“Asheville in Atlanta” at MudFire

Kyle Carpenter leads a team of elite ceramicists to invade MudFire Gallery from their temperate rainforest kingdom in the rugged mountains of Western North Carolina.

Kyle’s hometown of Asheville, North Carolina boasts an incredible community of active studio potters that make it an internationally significant ceramics destination. Each year Kyle’s keen eye chooses a select group of area artists to present an in-depth view of their latest work here in Atlanta. It is one of MudFire’s most highly anticipated and attended events each year.

“Asheville in Atlanta 2011” opens on Saturday, September 17, and continues through November 5. It is the ninth installment in this successful series. The exhibit launches with an artist reception from 5-9 pm on September 17. There is no fee to view the show, with all the artwork available for sale at MudFire Gallery, 175 Laredo Drive, Decatur, GA 30030. The show will also be fully documented and available for purchase online through the MudFire Website.


Shawn Ireland has been making pots in the mountains near Asheville for twenty years. After college he studied and worked with legendary area potters Will Ruggles and Douglass Rankin, and spent over five years as a resident at Penland School of Crafts. In 1997 he opened his pottery just down the road from the school, making work with a foundation in folk traditions and using local materials. He has since established himself as an important part of the fabric of the area, and exhibited internationally as far off as Tasmania, Australia and Cortona, Italy.

For Alex Matisse, pottery is a true labor of love. He makes most of his clays from local sources and spends hours in the studio doing the intricate slip-trailed decorations. A great grandson of Henri Matisse and also the step-grandson of Marcel Duchamp, Alex’s inherent artistic talent is enhanced by intensive hands-on training and diligent work. After completing a prestigious multi-year residency with Mark Hewitt, Alex has recently established his own studio. He fires a large wood kiln several times a year, producing thoughtful, mature work frequently on a grand scale.

Dyann Myers recently relocated to Asheville from another domestic pottery mecca, the St. Croix River Valley outside of Minneapolis, MN. Warren MacKenzie quietly led the charge of the post-war American studio pottery movement from the Twin-Cities, where he trained a generation of students that went on to become the greatest of the greats in a fast-blossoming field. Dyann was a full-time teacher and studio artist in Minnesota, active in the thriving local ceramics scene for the past twelve years. She is looking forward to settling into Asheville and seeing how her new surroundings and the local clay culture help her continue to evolve her work.

Kari Weaver Hopkins earned a BFA in Ceramics just over fifteen years ago at Clemson University. She gravitated to the natural beauty and rich ceramics community of Asheville as so many talented potters eventually do. In her words, “I cut up my first pot in college and have since found myself unable to put the knife down.” Kari creates signature thrown and altered basket forms, with soaring arches and a subdued sense of cubism enlivening the base.

Kyle Carpenter was educated and went on to teach high school and college level ceramics in the Asheville area before shifting to full-time studio work in mid-2002. Kyle’s masterfully elegant brushwork clearly identifies his work. His core palette of finishes and portfolio of forms evolves at a studied pace, with the results of his latest explorations and side trips displayed alongside for novelty. Kyle has earned national recognition for his work with a busy exhibition schedule, and is a member of the selective Southern Highland Craft Guild. He is a frequent curator, an active organizer in the River Arts District of Asheville, and truly a great dad.

MudFire Gallery
175 Laredo Drive
Decatur, GA 30030

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