In a recent online BBC article, Jennifer Waverek, the owner of Bklyn Clay in New York said, "Clay acts almost as an antidote to ‘the overwhelm’ of the digital world…Your mind has a single focus, so the practice can feel meditative or therapeutic. There is no way to speed up clay-drying or firing, there's no 'clay-microwave.' Ceramics take as much time to make today as they did 2,000 years ago."
Ceramic artists Sam Mae Diamond and Eva Hozinez just spent the last month focused on the dichotomy often experienced while living in the time of the digital age. Their new two woman show opens today at West Chester University (WCU) in the Knauer Gallery. They were paired to participate in an artist residency on campus which began in June. The exhibition “Consume” highlights the work made during their residency. As part of their statement, the artists shared a list of things they are consumed by: Process, Material, Technique, Technology, Culture, Research, Reflection and Identity.
Diamond shared more, “The fact that we have a near endless supply of history and knowledge that we can consume is counteracted by the crushing weight of all the external factors in life that consume us. Both of these pathways can lead to the same outcome, a feeling of emptiness, when you realize you can never learn enough about who you really are, where you are from and who you could have been. The emptiness the world leaves you in after it consumes your time, friendships, and interactions especially during the pandemic.” A Kennett Square resident, Diamond received her BFA from WCU and her MFA at Moore College of Art & Design. She uses clay to contrast her subject matter using body forms that are worn, weathered and imperfect to preserve a feeling or act that the vessel has endured. “I like to explore contrasting meanings in materials and concepts. I use a material like clay, which has a long durable history, to capture a particular moment or a subject that has such a short life expectancy.” For more information about Sam Mae Diamond, visit here.
Eva Hozinez received her BFA from WCU as well. Hozinez bills herself as a potter but she’s ventured into sculpting with clay too, as evidenced by some of the works on display in the show. Adopted from Peru, she’s been exploring her heritage recently through her process and surface design. Using traditional and non-traditional forms, she creates a self-reflection of where she came from and who she is now. About the show, Hozinez said, “Although I am still getting my footing under me, I am really excited about where my work is heading from here.” For more about Hozinez, visit here. The gallery is located in the Swope Music Building. A reception will be held this Friday, July 16th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The show runs through mid-August.
In Philadelphia, the current show at Stanek Gallery, “Disrupted Realism: Reimagining the Figure,” continues along the same vein of its 2018’s exhibition “Disrupted Realism”. This new iteration includes the work of painters Martin Campos, Jacqueline Boyd and Stanka Kordic. From the press release, “Over the past year we have become more dependent on virtual experiences to maintain our connections to each other and our world. This has inevitably altered the ways in which humans communicate and consequently influenced the work of many artists.” It is certainly reminiscent of the work hung for the 2018 exhibition but there is also evidence of the artists being influenced by the events of 2020. Ghostly figures emerge quietly in Boyd's paintings while Campos's figures explode on his substrates with deep colors and strong gestural marks and Kordic's paintings provide a little of both. Gallery owner Katherine Stanek shared the following, "The artworks in the realm of "Disrupted Realism" remind us that intrigue and beauty can be found in those spaces in between." The current show also introduces sculpture to the mix with complimentary figurative works by Stanek who makes work with her own custom blend of cements and other materials and Rolf Jacobsen who works with wood. The show runs through August 14th. Visit here for more details.
Other events worth checking out: As part of the Da Vinci Art Alliance’s Fellowship Program, DVAA is presenting an exhibition titled “The Buried Life” through July 20th. Featuring paintings from DVAA fellows Robert Zurer and Kimi Pryor, these works share a love for mystery, the spiritual, and the psychological. The artists’ surreal paintings depict both dreamlike and nightmarish stories. A video walkthrough is available here.
Whatever you do this week, support the arts!!