MISSOULA – The Gallery of Visual Arts at the University of Montana will present an exhibition of ceramic works by current long-term artists in residence at the Archie Bray Foundation from Tuesday, Jan. 31, through Thursday, Feb. 23.
The gallery will host an opening reception for the exhibition from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, and many of the featured artists will attend. The Gallery of Visual Arts, located on the first floor of the Social Science Building, is free and open to the public.
The exhibit features sculptural and functional ceramic art by participating artists Hannah Cameron, Ling Chun, Nicholas Danielson, Perry Haas, En Iwamura, Myungjin Kim, Steven Young Lee, Chris Riccardo and Noah Riedel, who explore a variety of concepts and materials in their work.
Cameron and Kim explore narrative through surreal animal imagery that expresses the complexity of the human experience. Imamura’s colorful installation work uses the media combination of drawing, painting and ceramics that is inspired by personal life experiences, as well as American and Japanese pop culture. Chun describes her work as a “playground for glaze,” and she creates colorful mixed media works that challenge traditional use of materials. The figurative work of Riccardo has raw textural surfaces that create an emotive quality.
The forms used in Danielson and Riedel’s functional work reference architectural and industrial design. Lee, Archie Bray’s current resident artist director, challenges pre-conception of style, form, symbolism, superstitions and identity in his functional and sculptural work. Haas’ functional pieces are primarily wood-fired, resulting in rich surface texture from the ash in the kiln deposits on the forms.
“The exhibit clearly illustrates the diversity of Archie Bray Foundation artists and how their vast range of experience and aesthetic approaches, cultures and perspectives come together,” said gallery Director Cathryn Mallory.
The Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, located in Helena, is a public, nonprofit educational institution founded in 1951 by brickmaker Archie Bray. The 26-acre former brickyard is internationally recognized as a gathering place for emerging and established ceramic artists. Since its inception, more than 600 artists from around the world have come to work at the Bray. This creative environment is a dynamic arts community where resident artists share experiences and explore new ideas.