Cynthia Lahti: Gray Crown
“My art forms are created from red earthenware using hand built processes of stretching, altering and joining slabs of clay. While the clay is still workable, shapes, coils and other features are incorporated. My vessels use a three-sided form as a consistent point of departure and I challenge myself by creating each piece uniquely, developing patterns or referencing nature or an historical style. Faux forms such as pitchers give the viewer an added delight where distinct surface treatments distinguish two views. The contrast of clay and glaze is important to my expression as it draws attention to shapes, patterns and rich textures. I enjoy creating works that can be appreciated visually as well used functionally.” Barbara Fehrs
Simcha Even-Chen: Detachment
“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
Barbara Fehrs: Vessel with Leaves
Barbara Fehrs: Yellow Pitcher (back view)
Dark, somber and foreboding, Arthur Gonzalez’s works encourage serious deliberation and reflection on the relationship between personal concerns and world issues. Raw in form, lacking in smoothness and rough in finish, the ceramic sculptures give glimpses of a conversation or a contemplation in progress. Gonzalez’s creations of ceramic and found objects reveal visions and feelings that are not polished but ongoing processes of gyrating thoughts and churning emotions that threaten to erupt into reality and consciousness to defy the fantasy of a peaceful experience.
Aesthetically, his work balances between painting and sculpture, clay figures with blown glass, and horsehair and natural sponges. The understanding that these elements are not “found objects” or even mixed media but closer to the ideas of “material” by Joseph Beays. The figures are a devise to trigger our need to see “narrative” which is a support system for the symbols and the material. These pieces are constructed in such a manner that some pieces are literally and metaphorically in balance with a degree of fulcrum-like equation. Consequently, there is a symbiotic relationship, the sculpture becomes a metaphor for the dialogue and the dialogue is ushered in by the sculpture.
Arthur Gonzalez received his MFA degree at the University of California at Davis. He studied under Robert Arneson. Manuel Neri and Wayne Thiebaud. He is an internationally exhibited artist with over 35 one-person shows in the last 25 years. He has received many awards, including two Virginia Groot Foundation awards,and an unprecedented four-time recipient of the National Endowment of the Arts award. He is a tenured professor at the California College of the Arts in Oakland, He also has been awarded many residencies including the Pilchuck Glass School, and the Tainan University of Art in Taiwan. Gonzalez advises his students to rid themselves of the process normally associated with ceramics, get past things that are supposedly bad technique (like epoxy in cracks), colve problems creatively and remember spirit when making work.
Chris Riccardo received his BFA in sculpture from the College of Fine Arts at Boston University.
In 1995, Chris opened his own commercial bronze casting foundry, RDK Studios in West Palm Beach, FL. A few years later, he began teaching figurative sculpture at the Armory Art Center. Shortly after he decided to sell his foundry and concentrate on his work and teaching. In 2007, Chris was named the Director of the Sculpture Department and Foundry Manager. He set up a small foundry at the Armory and began teaching the fine art of bronze casting.
For a number of year his work dealt with the figure in bronze. Recently, he has started to work less in bronze and more in clay. His figures are one of a kind, fired clay with underglazes. For years his color palette was that of the limited bronze patina finishes. Working in clay has opened up new doors to his work with the unlimited color palette available with glazes.
He is currently represented by the Mindy Solomon gallery in St. Petersburg, FL.
“They point and laugh, tease and ridicule all the while unaware of the consequences.
As important as play is to our development as adults, what effect does play have on those who cannot participate in the traditional sense of the word?
Consequences comments on the epidemic of childhood obesity in our country and how the disease affects our children’s ability to play, leading to low-self esteem, inability to interact and work with others and possible future psychological abnormalities.
It is these abnormalities that have been the focus of my recent work, starting with my series entitled: Mugz: American Heroes. The pieces in Mugz are taken from police blotter mug shots and the accused crimes are woven into their portraits. Consequences takes this idea one step further and explores the idea of how these people end up in front of the authority’s camera.” Chris Riccardo
Chris Wight: Curvilinear Construction, Slab-rolled waterjet-cut porcelain. Dimensions: approx w28 X d18 X h20 cm.
Chris Wight: Organic Modular Construction (detail)
“My work is about surprising myself and the audience, using white porcelain and black earthenware clay, fired at high temperature. The black earthenware expands, thus creating a volcanic landscape. It is not just a natural landscape, because it is directed by me. I have created the cuttings from the beginning, but still the aspect of surprise is always present, because what happens in the kiln is unpredictable.” Rafael Pérez
The distinguishing characteristic of Perez`s work is its apparently matter-of fact use of ceramic materials and methods to dispel rather than reinforce the sense of ceramics as a discipline. Clay is undeniably the central, material component of his work, but it is utilized in such a way as to make problematic the distinction between ceramics and painting, sculpture or even performance. Perez orients his activity within the boundaries of physics and his transgression of the traditional.
Rafa Pérez: Untitled #41