of time together.

To find out more about the Arrowmont Pentaculum, please visit the website at www.arrowmont.org.

- Jason Bige Burnett

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