Suspended Earth: Contemporary Clay 2016

Sponsored by Sara Ransford and Colorado Creative Industries
May 13 – June 25, 2016

Juror lecture Friday, May 13 at 5:30pm
First Friday reception June 3, 6:30-9pm

Award Sponsors
$750 Best of Show: Art Center Guild
$450 First Place: Ceramics Studio Annual Pottery Sale
$300 Second Place: Intermountain Architecture Ltd.
$250 Third Place: Kirk Granum and Karen Moore

The results are in! From 174 entries, juror Steve Hilton selected 59 works of art for Suspended Earth: Contemporary Clay 2016. The exhibition will feature a healthy spectrum of abstract and representational work. Many of the artworks play with weight shifts and ideas of suspension. Some appear as heavy as bronze, while others give the impression of weightlessness—a testament to clay’s incredible adaptability as an artistic medium. Several pieces are mixed media, incorporating materials as varied as fabric and bone, and there is even one video installation.

Steve Hilton will construct an installation onsite for Suspended Earth. A ceramics professor at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, and geologist as well, Hilton earned his M.F.A. in Ceramics at Arizona State University. He finds inspiration in the way plants, animals and weather influence the Earth’s surface. Hilton’s current work focuses on ceramic installations composed primarily of unfired clay—the result of a residency and exhibition in 2015 in Camaguey, Cuba where clay artists do so much with so little. In August 2015 Steve and CMU students built a large clay installation in the Colorado Mesa University gallery space in Grand Junction. Using approximately 1500 lbs. of clay, Steve and a cadre of students constructed an unfired clay environment that evolved and changed in the gallery’s setting over a period of 6 weeks. Hilton will give a juror’s lecture at 5:30pm on Friday, May 13 and will also lead a workshop at The Art Center on May 14 and 15.

The invitational component to Contemporary Clay allows the juror to select a small group of colleagues to show mature and well-developed work that may not be commonly viewed in Grand Junction. This year Hilton has invited four artists to show. They are Jamie Bardsley (Grand Junction), Kyoung Hwa Oh (Grand Junction), Kristin Schimik (Seattle, WA) and Natasha Hovey (Wichita Falls, TX). These four artists are known for their emphasis on clay as installation art.

Seventy-four artists submitted and 40 had work chosen. They are: Jill Allen, Natalia Arbelaez, Noel Bailey, Ashwini Bhat, Victoria Buck, Larry Buller, Neil Celani, Andrew Cho, Jennifer Chua, Angela Dieffenbach, Josh Dillinger, Jonathan Fitz, Ann Fremgen, Eileen Gagarin, Forrest Sincoff Gard, Sharon Harper, Eleanor Heimbaugh, Marguerite Hogue, Bill Jamison, Hakyoung Kim, Lucien Koonce, Jennica Druse, Robert Lawarre III, Clay Leonard, Lee Middleman, Sara J. Parent-Ramos, Jarred Pfeiffer, Rebecca Pinnick, Mike Rand, Sara Ransford, Mark Rigsby, Lauren Sandler, Ariel M. Selcer, Terry Shepherd, Noah Starer, Anthony Stellaccio, Shannon Sullivan, John Tobin, C.A. Traen, and Charity White.

The Art Center’s Contemporary Clay Biennial began in 2006. This year’s will represent artists from 36 cities and 26 states. Mark the date on your calendar and come by to see this exciting and provocative exhibition of ceramic art; it’s guaranteed to jumpstart your intellect and stimulate your senses.


image: Angela Dieffenbach, Prometheus #7


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