Dairy Barn hosts a contemporary ceramics show with a variety of clay works
Through November 28, the Dairy Barn Arts Center, 8000 Dairy Lane, is hosting the Contemporary Ceramics exhibit, curated by Ohio University ceramics professors Brad Schwieger and Tom Bartel.
The exhibition, which takes place every few years, features works by 16 different artists and the two curators, who have each contributed their ceramic work for display in the exhibition. Artists were invited to submit their work by Schwieger and Bartel to demonstrate a diverse range of ceramic art.
The exhibit is open during gallery hours Wednesday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and is $7 for general admission, $5 for students and seniors, and free for members of Dairy Barn.
Schwieger said he and Bartel chose the specific artists for the show by selecting artists from a wide range of artistic backgrounds and disciplines. In doing so, Schwieger and Bartel also included their own work in the show to emulate the process they used when selecting works by other artists.
“Tom and I also have works in the exhibition, which usually doesn’t happen. The curator usually doesn’t work on the show,” Schwieger said. “But the Dairy Barn thought it would be nice to show the diversity between Tom and me. Our work is really different, and we’re influenced by different sources, and that’s how the artists were chosen as well.”
The overall goal of the event, Schwieger said, is to enrich Athens with a diverse collection of artworks that would not typically be found in the region.
“I see it as an educational tool,” Schwieger said. “And not only for my students who have the chance to see all the works, but also just for the public. Even though I love Athens, it’s quite isolated here. And so to bring artists to Athens is probably easier than people leaving Athens to go to museums and things like that. So, it’s wonderful that…they (Dairy Barn) bring a lot of amazing artists and exhibitions to Athens.
Holly Ittel, Exhibitions Manager at Dairy Barn, said that although the exhibition consists of all-ceramic pieces, there are still differences in their design, imagery and creative vision.
“There are a variety of artworks on display, all made from clay,” Ittel said. “So there’s sculptural work, figurative work, pottery, and artists are exploring new techniques in ceramics, like 3D printing. It’s a quirky and interesting show.
One of the show’s artists, Kurt Anderson, said this element of quirkiness in the show is reflected in his own work – which he hopes viewers will find enjoyment in.
“I like my work to have a sense of humor. I don’t like to take art so seriously,” Anderson said. “I like my work to express a bit of joy and hopefully people will walk away with that.”
Marty Fielding, another performing artist, said his approach to his art was greatly influenced by his awareness of previous Ceramics Show events in the past.
“My thoughts were to do work that would be showpieces,” Fielding said. “To think of scale, a work that would hopefully stand up to the rest of the series in terms of that kind of glamorous factor.”
For OU students who can attend the show, Schwieger pointed out that there is a strong educational element to the show, especially for students interested in ceramics, as they can learn about the technical aspects of the show. these and global art.
“There’s a really beautiful sense of craftsmanship, the technical skills that the artists use and how they…became really good at using materials and tools,” Schwieger said. “It’s always interesting for the students because the young potters or the young clay workers at the UO just don’t have a lot of experience. They are still developing their skills and learning to do certain things. There is so much information out there.
For Fielding, while he is grateful that students can see his own work, he said the specialty of the exhibition is the wide variety of artwork that students will be able to experience as well as the educational aspect of what is manufactured in the field of ceramics at the moment.
“Because…as artists progress in their work and develop, we all become very specialized with particular directions,” Fielding said. “I think being able to see all these individual approaches is also super exciting.”