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Renegades bring ceramics into 21st century

Rebekah Bogard, Distract Me, Love and Leisure, 2006, ceramics installation

Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

May 31, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. – For centuries, ceramics have graced the palaces of kings as highly sculptural pieces and utilitarian ware. Clay is one of the oldest art materials known to humanity, used for both utilitarian purposes and creative expression. It has recorded the life of prehistoric civilizations, reconstructing the lives of ancient mankind for archeologists and historians. Pottery from Greece, Africa and Asia inspire with their sophistication, decoration, beauty and the stories they unfold.

Today, the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center features five ceramic artists who are bringing the art form into the 21st century in its exhibition, Renegade Clay: Five Views from the West.  The exhibition runs through Sept. 4, 2007.

Renegade Clay uncovers the work of five artists from western states who are defining a new generation of clay workers: Rebekah Bogard, Neveda; Shay Church, California; Max Lehman, New Mexico; Thomas Muller, California; and Christina West, Montana.

The work featured from these five emerging artists varies in style from the time-based, decompositional work of Thomas Muller, to the fantasy-inspired sculpture forms of Rebekah Bogard.

New technologies and approaches are influencing the ceramics field. The traditional disciplines of art, design and craft have blurred in the last decade with a fluidity of movement never witnessed before. Not beholden to the past, these emerging and under-recognized artists showcase a wide range of approaches: installation, mixed media and use of new materials.

Organized by the ASU Art Museum, this exhibition is curated by Peter Held and is made possible in part by the Ceramic Leaders of ASU and Friends of the ASU Art Museum.

The ASU Art Museum is part of the Herberger College of the Arts at Arizona State University. The museum is located on the southeast corner of Mill Avenue and 10th Street in Tempe and entry is free. Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and until 9 p.m. Tuesdays during the academic year. For more information, call 480. 965.2787 or visit the museum online at

Media Contact:
Peter Held
ASU Art Museum curator