The newest exhibit at Red Lodge Clay Center is a survey of 16 working ceramic artists touching on a range of ideas including history, function, and concept. The exhibition titled Pour It Up (March 4th-April 22nd, 2016) is serious exhibition with playful inspiration that reinforces what it feels like to own and use a teapot in modern times. Teapots are tools, they are social, they are casual, they force a needed break from an increasingly digital human experience, and (as usual with functional pottery) they are for more comfortable in a home than in the white-walled gallery – But life must begin somewhere.
The exhibition statement begins, “Listening to a song by the pop star, Rihanna, she sings about pouring it up. Granted, she is speaking about dollar bills, strip clubs, and drinking, as she repeats the phrase, “pour it up, pour it up.” This got me thinking about the pouring vessel…”
Teapots are for steeping tea leaves in boiling water and for dispensing the brew into a drinking vessel. This simple function has layers of complexity woven into a 500+ year history. It is not enough just to have a supremely functioning teapot, it needs to look nice too. When you introduce aesthetics into function you begin to make the action, the ritual, of tea-making truly special. You can design your tea party atmosphere to be funky and fun by using a teapot by Julia Galloway, or maybe you prefer to see the artists touch at the forefront of the experience, like in a teapot by Josh DeWeese.
“Yixing teapots gave us perfection and function at the same time. Wedgwood teapots gave us fabulously indulgent and elegant teapot designs. For the beginning ceramic artist, the teapot allows for multiple skills to be utilized in one object. The advanced ceramic artist is able to refine form, function, and decoration. In the ceramics community, the teapot could be seen as the ultimate fetish object for both makers and collectors.”
The ceramic artists in Pour It Up include Julia Galloway, Bede Clarke, Josh DeWeese, Matt Long, Eva Kwong, Malcolm M. Smith, Harris Deller, A. Blair Clemo, Megan Mitchell, Lauren Smith, Brenda Lichman, Bill Wilkey, Doug Peltzman, Jeff Campana, Jeff Oestreich, and Candice Methe Hess.
See the exhibition at Red Lodge Clay Center through April 22nd, 2106 or learn more on their website
“Pour it up, pour it up, that’s how we ball out.” – Rihanna