CERAM-A-RAMA gala weekend celebrates the art of clay with exhibitions, auctions, dinner and tours

The Ceramics of R. Michael Johns
R. Michael Johns, Rock Teapot, 1989-90
Ceramic, glaze, lusters, 13 x 12 x 3"
Courtesy of Stphane Janssen

Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

TEMPE, Ariz. - Live and silent auctions, a gala celebration dinner, lectures by renowned ceramists, private tours of studios and collections and a sneak preview of ceramic work from the Stéphane Janssen & R. Michael Johns Collection are among the events planned to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the ASU Art Museum's Ceramics Research Center during CERAM-A-RAMA, Feb. 23-26, 2006.

Ceramics aficionados from across the country will converge on Tempe, Ariz. to immerse themselves in a weekend of ceramic celebration. Gala guest of honor and internationally recognized ceramist Ron Nagle will lecture on his work and influences. Other recognized artists and curators in the ceramics field will participate in a panel discussion.

CERAM-A-RAMA also includes tours of significant private collections and studios for those who purchase weekend package tickets. Those who want to add to their own collections will enjoy the gala dinner's silent auction featuring nearly 130 pieces and the live auction, with about 25 pieces. The gala dinner and auction will be held Feb. 25, 6 p.m. at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel in Tempe. Auction items will be available for viewing online at http://asuartmuseum.asu.edu/crcgala/ in late January, 2006.

Speaking of the packed three-day event, ceramics curator Peter Held said that the extraordinary event is a must for those who appreciate ceramics.

"This will be a memorable weekend for anyone interested in the ceramic arts," says Held. "CERAM-A-RAMA offers an incredible array of activities that celebrate the expressive potential of clay."

In conjunction with the gala weekend is the fifth annual self-guided tour of 15 Phoenix-area ceramics studios with 42 artists participating. This free event has become a "must-do"

The gala weekend also includes a sneak preview of A Ceramic Legacy: Selections from the Stéphane Janssen and R. Michael Johns Collection, celebrating Janssen's impressive2004 gift to the ASU Art Museum of 686 ceramic works valued at $4 million. Janssen and his late partner, ceramist R. Michael Johns, acquired the powerful and diverse collection of figurative sculpture and functional pieces over a decade. The exhibition highlights 50 works and includes major American and international ceramists Robert Arneson, Ruth Duckworth, Viola Frey, Asger Jorn, Jun Kaneko, Harrison McIntosh, Richard Notkin, George Ohr, Adrian Saxe and Akio Takamori.

Running concurrently is an exhibition of the work of Johns, who received an M.F.A. degree in ceramics from the Otis College of Art + Design in California. Under the tutelage of ceramics master Ralph Bacerra; Johns created a unique body of work comprised primarily of sculptural teapot forms.

Prices for CERAM-A-RAMA gala weekend events are as follows:
Three-day weekend package: $475
Dinner, auction and lectures: $195
Lectures only: $ 10

The Ceramics Research Center, which opened at the ASU Art Museum in March 2002, is one of only a handful of facilities in the world that combine access to an extensive ceramics collection, significant archival research materials and exhibition space. It is a national and international destination for the study and enjoyment of ceramics and houses a collection of more than 3,000 pieces, featuring what is believed to be the country's largest and best collection of 20th century and contemporary British and American ceramics.

For more information about the CERAM-A-RAMA weekend schedule or to purchase tickets, call Karyn Murphy at 480-965-7092 or go to http://asuartmuseum.asu.edu/crcgala/

The Ceramics Research Center is part of the Arizona State University Art Museum, a division of the Herberger College of Fine Arts. To learn more about the Ceramics Research Center, visit http://asuartmuseum.asu.edu/ceramicsresearchcenter/index.htm 

Media Contact:
Denise Tanguay