Everson Museum exhibit shines a light on cultural stories with ceramics


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The Everson Museum of Art’s new “Beyond the Blue” exhibit shines a light on audiences who may have missed visiting art exhibits during the pandemic. The exhibition is filled with ceramic pieces bursting with color. The artists in the exhibition used ceramic patterns to tell cultural stories that span different eras.

In collaboration with Macau Art 2021, an international artistic and cultural event, “Beyond the Blue” is accessible digitally and in person until November 21. The digital exhibition allows visitors to see 3D presentations of ceramic pieces with descriptions, information about the artist and to explore the dimensions of the meanings of the works of art. Garth Johnson, the curator of ceramics at Everson, said the digital format will give anyone in the world access to view these unique pieces.

“Technology makes virtual connection possible, but it’s really the language of ceramics and the language of art that gives us a lasting connection,” Johnson said.

Dorothy Hafner, an artist participating in the exhibition, is known for his creations of glass sculptures, functional objects and architectural installations. The use of glaze in his cast porcelain ceramics endows Hafner’s works with functionality, said Bruce Pepich, executive director and curator of collections at the Racine Art Museum in Racine, Wisconsin.


Hafner’s work has “an exuberant use of color and design, suggesting everything from blinds to beans to jelly,” Pepich said.

Hafner was inspired by the pattern painting movement, which placed a strong emphasis on bright colors and patterns covering an entire canvas. Pepich spoke of this comparison to the pattern painting movement in the way Hafner used shapes, colors, and patterns to give his work a sense of joy.

Although the exhibition only featured ceramic works, the featured artists also explored connections to the rest of the art world, including the fashion industry. Brian Rochefort, a Los Angeles-based mixed media sculptor known for his glazed and layered ceramics, exhibits works of art in this Everson exhibit. His works were also recovered as part of a collaboration with the Parisian fashion brand Berluti and sold in Berluti boutiques in Macau.

The ceramic works in the exhibition aim to show the joy and color of life.
Katie Kiessling | Collaborating photographer

In the exhibition, each work of art represents humor, life and color. This exhibit is a representation of how ceramic art can resonate with several different audiences, which was especially important during the pandemic when people found themselves with little to no human contact, Johnson said.

The ceramic piece “Losing # 422 (15 Vessels)” by Peter Pincus was an exhibition ceramic which shows a gradient of “rhythm and stability”, as it says in the description, juxtaposed with bright colors and stripes. of the rest of the work, creating a “colored noise”. This work of art counterbalanced opposing colors and patterns to show the complexity and variety that ceramic has to offer as a whole.

“Ceramics is a shared bond, a shared language that brings us together, even at a time when the coronavirus is between us,” Johnson said.


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