Sunday, March 11, 2012

Defined Form / Refined Function: Selections from The Rosenfield Collection

I am honored that Susan Roth Romans of Ro2 Art asked me to assist her in curating this exhibition.  Ro2 Art recently started a contract with "Visit Addison" to curate exhibitions for their gallery space within the center.  Several months ago, Louise Rosenfield approached the center requesting to bring her Dallas Pottery Invitational in April.  The Invitational has been exhibiting at Southside on Lamar in the Cedars neighborhood of Dallas for the past four years.  However, Louise lives in the northern suburb of Addison and thought that a change of venue would be good for the fifth iteration of the event, as this would introduce these fine functional ceramic works to a broader demographic.  Louise also proposed to have a gallery show during the month of March of works created by each of the eleven ceramic artists that will be featured in the Invitational. She wanted the works for the March show to be curated from her own collection, The Rosenfield Collection. The director of the Addison Visitors Center directed Louise to Ro2 Art to handle the curation as well as arrange the design and production of the pedestals and acrylic boxes that would be needed to exhibit the works.

The Rosenfield Collection contains hundreds of works of functional ceramics.  The Collection has been in the process of cataloging each piece, adding them to the website, and carefully packing each piece for storage and subsequent retrieval.   Susan and I each poured over the works on the website.  There are over 250 works by these eleven artists alone in the collection!  We each made our top picks and then came together to discuss each other's choices in an effort to narrow down the field to one or two pieces by each artist.  We readily agreed on several pieces by a few of the artists, but we deliberated long and hard over the bulk of the pieces.  This was no small task!

You may already be aware that I neither have an art degree or make art.  However, I have been collecting art for fourteen years, and I have a special passion for functional as well as sculptural ceramics and glass.  I have works by six of these eleven artists in my own collection. I very much appreciate this quote from Keith Kreeger's web page: "I make pottery because I think the objects we use on a daily basis are as important as what they hold." Keith Kreeger is also in The Rosenfield Collection, but his works are not in this exhibition this year. I have ceramic works by nine other artists that are also in The Rosenfield Collection, and there are about 10 more in the collection that have been on my list of "must haves" for the future.  When Susan realized my passion for this media and these artists, she asked me to assist her choosing works for this exhibition.  I also assisted Susan and Jordan Roth, her son and co-owner, as the pedestals and acrylic covers were delivered to the center and we then arranged the works around the gallery.

seven of the artists' works arranged at one end of the gallery

Here are the works we chose as seen in through the acrylic:

 Amy Halko, Soy Set, wheel thrown, mid-range oxidation

Andrew Martin, Cup & Saucer and three Plates and one small Bowl, slipcast, low-fire oxidation

Brenda Lichman, Bowl and Cup, wheel thrown and altered, high-fire soda

Brian Hopkins, Serving Platter, hand built, high-fire porcelain

Daphne Hatcher, Plate, wheel thrown, high-fire wood

Forrest Lesch-Middleton, Pitcher and two Plates, Pitcher is wheel thrown and altered, Plates are hand built, all are high-fire reduction

Gary Hatcher, Bread Bowl and Vase, wheel thrown, high-fire wood

Jerilyn Virden, Double Walled Bowl, hand built, high-fire reduction

Lisa Orr, Lamp and Salt & Pepper Cellar, hand built, low-fire oxidation

Louise Rosenfield, Tea Set, hand built tray, wheel thrown cups & saucers, wheel thrown and altered tea pot, mid-range oxidation

Sam Chung, Pitcher, hand built, mid-range oxidation

I have thoroughly enjoyed this latest experience.  If you are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area this month or next, make it a point to stop in at the Addison Visitors Center and check out this exhibition, and definitely find something to take home for your own collection during the Dallas Pottery Invitational.  Apirl 13 - 15, the same weekend as the Dallas Art Fair!

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