March 18 – April 30
White Bird Gallery is hosting a new show of contemporary ceramic art, presented in conjunction with the 2017 NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) Conference in Portland from March 22- 25. The gallery has represented ceramic artists since 1971, this exhibit focuses on clay as both a functional and sculptural medium with artworks in a variety of techniques that explore gesture, naturalism, transformation, physicality, precision and surface patterning.
Mike Moran: sculpture & mixed media
Eric Boos: biomorphic vessels
Larry Halvorsen: sculpture & functional pottery
Randolph Silver: sculptural vases
Wally Schwab: plates & vessels
Karl Yost: wall relief, sculpture & vessels
White Bird Gallery
251 N. Hemlock / Box 502
Cannon Beach, Oregon
With stylistic references ranging from Giacometti to classic Etruscan urns, Mike Moran balances ancient with contemporary to create content-rich, figurative sculpture, permeated with the sensation of passionate and transformative experiences of a life lived. Moran is a painter, a print-maker, and a sculptor. Though he is better known for his ceramic works and his recent series of sculpture in concrete utilizing consciously weathered metal and additions of broken glass or clay, to transfix potent and primal images to his forms. Staining, etching, and scratching surfaces, Moran transfuses his work with animal, mystical, and visionary content. Mike Moran has exhibited extensively in the Northwest and Northern California, and his work has been reviewed in such publications as Sculpture, American Ceramics, Studio Potter, and Ceramics Monthly.
In his series of semi-functional biomorphic vessels called “Almost Edible” Eric Boos explores the intersection of food, eating, sensuality, sexuality and organic growth. The studio built one-of-a-kind porcelain pieces, are made using both traditional and innovative techniques. The precisely sculpted forms have smooth glass-like surfaces, clean and formal lines, carefully balanced shapes and an appealing vibrant color palette that is the result of multiple layers of ceramic glaze and multiple firings of each piece. His luscious sculptures are elegant, playful, and useful with colors so juicy and mouthwatering, the artist admittedly had to say they were “Almost Edible.”
Larry Halvorsen is a self-taught potter with over 30 years experience working with clay. Over the years he has been exploring and refining the sgraffito carving technique which has become his signature style. Combining his interests in primitive art, ancient tools, natural forms and a lifelong love of pattern, he creates an ever-evolving body of work, including free standing basalt-like sculptures, geometric shaped wall relief groupings, ceramic stools embellished with tree patterning, and an assortment of everyday functional wares like handcrafted bowls, mugs and vases.
Wally Schwab’s ceramic platters exhibit a mastery over his medium and a unique approach to pattern and design. Schwab creates simple forms with vivid earthy colors, blending of technical and artistic mastery. As the artist states “I use a great number of glazes in an effort to incorporate as much life as possible into each form.” The Oregonian defined Schwab as one of “the key ceramic players who for more than 25 years who helped define the scene.” A staple of Northwest craft for decades, Portland-based Schwab is known for his signature fish scale-designed clay work. He is also known for his influential gift for teaching his craft and having developed the ceramic program at the Rock Creek Campus of PCC. Schwab’s work has been widely exhibited and collected during the preeminent ceramicist’s lengthy career. An internationally recognized artist, and a recipient of the prestigious Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation grant, he has shown his work throughout the United States as well as the Victoria & Albert Museum, London and the first World Ceramic Biennale in Korea.
Constructed entirely of clay, Randolph Silver’s innovative pieces of art are totems and mementos of a time and industry that will soon have gone by. This series of Industrial Vases are intricately crafted to resemble old rusty refineries that have fallen to disuse. Each sculpture is conventionally glazed, watertight, and is coated in a unique iron patina. After the patina is applied, the sculptures are placed in the Northwest rain for a few months, causing rust to form authentically on their exterior surfaces. Some of his most recent works also include the use of antique gauges and clockwork pieces. Silver’s artwork reflects upon our lifestyle of convenience that is powered by fossil fuels and our militaristic need to secure our means to oil consumption.
Karl Yost uses ceramic forms to explore the landscape of the western United States. His work is concerned with the shapes and textures of geography as well as with the jewel- like intimacy of small found objects that so many are drawn to while exploring woodlands, deserts, mountains and sea shores, like an intriguing bit of bone, a soft green colored rock, or the oddly twisted piece wood. Though small in size these objects have there own sense of monumentality and presence. Yost’s most recent work reflects on these micro and macro worlds in organically shaped vessels and wall pieces that depart from traditional pottery forms into sculptural ideas encompassing diverse landscape elements.