Exhibition Dates: July 31 - September 12th
3rd Saturday Reception: August 15th, 11AM - 7PM
This year, our annual international ceramics competition, Off Center, comes at a moment of great uncertainty. In California, particularly, an initial reopening of our state following the Covid-19 shutdowns has been followed by a period of anticipation for future restrictions necessitated by this unprecedented public health crisis. Through it, our organization has remained committed to showcasing artists in new and accessible ways and bringing fine art to our audiences. It is our hope that the creativity showcased in this exhibition brings moments of wonder to those who view it, interruptions of the anxiety that pervades these times.
We are grateful to the 43 incredible artists represented in this show, hailing from 16 states, sharing their work with us. The prospect of shipping work cross-country for exhibition has become increasingly tenuous this year, and we appreciate the continued spirit of courage and optimism of artists, who continue to create and persevere. Our local community is fortunate to be able to experience viewing these works in person, which has become a bit of a luxury in our present circumstances, as travel advisories, health concerns, and capacity limitations change the way in which many can fully access the arts.
Many thanks also to our staff, interns, and volunteers who have worked to make this show possible, and to the talented Jason Walker for jurying this competition.
Brooke Abrames and MaryTess Mayall
Blue Line Arts
Off Center is an exploration of endless possibilities in the world of ceramics, as artists push the boundaries with these dynamic pieces. Ranging from elegant, functional items to abstract forms which are difficult to believe they're made of clay, Off Center shows us just how versatile ceramics can be.
"This sculpture is an experiment, a method of seeing and working with form as if it operated like language. I envision form as having a code of representation just like alphabets and grammar, numbers and mathematics, notes and music, etc. I refer to elemental form as a system of units with a grammar that represents both the microscopic and macroscopic make-up of the universe, resonating in the psyche precisely because of its universality. Breaking down language and physical phenomena to their most basic elements is how I remind myself that we are all tied to every thing and every body."
Winte Ridge Globe
"My work is made out of castoff materials. In a pseudo-anthropological manner, I seek out refuse that has been left in the environment, salvage plant material and objects that are destined for the landfill and upcycle studio waste. Discarded objects speak volumes about a culture and discovering the aesthetic potential of waste drives my process. Layer upon layer and branch-by-branch I build complex webs of interactivity or connection points, akin to a natural system. I then fire my work and similar to impacted ecosystems, my pieces go through dynamic and unpredictable changes in structure. They are transformed into a permanent record of our transgressions, reminding us of our connection and responsibility to every other living being."