Parkland College > Fine & Applied Arts > Giertz Gallery > Past Exhibits >Biennial Ceramics Invitational 00

Chris Berti, Ship of Fools, Earthenware image

Chris Berti, Ship of Fools
earthenware, 1999

Laura O'Donnell, Untitled, Earthenware image

Laura O'Donnell, Untitled
earthenware, 1999

Illinois Ceramics Invitational 2000

  • February 17 - March 24, 2000
  • Curated by Katherine L. Ross


The Biennial Ceramics Invitational was held February 17 to March 24. This year the exhibit, curated by Katherine L. Ross, concentrated on sculptural ceramics. "I wanted to focus on artists who use the expressive qualities of clay," she explained. The show included figural pieces and narratives, both abstract and realistic. "The diversity of this show is also representative of the diversity of ceramicists in the United States today," Ross continued. Each artist was invited to participate in the event and then asked to contribute one of their sculptural works. The show included: Chris Berti, Paul Dresang, Indira Freitas Johnson, Ron Kovatch, Yin-Wen Kuo, Marlene Miller, Yuki Muroe, Laura O'Donnell, Paul Sacaridiz, and Xavier Toubes.

Both Chris Berti and Laura O'Donnell are faculty in the Fine Art Department at Parkland College. Berti's piece was a narrative entitled "Ship of Fools" that he explained in his artist's statement as "a synthesis of Pre-Columbian clay sculpture, Red Grooms, and Big Ten Football." He also said that he enjoyed working in an additive process with a narrative piece, both trends of his earlier work. His enthusiasm about making "Ship of Fools" is apparent in the lively energy of the piece.

O'Donnell's "Untitled" is more serious in tone, though created in the same earthenware medium. The work is very textural and gritty--the combination of a human face, nature, and man-made elements. O'Donnell is concerned with the dichotomies of humanity in her work, explaining in her statement that we are "bound yet free, in control yet controlled." Such contrasting themes and styles of the Ceramics Invitational were what made it an attractive and engaging exhibition. As Ross stated in her summary of the exhibit, "clay is alive. It is a malleable material that can represent any form. There is a strong connection between the material and the work for ceramic artists."

On Saturday, March 4 patrons came for an artist's reception and talk with the curator. A special thank you to Katherine L. Ross for organizing the exhibit and giving new insight to the show by speaking at the reception.

Programs at the Parkland Art Gallery are partially supported by Parkland College Student Activities. This program is partially sponsored by an Illinois Arts Council Grant. For more information please call 217-351-2485.





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