“Ceramics+” show debuts at MCC

The Ceramics exhibit opened Nov. 26 at the Mesa Community College (MCC) Art Gallery. A wide variety of ceramic pieces are on display ranging in style, size, and concepts.

One of the most common themes is nature.

Magda Gluszek’s Breathe is a ceramic within a series dealing with humans and their relationships with the environment. “I feel that most of us living in the Westernized world have an increasingly disconnected relationship to nature.” Magda Gluszek said. “While nature imagery remains prevalent in social media and popular culture, it’s often used as a picturesque backdrop of an inflammatory social/political cause to react to.”

Magda’s work, including Breathe, are life-like intentionally to create a narrative aspect and relatability for the viewer.

Susan Beiner’s work also relates to nature. “I am interested in how the natural environment…man’s synthetic reality is interwoven,” Susan Beiner said. “Specifically, I wonder how does the manufactured world affect nature.” Susan researches botany and human disease. Her work like Unintended Consequences presents a “picture-window as the environment becomes a blighted whitescape,” the artist said. “New growth emerges from the devastation.” The lack of color in this piece lends itself to the idea of destruction. Her other work on display, Hive Expanded, represents an overgrown beehive after a deserted colony.

An eye-catching work is the mixed media piece by Jeff Schmuki. “I am fascinated by sound, light, and clay.” Jeff Schmuki remarked, and this is what he combined for his piece, Transcription #3. “Moving the idea of what clay can do by combining sound and light with a rustic shino bowl, we can expand the notions of ceramics and hopefully create new knowledge.” It is an innovative piece combining movement and ceramic.

Similarly innovative, Elliott Kayser has an interactive piece on exhibit, “It’s a way to engage the viewer to consume,” Elliott Kayser remarked. “The idea for that piece was looking at… cows which are typically found on research farms….that allows researchers to reach into the stomach of a living cow to study how the food is being digested.” Inside of the hole of the ceramic cow are candy corn candy, relating to how cows are being fed harmful corn and also, pointing to the lack of nutrition in candy. “It’s symbolic of something that we already do.”

“Artists create new knowledge, we ask questions, research and find innovative solutions to the difficult questions of the day,” Jeff Schmuki remarked when talking about ceramics.

For viewers looking to admire art, ask questions, and ponder on the difficult questions of the day, you can find these deeper meanings as well as fascinating aesthetics at the Ceramics exhibit.

Ceramics will be on display at the MCC Art Gallery on Southern and Dobson until Jan. 24, 2019.

Photo courtesy of Peter Bugg
Photo courtesy of Peter Bugg
Photo courtesy of Faith Damm

About Author

Allison Cripe is a guest writer for the Mesa Legend. She also writes songs and short stories such as this one in Across the Margin: https://acrossthemargin.com/flesh-colored-shell/. Dogs are her spirit animal(s).

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