Ceramics faculty selects the best of the best from collection for summer exhibition

Rudy Autio, b. 1926, American
" Two Woman and a Dog," 1981
Gift of Ann and Sam Davis

Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

TEMPE, Ariz. – The Ceramics Research Center at the ASU Art Museum will kick off new summer hours with the pick of its collection in an exhibition that runs June 7 – Sept. 14. Ceramics Faculty Selects: Clay from the Permanent Collection consists of 36 works chosen from the center’s 3,000-piece collection by the Herberger College’s three ceramic faculty members. The center’s hours will parallel those of the museum’s Nelson Fine Arts Center location: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The selected objects demonstrate the full range of technique and stylistic possibilities within the ceramic field, from historical work to wheel-thrown functional pottery to avant-garde sculpture. Some of the artists represented in the exhibition include Robert Arneson, Rudy Autio, Ruth Duckworth, Maria Martinez, David Shaner, Toshiko Takaezu, Peter Voulkos and Betty Woodman. 

The Herberger School of Art’s ceramics faculty – Kurt Weiser, Randy Schmidt and Jeanne Otis – have nearly a century of combined experience as artists and educators. In addition to the selected works, each faculty member will have one of their own art works on exhibit to illustrate their personal work. 

Weiser, Schmidt and Otis teach in the Herberger College’s ceramics program, which was recently ranked 14th in the country by U.S.News & World Report. They have diverse backgrounds, concepts and technical skills in the ceramics field, which are reflected in the works selected for this exhibition.

Curator of ceramics Peter Held said that the size of the ASU Art Museum’s collection made the process of selection a rewarding but somewhat daunting task. “The end result mirrors the diversity of the permanent collection, which is used as a teaching tool for many of their students,” Held said.

Jeanne Otis’s background and training as an artist began in painting and drawing, and color continues to be important in her ceramic work. She also is drawn to artists with a painterly quality such as Toshiko Takaezu, Betty Woodman and Jun Kaneko. In addition, she is attracted to the unexpected in functional forms, such as the work of Anne Hirondelle and Phil Cornelius, who incorporate a strong sculptural element in their work.

Randy Schmidt is trained as a sculptor and his selections reflect his concerns with form and volume. Among his choices for this exhibition is a piece by Robert Arneson, who was part of the funk movement that created controversy during Schmidt’s formative years at graduate school. Schmidt’s own work is that of an object-maker, often combining other media with clay that has a personal narrative quality.

Many of Kurt Weiser’s choices include his appreciation of functional forms. The work of David Shaner, Chris Staley and John Ward demonstrates the self-assured hand of the makers, with simple yet compelling form. Weiser’s passion for Asian ceramics and obsessive decoration is illustrated in the work of Ralph Bacerra, which he also selected for the exhibition.

Ceramic Faculty Selects: Clay from the Permanent Collection will close with a free public reception, 7-9 p.m., Sept. 13, during which the ceramic faculty members will lead a gallery walk-through to discuss the various pieces they selected for the exhibition.

The ASU Art Museum is a division of The Katherine K. Herberger College of Fine Arts at Arizona State University. It is located on the southeast corner of Mill Avenue and 10th Street, Tempe. For more information, members of the public should call (480) 965-2787 or visit the museum online athttp://asuartmuseum.asu.edu.

When You Go:
Location: The Ceramics Research Center, NE corner Mill Avenue and 10th Street, Tempe.
Date & Time: Ceramic Faculty Selects: Clay from the Permanent Collection will run June 7 – August 31.
A free public reception from 7-9 p.m., Sept. 13, will mark the close of the exhibition.
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday and Monday: closed.
Parking: Free parking is available in ASU Art Museum-marked spaces at the south end of Tempe Center, located at the NE corner of Mill Avenue and 10th Street. Visitors using museum spaces must sign in at the front desk in the lobby of the Nelson Fine Arts Center. ASU parking is also free on weekends and after 7 p.m. on weeknights.
Website: http://asuartmuseum.asu.edu
Cost: Free

Media Contact:
Jennifer Pringle