staff reports 11/23/09
A collective display of members’ works at Delavan Art Gallery by the Syracuse Ceramic Guild is part of the organization’s mission to promote awareness and understanding of the ceramic medium, and also ties in with the gallery’s goal to feature and celebrate local artists.

The “Syracuse Ceramic Guild” installation, featuring pieces by nine of its member artists, will open in the gallery’s Wild Card space on Thursday, Dec. 3 with a reception that evening from 5 pm – 8 pm. The show remains up through Thursday, Dec. 19.

Brief introductions to each of the member artists celebrated in this show follow:

Carol Adamec, recently retired art teacher at Westhill High School, Syracuse, is a native of Long Island who “fell in love with clay” when she was 10 years old and ever since, has ‘found clay and metal sculpture to be significant means’ of expression in her life. She says, “I work to express the reality of positive emotions we feel in our daily lives, translating them into a physical state and bringing them to peoples’ attention with beauty and elegance.” Indeed, Adamec’s works are described as “graceful, elegant and sensual.”

Lory Black also tells of her early “love affair with clay” and how it becomes “expressions of emotion,” pieces of inner feelings of “love, happiness, joy, sadness or beauties of nature.” Black’s
experience in teaching kindergarten in the inner city instilled in her the wonderment and magic of the medium, referring to students’ creations as filled with the freedom and imagination of their uninhibited expression.

Walt Black, Lory’s husband, says he ‘came rather late to the art form,’ and describes his works as ‘strong,’ influenced by his years of physical activities and professional career as teacher, coach and administrator of Physical Education and Athletics. He adds, however, that he has always been interested in the relationship between ‘art and sport.’ Black enjoys the stimulation of creating a functional piece of pottery. He and his wife now have a studio in their home and one at their camp in the foothills of the Adirondacks where, he says, “we can produce ceramics inspired by the woods and Kayuta Lake.”

Sue Canizares likens her surface decorating on stoneware and porcelain to ‘embroidery’ saying the technique called “Sgraffito” design is finished using clay as thread and fire as loom. Having lived for a time in the rich historical region of Burgundy, France, Canizares says she draws inspiration from the culture of the medieval period, viewing ancient tapestries both as a window to the past and as a resource for creation of the stylized flowers, vines, leaves and animals that adorn her three-dimensional pieces.

Megan Connor, ceramics teacher at Jamesville-DeWitt High School, says her work is strongly influenced by the colors, patterns and textures she sees in the natural world. To her, the veins of a leaf or the texture of eroded stone represent growth and the passage of time and she refers to those ideas for expression in the carved and stamped surfaces of her pottery and textural compositions of her tiles. Connor’s current theme of work focuses on landscape and its connection “between our physical and emotional landscapes.” She describes her works as “hand built textural wall tiles using slips and stains on layered slabs of clay.”

Miyo Hirano says her wheel-thrown and altered stoneware reflects her Japanese heritage and adds that she is grateful to all those who helped in her journey from when, as a child in Japan, she first experienced the joy of rolling a small clay ball in her cupped palms, to venturing down a potter’s path and ultimately opening her own shop called, “Pleasing Pottery.” Hirano says that “working in clay is a continuum of mystery” and understands that her joy arises in connecting with elements of earth, water, fire and cosmic presences beyond ideas and forming techniques. Compelled to work through her inner self, Hirano says that she applies the concept of “sitting
with a beginner’s mind.”

Amy Komar, having worked in a variety of expressive arts mediums from visual arts to performance, finds that the single uniting focus has always been ‘story’ and says her work evolves from a fascination with the personal narrative. She adds, “I draw heavily upon cross-cultural stories, favoring ‘trickster’ tales that explore, teach, cross and push boundaries to walk one’s own path. My visual representation of the trickster has become my personal signature.” Komar loves the direct contact with clay and the freedom of expression that it provides. She says, “As well as incorporating poetry, I can invent a language not limited by words that expands to include form, texture and color.”

Sabrina Nedell, who grew up in the Adirondack region, calls her hand built work ‘whimsical at times’ and says she is influenced by nature. Having been awarded three NYSCA grants, Nedell adds, “I have been seriously playing with and teaching clay for the past 13 years.” Before moving here and teaching classes in her home, she taught at the Old forge Art Center and did all after school art programming for the Camden NY school district. Of her Creamer and Sugar pieces, Nedell says the swirls remind her of seashells or gusts of wind, and the ‘squiggly’ atop the bowl, a whimsical hat..or maybe a croissant.

Wes Weiss, newly retired from the US Postal Service, is forging ahead with his art that first captured his interest much earlier when a student both at SUNY Oswego and later at Syracuse University. He currently works out of a studio at Clayscapes Pottery in Syracuse and hand builds pieces using slab construction methods. Weiss says he enjoys creating curved pieces from leather-hard clay and is currently working with heavy doses of colorants wedged into different clay bodies.

In addition to its Wild Card show of ceramics by members of the Syracuse Ceramic Guild, Delavan Art Gallery continues to celebrate three artists featured in the gallery’s main exhibition, “Elements.” Paintings by Lynette Blake, ceramics by Amy Haven and paintings, prints and drawings by Jim Van Hoven remain on display through December 19.

Delavan Art Gallery is a 3,800 square foot showcase and sales venue for fine art created by area artists. Conveniently located in downtown Syracuse at 501 West Fayette St., just a block beyond Armory Square, the gallery is free and open to the public. Off-street parking is available and the gallery is handicapped accessible. Regular Gallery hours are Thursdays and Fridays from noon – 6 pm, Saturdays from 10 am – 4 pm and at other times by appointment.

TAGS: Delavan Art Gallery,Syracuse Ceramic Guild
EDITION: The Eagle

Rating: 3.5/5 (12 votes cast)

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