Tweed opens ceramics exhibit

Large Floor Pot, ca. 1974 by Glenn C. Nelson. The pot was a gift of the Estate of William Boyce. On Tuesday, students, faculty and members of the Duluth community gathered in the Tweed Museum of Art for the opening of the new exhibition “Resurfaced and Reformed: Evolution in Studio Ceramics.”

The exhibition contains 77 works by local, national and international artists that explore the techniques, themes and influences of the studio ceramics movement that began shortly after World War II.

The exhibition was organized by former Tweed Museum Curator Joan Slack, and will be on display until August 1, 2015.

Kenneth Bloom, Tweed Director, finds that the importance of this exhibition lies in its demonstration of the movement — the design of a clay object and the emotions and thoughts it provokes became more important than the function of the object. It is a story of the people and techniques that turned ceramics into art.

Viewers of the exhibition will be able to explore the stylistic changes of the movement, such as experimentation with shape, innovations with color and glazes, and the various cultural influences behind each piece.

“When people look at the world of art — the world of ceramics — it gives them a sense of what the possibilities are,” Bloom said.

Another important factor of this exhibition is the wide representation of artists it portrays. Three generations of local, national and international artists of the ceramics movement will be represented.

Through this, Bloom hopes to demonstrate that change is not brought on by just one historical moment, but is a historical process influenced by generation upon generation of artists.

Elizabeth James, ceramics professor at UMD, has a piece on display in the exhibit. She is excited that the Tweed museum is able to provide students and community members with the opportunity to experience the many themes and variations of ceramics.

“We are uniquely fortunate to have collections that embody so many tendencies, and ceramic artists and educators who continue to expand the vocabulary of the medium,” James said. “There is a story within every piece, a technique to explore or an idea to contemplate.”


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