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Arts / Entertainment

Colorado ceramic collections, now through June 12

Jan. 14, 2010

One of three new exhibitions at the Colorado State University Art Museum, Elastic Expressions: Variations in Clay from Colorado Collections, showcases the Art Museum permanent collection, CSU's pottery teaching collection, and other significant pottery collections.

Vase by John Gill, American (born 1949), Department of Art Teaching Collection.

Now through Saturday, June 12
University Art Museum
University Center for the Arts

One of three new exhibitions at the Colorado State University Art Museum, Elastic Expressions: Variations in Clay from Colorado Collections, showcases the Art Museum permanent collection, CSU’s pottery teaching collection, comprised of pieces acquired over a 30 year period by faculty, alongside other significant Colorado pottery collections. 

The exhibition is open Tuesday, Jan. 12 to Saturday, June 12, in the University Art Museum at the University Center for the Arts, 1400 Remington St.  

Season opening reception

There is a season exhibition opening reception in the museum on Thursday, Jan. 28, from 7 – 9 p.m. in the Robert W. Hoffert Gallery. General museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Admission to the museum and the reception is free.  

Pottery: An embodiment of culture

Colorado State University’s pottery curriculum focuses on evaluating pottery as an embodiment of culture and as an elastic and expansive medium. Throughout the history of the pottery teaching area, a wide range of examples have been used within the classroom setting to introduce students to the properties and possibilities of clay. The eclectic collection, formed to enhance teaching, demonstrates the flexibility of pottery to fulfill a multiplicity of aesthetic and utilitarian functions. The core of this exhibition comes from these teaching collections, enhanced by examples from private collections.

The exhibition features work by current and emeritus faculty members and by some of America's most renowned figures in the ceramic arts including Maria Martinez, Paul Soldner, Betty Woodman, Karen Karnes, Peter Voulkos, and Ron Nagle. 

Plate by Maria Martinez, San Ildefonso (1881 – 1980), University Art Museum Collection, gift of Jan and Richard DeVore.

Visual solutions

According to Sanam Emami, assistant professor of art, and coordinator of the pottery area at Colorado State University, seeing pots in a museum setting offers different challenges.

Student potters are used to handling clay and pottery as part of the learning process, understanding a vessel because of its potential usage. In a museum setting the emphasis is on the artist's visual solution.

“Viewing work in a museum or gallery is an opportunity and a challenge for both the viewer and the object. The pot has to captivate the viewer visually and aesthetically, while the viewer resists the urge to touch, trying instead to understand the object through the deceptively complex act of looking,” said Emami.

Emami also stresses that the wide variety of approaches, across cultures and times, seen in this exhibition, shows the incredible flexibility and elasticity of clay.

Other Spring 2010 Exhibitions

  • Mid-19th Century French Printmaker, Honoré Daumier (a sampling of lithographs), open now through Saturday, March 13, University Art Museum
  • Critic and Artist Residency Series Guest Amy Yoes, Catalyst, open Thursday, Jan. 28 to Saturday, March 20, Robert W. Hoffert Gallery

The School of the Arts at Colorado State University provides an enriched venue in which the study and practice of Art, Dance, Music and Theatre are nurtured and sustained by building the skills and knowledge needed by future generations of arts professionals to become contributors to the essential vitality of our culture and society.

More information.

Contact: Jennifer Clary
Phone: (970) 491-3603