The art gallery in the Student Center is holding a new exhibit, Perspectives, curated by professor Diana Pancioli. According to the Perspectives press release, “Perspectives presents new sculptural ceramic work exploring a diverse set of ideas.” It is also the first exhibition for sculptural ceramics the University Gallery has hosted, according to Gregory Tom, the program’s director.
“We’re delighted to be holding the Perspectives show,” Tom said. “Ceramics is often thought of as a medium that is type list like a functional [thing]. Clay, like dishes and whatnot. This show is sculptural in nature. So it is meant to stretch your idea of what clay is and can do.”
The work includes “Flotsam and Jetsam,” which is a hand-built terracotta clay, rope and wood piece by Emily Duke. Duke is a ceramic artist in residence at Red Star Studios in Kansas City, Miss.
Blake Williams’s piece, “Resilience II,” looks like a big, red cookie dotted with white flowers. According to the Perspectives handout, Williams is an assistant ceramics professor at Michigan State University.
Yiu-Keung Lee made a piece called “Flow,” which is a series of glazed terracotta and latex tubing sculptures which flow along a wall. According to the Perspectives handout, Lee, who started making pottery 20 years ago in Hong Kong, earned his MFA at the University of Michigan in 1995. Since then, he has given lectures and demonstrations and his work has been exhibited around the world.
The most unusual piece of art is Brian Kakas’s work “Dimensional Transitions Series #3.” According to the Perspectives handout, “Kakas builds his work in various mathematical theories to create new kinds of volumes.”
Sarah Lindley, according to the Perspectives handout, “creates works that reveal the landscape of her locale and comment on the contamination of a river and decayed remnants of buildings that surround it.” Her work at Perspectives for example, looks like an aerial view of islands in a map of metal. Linley is an associate professor at Kalamazoo College.
“They’re representatives of their schools,” Tom said. “Most of them are educators.”
With the exception of Lee, who is an adjunct professor of ceramics at Eastern Michigan University, this exhibition doesn’t have EMU artists. Most artists exhibited at the University Gallery aren’t. Instead, this show functions as a way to introduce EMU art students to the unfamiliar,
“We’re trying to expose students to a broad array of artwork,” Tom said, “There’s a whole, gigantic, very broad swaths of a variety of different media that aren’t necessarily represented in Eastern’s curricula. We want to make sure our students are aware of contemporary art, not just the art that’s going on at EMU. University Gallery’s mission is more designed for regional and national based shows. It may or may not have been generated at Eastern.”
Up until recently, according to the Perspectives article, it was unorthodox to make ceramics that weren’t functional as well as decorative. But all of the pieces you’ll see at Perspectives are sculptural.
“I think what Diana is getting at there is that ceramics is a very broad discipline now that can be thought of in a variety of different ways,” Tom said. “Certainly ceramics over the past 20 years or so have been. Many more are using clay as an expressional medium beyond functional work, meaning that they’re working semi-functional or sculpturally. And this is just a small snap shot of four or five of these.”
This exhibition, like most of the gallery’s exhibitions, will only happen once. You can still see the exhibition until the middle of October.
“The art faculty has been pleasantly surprised by the incredible diversity of work that is represented in the show,” Tom said. “We’re hoping that it opens people’s eyes to the diversity of work that can be done using clay.”
It's an opinion piece, you idiot.
Wow, Eastern. Personally, I normally applaud the Echo ...
I'm a christian too and I respect everyone in the ...
"Christians try to distance themselves from that church, ...
Nay my Good Sir, Fuck you.