Group Show at MudFire

MudFire Gallery hosts “The Curved Canvas”, a three-artist exhibition and sale which takes place Saturday, February 13, 2010. Ryan McKerley of Austin, TX, joins MudFire resident artists Erik Haagensen and Luba Sharapan in filling the gallery with studio pottery noteworthy for lively surface compositions. All three create wheel-thrown functional forms and invest significant time in crafting compelling surfaces.

The exhibit’s opening celebration includes an artist reception, studio tours, and live wheel-throwing demonstrations by McKerley. The exhibit and sale will take place all weekend, with work remaining on display through February 21.

The exhibit, open house, and demonstrations are part of a large annual arts event, Rail Arts District Studio Cruise that takes place on February 13. Over 100 artists will be featured at neighborhood venues during the RAD Studio Cruise, with demonstrations, studio tours, refreshments and entertainment at every stop.

ABOUT THE EXHIBIT

The Curved Canvas exhibit includes three radically different approaches to surface on functional forms. Texture, text, stencils, collage, relief, and line are used to compose in the round. In these artists’ hands, clay, or rather the clay object, becomes the blank slate for both additive and subtractive methods of laying down imagery. In this sense the act of throwing pots is really a preparatory step, the stretching or spinning of canvases.

Ryan McKerley is known for his use of water-carving to reveal pattern, texture, and depth lurking within the previously-smooth walls of freshly thrown pots. He favors built-up (really down) layers of geometric shapes and organic lines, and fires in atmospheric kilns for subtle glaze variations that break across textures and emphasize depth. The end result is a blend in stark geometry, flowing masses, and a weathered finish. He has been a studio potter for 15 years, and has been published, taught workshops, and exhibited nationally. His work has been featured on the cover of Ceramics Monthly.

Erik Haagensen’s intricately detailed and quirky artwork features absurdist humor, out-of-this-world characters, and snippets of text – all drawn by hand with a loosely cartooned style. His odd, irreverent drawings and bright accent colors float across one of the most ancient and revered of traditional Japanese glazes, a white shino glaze, forming an intentionally unlikely alliance between tradition and the contemporary. Haagensen exhibits in fine craft galleries throughout the Southeast, and regularly curates and juries indoor and outdoor art shows. His work and writings have appeared in both Ceramics Monthly and Clay Times.

Luba Sharapan creates meticulously thrown forms in a pure white clay body. She builds up surface with a painterly approach, using an extensive palette of rich hues applied thickly for texture. Her abstract color fields invite the eye and hand to turn and explore the work, occasionally discovering subdued collage of silhouettes and text, creating different moods ranging from humorous to foreboding, fanciful to nostalgic. Luba conceived and founded MudFire Clayworks and has grown it into one of the nation’s most prominent community ceramic studios. Her journey in clay was documented in a People Magazine cover article, and she and her artwork have been featured on Playboy Channel, Blue Collar TV, NBC, The WB, Fox, Discovery Channel, HGTV and others.

MudFire Clayworks and Gallery
175 Laredo Drive
Decatur, GA 30030

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