Monday, March 30, 2009

"State of Clay" opens with a crowd

I said the same thing about the opening of the Cape Cod Potters show in Dennis a month ago - it's great to see so many people come out to see clay. This time it was the sixth "The State of Clay" biennial at the Lexington Arts and Crafts Society in Lexington. So many people crowded into the Society's gallery that it was very difficult to spend any contemplative time with the work. But that is not a complaint.
This year's show is - as the others have been - a mix of work. It leans a bit toward the sculptural side of things, but the functional is not at all lost in the color, funk and flash of the rest of it. Juror Jim Lawton did a good job of winnowing almost 300 submissions from 106 makers down to 76 pieces. Jim elbowed his way back and forth across the room to talk about the show and to point out the virtues of the winners of a few juror's prizes along the way.
There were lots of potters there on a cold and rainy Sunday, including a few of us up from Cape Cod for the day. Craig Brodt and his family were there, his daughters Olivia and Caroline paying close attention to their father's explanation of carbon-trapping. And Frances Johnson, who fires her work in Chris Gustin's South Dartmouth kiln, was there to see her sculptural Shino vase ("Spiral Series 5") get pride of place high above the rest of the pots on one table display. Frances brought her mother Jean, a fine painter, and stepfather Dave, a storyteller and woodcarver, along with her.
My friend and former magazine co-worker Susan Elena Esquivel of Western Mass. was not there in person, but was represented by her wall piece "Lunar Abstract Diptych," a photo of which is above this text. Also among the photos here: "Woman With Beads," by Claudia Olds Goldie; "Tea Box," by John Bennard; "Good Enough," by Molly Cantor; "Carnival," by Diane Sullivan; "Jungle Trees," by Jeanne Garrison.
Color photographs of all pieces in the show will be up soon on the Society's website. See the item below this one for the website address.
Now I have to figure out how to get up there to see the show without 300 other people milling around.


paul jessop said...

You Guys get such good crowds at your events. Obviousley someone is doing something right along the way. Potters ? Organisers ? or Both I suspect.

Hollis Engley said...

Good question, Paul. I think the organizers do a great job, on both of the recent shows. And it helps that you've got 40 or 50 potters represented, all proud of their work and wanting friends and family to be there. The thing we lack over here is the kind of pottery-specific shows that you guys have on that side of the water.