Gallery to host multicultural 'Shades of Clay'

clay artworkTyler Art Gallery will start its season with “Shades of Clay: A Multicultural Look at Contemporary Art,” opening with an evening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6.

The exhibition is sponsored by the college’s Auxiliary Services and Student Association student art exhibition committee.

Clay comes in a variety of colors and textures from all over the world with properties and individual compositions directly affected by its regional location, Mindy Ostrow, assistant director of Tyler Art Gallery, explained.

“The artists that work in clay can be described the same way,” Ostrow said. “This exhibition will expose and celebrate how multicultural and multi-ethnic contemporary clay is today. The styles and themes are individual to each artist but still share the common thread of ethnicity. Ethnicity is the filter in which ideas from the artists flow through to manifest themselves in a myriad of forms.”

While some works will celebrate the culture from which they were inspired, others are a personal exploration of ideas, philosophies or the material itself, she said. Vessel and sculptural forms celebrating and embracing cultural ideas and concerns will be contrasted with works pushing the boundaries of utility, aesthetic and sculptural concerns regarding form and material. 

While clay is the primary material utilized, other media are used to enhance the visual experience. Incorporating elements such as wood, textiles, metal, paint and other materials furthers the dialog that the piece can create, Ostrow said.

Participating artists, from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, include Sharif Bey, Richard Buncamper, Syd Carpenter, Stephen Carter, Ray Chen, Patsy Cox, Ellen Day, Eddie Dominquez, Anita Fields, Juan Granados, Leroy Johnson, Yih-Wen Kuo, David MacDonald, Winnie Owens-Hart, Mario Petrirena, Bobby Scroggins, Malcolm Mobutu Smith, James Tanner, Paul Andrew Wandless and James Watkins.

David MacDonald, one of the participating artists, will present an overview of his artwork at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, in Room 102 of Tyler Hall. It is recommended that attendees view the exhibition before his talk.

Tyler’s viewing of “Shades of Clay” is part of an eight-city national tour containing around 60 ceramic art works representing 20 contemporary clay artists, curated by fellow participant and artist Paul Andrew Wandless. The tour was developed and managed by Smith Kramer Fine Art Services, an exhibition tour development company in Kansas City.

“Shades of Clay” will run concurrently with “Pride and Perseverance: Civil Rights Paintings by Charley Palmer” through Oct. 21.

All Tyler Art Gallery events are free and open to the public. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. weekends. For additional information and for persons with disabilities needing assistance to visit the gallery, call 312-2113.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Celebrating clay—“Shades of Clay: A Multicultural Look at Contemporary Art” will open the season for Tyler Art Gallery with an evening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6. Pieces such as James C. Watkins’ “Dancers” (above) can be viewed through Oct. 21.

CONTACT: Mindy Ostrow, 312-2113

(Posted: Aug 23, 2007)