Fourteen south Florida artists will exhibit their latest ceramic works at “SoFlo: On and Off the Wall” at the Art Gallery at Eissey Campus at Palm Beach State College February 18 to March 21. The opening reception will be from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on February 18.
Jupiter resident Chris Riccardo’s latest series of work is based on his long-time admiration of the Chinese war horses that were produced during the Tang Dynasty. He admires the Sancai glaze technique and has tried to emulate that.
“The idea that these horses were mass-produced hundreds of years ago instantly drew me to today’s mass-produced Chinese horses that we all know and love, My Little Ponies,” he says.
As he researched more about the Pony phenomenon, he came across a group of people who call themselves, Bronies.
“This subculture is made up of mostly men who find the series, My Little Pony, and the actual pony characters both happy and joyful and in some instances sexually attractive.
“So, I have tried to incorporate the history of the Tang horses with aspects of today’s mass produced toys and I hope to delve deeper into the Brony world which will be reflected in the new work to come.”
An interest in objects that serve a specific purpose motivates Justin Lambert of Jupiter to make functional pottery. He is also interested in how pottery can inherently initiate a certain situation with a single user and companion.
“It is through the grouping of particular pots that I am able to suggest a special moment to occur,” he said. “It is the interaction of my pots that lead to certain scenarios alluding to the ideas of companionship and solitude.”
Groupings of bottles or cups invite the viewer to slow down and take notice of the subtle diversities in form and the infinite variety of surface texture and color attainable through wood and soda firing.The scale of his work brings the viewer in close to examine the subtleties of form and surface, and creates a more intimate experience through its utilitarian qualities.
“The firing process I choose provides a direct interaction between the clay and the user,” he said. “My work is not covered with any glaze, rather the firing itself glazes the work, enriches the surface and brings out intrinsic color from the clay.” His investigation into high alumina clay bodies in both wood and soda firing leads his research. He reduction-cools these kilns to achieve deeper colors. The process allows him to explore a “palette somewhat unknown. Frosty, dry, movement rich glazed surfaces provide information for future work, and my careful analysis of surface to form integration provide insight to new formula’s and firing schedules.”
For Lake Worth resident, Victoria Rose Martin, the making of art is a spiritual thing.
“While sculpting, I zone out and it’s as if I make a connection to another place and time. In the small faces I can see members of my family, people and places, and even myself. The work tends to be whimsical or dreamlike with a slightly dark under current,” she said. “I want my pieces to evoke emotion.
“My sculptural forms are hand built using earthenware clay, and no two figures will ever be alike. The surfaces are decorated with stamped words, geometric shapes, and a variety of finishes, including oxides, underglaze, and glaze.”
SoFlo is a group of artists and educators working at institutions from Jupiter to Miami. The exhibitors are Deborah Adornato, Shannon Calhoun, Angi Curreri, Angel Dicosola, Nazare Feliciano, Rebeca Gilling, Bryan Hiveley, Judith Berk King, Justin Lambert, Victoria Martin, Chris Riccardo, Bonnie Seeman, Gerbi Tsesarskaia and Karla Walter.
The exhibit will feature 40 pieces of sculptural and functional work, each offering a perspective of current trends in south Florida. Both the reception and the exhibit are free and open to the public. Artwork will be available for purchase. Prices range from $200 to $6,000.
The gallery is located in the Palm Beach Gardens campus’ BB building, Room 113 and hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.