Contemporary Clay Invitational / j fergeson gallery, Farmville, VA

Contemporaryc eramics exhibition - Contemporary Clay Invitational exhibition j fergeson gallery, Farmville

Contemporary Clay Invitational / j fergeson gallery, Farmville, VA
October 5 - December 15, 2012

Opening Reception: Saturday, October 13, 5:00 pm.

The latest show at the j fergeson gallery in Farmville, VA, explores the diverse possibilities of what can be done with clay. This show, the gallery’s largest of the year, features works from 30 national artists. Here one will find both sculptural and functional pieces, but perhaps most interesting is the way the artists have settled somewhere in between.

The show is an extraordinary collection of ceramic work by artists working at the top of their field. Co-curators Andréa Keys Connell, lead professor in clay at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Adam Paulek, lead professor in clay at Longwood University, chose the artists for their commitment to fine craft, progressive thought, sensitivity to material and humor.

Artist A. Blair Clemo, inspired by the ornate history of European Decorative Arts, creates vessels that are functional, but also ridiculously opulent, as if ready to serve royalty. John Oliver Lewis presents two sculptures inspired equally by architecture, natural land formations, cartoons, and candy - think Monument Valley out of salt water taffy. And then there’s Darrin Ekern’s “potasaurus”: a sculpture of a T-Rex in a studio throwing a pot.

Featured artists:
A. Blair Clemo, Kurt Anderson, Tom Bartel, Jason Hackett, Hiroe Hanazono, Mike Jabbur, Bethany Krull, John Oliver Lewis, Richard Nickel, Nathan Prouty, Debbie Quick, Dave Smith, Mikey Walsh, Trent Berning, Kelly Berning, Jeff Campana, Sam Chung, David Eichelberger, Darrin Ekern, Misty Gamble, Meredith Host Kowalski, Nicole Aquillano, Frank Martin, Dan Molyneux, Chris Picket, Adrian Sandstrom, Amy Santafararo, Shawn Spangler, Kendra Sparks, Adero Willard.

This variety of work isn’t often seen in small galleries, and the curators are excited to present it to an audience that may be unfamiliar with just how adventurous contemporary clay has become.

Read More

Bethany Krull

Bethany Krull's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View her works

“My current work, a series called, “Dominance and Affection” revolves around the exploration of this duality as it can be seen in the relationship that exists between humans and the rest of the natural world. In today’s increasingly nature deprived society our most intimate connection tends to be with plants and animals that we ourselves have drastically altered through the process of domestication. We have turned wild animals into docile and sweet natured pets as we have selected for tameness helping the animal to evolve in a manner that has been most beneficial to us. We have removed these creatures from the wild to give us unconditional love and eliminate our loneliness, to amuse us, and to assist us in our day to day activities, but this comes at the expense of their own freedom to exist in their natural environment. Cats in today’s society, more often then not, live entire lives with their feet never once touching grass as they chase catnip infused fabric mice and sleep in sunlit windowsills while the birds chattering outside remain just beyond their grasp.
Although strong love and a desire to protect are at the heart of this captivity, the practice of keeping animals strictly indoors surely has its physical and psychological detriments. Dogs, a species which exhibits amazing variety have been shaped by humans to custom fit our specific needs whether it be herding cattle or sniffing out bombs in a crowded airport. It’s amazing to think that the drastic visual disparity between the Chihuahua and the Great Dane is due entirely to human intervention and selective breeding. Monkey’s are taken from their mothers, diapered and given a surrogate which is usually a stuffed animal to cling to for maternal comfort in the terrifying transition from jungle to cage. Fighting crickets in some societies have been so revered that, upon their deaths, have had elaborate and lavish funeral ceremonies in their honor. However, they are fought in much the same ways that cocks have been fought, often to the death of the loser. It is this reverence existing side by side with complete control that I am interested in illustrating in my work. For no amount of love and affection lavished upon these creatures will erase the fact that the success of the relationship lies in our complete domination over all aspects of their existence.” Bethany Krull

Read More

Bethany Krull: In servitude, (2010), porcelain, “apoxie sculpt” over wire armature (legs) earthenware, twine 7”H x 8”W x 8”D

Bethany Krull: In servitude, (2010), porcelain, “apoxie sculpt” over wire armature (legs) earthenware, twine 7”H x 8”W x 8”D

Bethany Krull: Surrogate (Squirrel/Topiary), detail, 2011, porcelain, paper, polymer clay, wire, chain, 34”H x 17’Wx 17”D

Bethany Krull: Surrogate (Squirrel/Topiary), detail, 2011, porcelain, paper, polymer clay, wire, chain, 34”H x 17’Wx 17”D

Bethany Krull: In servitude #2, 2010, porcelain, “apoxie sculpt” over wire armature (legs), earthenware, twine, 8”H x 10”W x 10”D

Bethany Krull: In servitude #2, 2010, porcelain, “apoxie sculpt” over wire armature (legs), earthenware, twine, 8”H x 10”W x 10”D

Bethany Krull: Surrogate (Chameleon/Topiary), 2011, porcelain, paper, chain, 34”H x 17”W x 17”D

Bethany Krull: Surrogate (Chameleon/Topiary), 2011, porcelain, paper, chain, 34”H x 17”W x 17”D

Bethany Krull: Stag vs. Hercules, 2010, porcelain, “apoxie sculpt” wood, rubber tubing, 9”H x 24”W x  24”D

Bethany Krull: Stag vs. Hercules, 2010, porcelain, “apoxie sculpt” wood, rubber tubing, 9”H x 24”W x  24”D

Bethany Krull: Stucky, 2010, porcelain, wood, polymer clay, wire, chain, eyescrew,  Snail: 5”H x 8”W x 6”D

Bethany Krull: Stucky, 2010, porcelain, wood, polymer clay, wire, chain, eyescrew,  Snail: 5”H x 8”W x 6”D