Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Review

I have been ranting and raving about the "Legacy: Bunny McBride" show at AKAR all semester long on here and would like to explain why:
First some simple facts.
1. It's taking place at AKAR, which is located across the street from Van Allen hall on the southside.
2. It only run for another month or so.
3. The gallery is open to the public and free.
4. The artists featured are 30 ceramicists who have either taught at or attended the University of Iowa and have been hand selected by Bunny McBride, the university ceramics head, to participate in this show.

Here's why it's so important; this is not only a showcase of Bunny's friends, or his favorite Iowa artists, but it is most likely the greatest show of it's kind this year in the U.S. if not the world. This is a show that demonstrates how functional and utilitarian pots can be amazing pieces of art. I realize I am somewhat biased because I am a potter at Iowa and have Bunny as a teacher, but still I want everyone to know about this opportunity to experience amazing art and perhaps gain a new perspective on pottery.
I'm sure we've all taken some survey of western art and art history class while at college. So I want everyone to take a look at their book, if they still have it, and find all the ceramic pieces displayed or even mentioned since the Greeks. One, maybe two I'm betting. It's pretty common knowledge that most artists and even the general public as a whole don't think of pottery as art. Why is that?
I think probably because of the mass production of drinking or eating vessels and wide spread use that human beings use these vessels for. It's very easy to assume that every cup or every bowl is good only as a vessel to hold a food or liquid, so most everyone does assume that ALL pots are good only a means to eat out of.
Go to this show and tell me that these pots are only good to use at the dining room table, and not art. I think you'll have a hard time doing it. Perhaps it's even the best art, since it can be used as well as admired.
I'm not saying that every cup or every bowl or even every teapot is a work of art. Just like every painting or photograph isn't art. Go to wal-mart and you'll see what I mean.
But perhaps attending this show will get you thinking about the effort and thought these artists have put into the creation of these pieces. From how well a handle fits in your hand or the amazing spectrum of colors that can appear on one piece and not turn to a muddy brown. You'll realize that something is happening right in front of you.
The potential to become aware of art we see, experience, and interact with everyday will become clear.

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