ASU Art Museum hosts celebration of ceramics and Valley-wide studio tour, Feb. 20-21


The ASU Art Museum’s Ceramics Research Center is pleased to present the 15th annual Self-Guided Ceramic Studio Tour, held this year from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 20-21. The tour is free and open to the public.

The tour is set to coincide with the return of the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center’s biennial gala, Ceram-A-Rama, which will be held Feb. 20 at the museum’s new Brickyard location on Mill Avenue and will feature food, music, dancing and the opportunity to bid on artwork donated by well-known local, national and international artists. There will also be a live auction featuring work by notable ceramic artists Jun Kaneko, Patti Warashina and Sergei Isupov, as well as renowned Southwestern artists Kurt Weiser, Virgil Ortiz, Max Lehman, Patricia Sannit and Christine Golden. Information on Ceram-A-Rama can be found at asuartmuseum.asu.edu/ceramarama.

The self-guided studio tour is a two-day, Valley-wide celebration of ceramic arts that features the work of more than 50 professional ceramic artists. It offers the public a rare opportunity to view working and living spaces of participating artists and view demonstrations of wheel-throwing, hand-building and glazing techniques. Participating artists have a wide range of both functional and sculptural artwork on exhibit and for sale.

As a recent transplant from the East Coast, ASU Art Museum Curator of Ceramics Garth Johnson is impressed by the Valley’s flourishing ceramic community.

“With the New York Times and other publications all declaring that ceramic art is ‘white hot,’ the Phoenix area has always been a hotbed of ceramic artists and enthusiasts,” Johnson said. “The Self-Guided Ceramic Studio Tour is one of the true hubs of the Valley’s ceramics community, as well as a destination for collectors across the country.”

In addition to the 13 studio locations throughout the Phoenix metro area that are hosting artists, the ASU Art Museum’s Brickyard location will be open throughout the tour weekend with extended hours to match the tour time. Printed brochures that include photos, directions to studios, maps and demonstration schedules are available for free at all ASU Art Museum locations or online as a downloadable pdf at asuartmuseum.asu.edu/studiotour.

This year’s Ceram-A-Rama will honor Paul J. Smith, legendary curator and director emeritus of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. Over the course of his long career, Smith helped give shape to the studio craft movement as he worked with hundreds of artists who would come to define the field. When asked about Smith, Johnson said, “With his history of pushing boundaries and working tirelessly for craft, Smith has been a major influence for a new generation of scholars and curators.”

When he was working and traveling, Smith was always photographing artists in their studios and professional lives. The Ceramics Research Center’s current exhibition, “Paul J. Smith Portraits: A Journal of the Ceramics Community,” pairs 20 of Smith’s artist portraits with corresponding pieces from the ASU Art Museum’s unparalleled collection, including such notable artists as Toshiko Takaezu, Peter Voulkos, Maria Martinez and Beatrice Wood. For its Ceram-A-Rama celebration on Feb. 20, Smith will be in attendance to help celebrate the exhibition and Phoenix arts community.

Tickets for Ceram-A-Rama start at $25 and can be purchased at asu.artmuseum.asu.edu.ceramarama.

The ASU Art Museum Ceramic Studio Tour is organized by the Ceramics Research Center Artist’s Advisory Committee.

To learn more about the ASU Art Museum, call 480-965-2787 or visit http://asuartmuseum.asu.edu.

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