Clemson Ceramics Hosts Upcoming Annual Sale
By Jacqueline Kuntz
The corridor outside of the Center for Visual Arts (CVA) Lee Gallery is bustling. People are crowding around long tables with an impressive spread; the line trails out the door. Buyers and enthusiasts reach and grab, examine and admire, some even stand and guard their chosen piece while a friend runs to get more cash. It is a wonder nothing breaks. Down the expanse of the hallway, delicate plates, hearty bowls, rustic, earthenware cups, and mugs that hug the hand, are stocked deep. At the end of the day, only a few – if any– will remain. Members of the local community, Friends of the CVA, students, faculty, and staff from all over campus and across departments have convened for the Annual Ceramic Bowl Sale… and of course, to experience the best minestrone of their life.
The Annual Ceramic Bowl Sale is put on by the student organization, the Clemson Ceramics Association. With the purchase of every cup, bowl or mug – comes a free lunch of homemade soup and warm bread – a midweek break, a hot meal, and a masterpiece souvenir for the meager price of a lunch. The sale’s proceeds go to raise money for the annual National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) conference. To attend a national conference of this prestige is a once in a lifetime experience for many of these ceramic emphasis students. Assistant Professor of Art in Ceramics, Valerie Zimany, talks about the unique opportunities this council brings to the students, “through the conference, students are exposed to contemporary ceramics exhibitions, lectures, and panels. They also make important contacts with peers from other institutions and network for post-graduation opportunities at non-profit booths geared toward graduate programs, artist residencies, and internships.” This year, Zimany, will be featured as a special guest lecturer for her research titled “Porcelain Fever: Contemporary Artists and Kutani Now.” MFA student, Nina Kawar, also will be recognized for being accepted into the competitive NCECA National Juried Student Exhibition.
Students from every level of ceramics throw themselves into weeks of intensive studio to turn out hundreds of functional ceramic pieces for this tradition. Graduate students, Nina Kawar, Brent Pafford, and Lindsey Elsey have work in the Annual Ceramic Bowl Sale. Nina’s thesis work is more sculptural and references the botanical; every curve is kissed by a folded pedaled form, “focusing on creating an environment for the viewer to engage in the works physical qualities that reflect the self and the barriers or defenses we project in social interactions.” Brent’s thesis work “investigates the intimate, haptic, and assembled social conditions in which individuals encounter the work” and the social interactions people respond with to the work, sparking his Mug Exchange project that “seeks to engage with participants through the reciprocal nature of alternative exchange such as a barter system, to raise questions of labor, value, and worth.” Lindsey Elsey is a new addition to the MFA ceramicists and her functional pieces promise an exciting new avenue of work for the department. Her forms are draped with grace and their structure has a classical elegance.
Each work in this manifold emanates the diversity of the artists’ hands. Whether bisque or glazed, every form, divot, and handle has character. Whether it will hold warm winter chowder, cereal, ice cream, pasta, or perhaps a morning cup of joe or night time tea, be sure to come by the ceramic sale to pick out your one of a kind bowl.
The sale will be November 20 located in the Lee Hallway in front of the Center for Visual Arts Lee at Clemson University 12 noon to 5 p.m. Soup will be served between noon to 1 p.m.