HYBRID LOAFER, 2009, Scott Bennett; altered, assembled, glaze & luster-free earthenware, 7"x10"x7"

Ceramic artist Scott Bennett (see Hybrid Loafer, above) and I met in July of 1998 when we were both doing the Boston Mills Arts Festival near Cleveland, Ohio. Scott’s work has grown and developed big time since then. He is one of the artists in the next exhibition at WLU and will also be presenting a workshop. I just finished writing the news release for the exhibition:

Nutting Gallery at West Liberty State College proudly presents Argillaceous: The Clay Invitational, February 17 through March 18, 2010. The opening reception for the exhibition is Wednesday, February 17, 5:30 PM to 7 PM. Fifteen clay artists from six states will be exhibiting over sixty original works in clay.

The participating artists are Michael Angelotti, Scott Bennett, Betsy Cox, Dana Goodman, Kyle Hallam, Rick Morgan, Eric Pardue, Susan Phillips, Larry Schieman, Matthew Schieman, Regina Swim, Lambros Tsuhlares, Steve Vasiliou, Chris Vivas, and Herb Weaver. This group of clay artists represent the states of West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Alabama, and Florida.

Gallery director Robert Villamagna states that the idea for the group exhibition came about in an effort to further promote the gallery. “Nearly every artist that exhibits in the Nutting Gallery tells me what a beautiful space it is,” says Villamagna, “I felt that putting together a group exhibition would expose our exhibition space to a larger number of artists and hopefully, a larger portion of the public. In addition, our students are being exposed not to the work of one artist for a month, but the work of fifteen artists from a variety of backgrounds.”

“The title for the exhibition came from the film Akeelah and the Bee,” says Villamgna.My wife, Chris, ran across a promotional card for the film which featured the word argillaceous. It means containing, made of, or resembling clay.”

Coinsiding with exhibition will be a lecture and and hand building workshop by clay artist and West Liberty alum Scott Bennett of Birmingham, Alabama. Scott received a Masters of Fine Art in Ceramics at Ohio State University in 1989. His sculpture has been exhibited in galleries and museums nationwide. He was a prototype designer for Bath and Body Works and White Barn Candle Company for 7 years, and has been working with clay for over 25 years.  Born 1962, Moundsville, West Virginia, Bennett attended Glenville State College, West Virginia 1980-81, West Liberty State College, BS 1984, Morehead State University, Morehead, Kentucky, MA Ceramics 1986, and The Ohio State University, Ohio, MFA Ceramics 1989. Bennetts work has been feature in 500 Ceramic Sculptures, Lark Books; Image Transfers on Clay, Lark Books; 500 Cups, Lark Books
; and  Craft On Craft by Glen Brown, January Ceramics Monthly. Bennett is also on the editorial advisory board of Ceramics Monthly.

Bennett and his wife, artist Dori DeCamillis, opened Red Dot Gallery in September 2004. Now located in the Edgewood area of Homewood in Birmingham.  Red Dot is the working studio, gallery, and teaching space of Bennett and DeCamillis. After 20 years of working and exhibiting separately all over the United States, the two national artists came together and opened their shared studio to students. The result is a welcoming and creativity-enhancing educational environment for Birmingham.

Bennett will give a free lecture about his work on Wednesday, March 3, at 7 PM at the Stifel Fine Arts Center in Wheeling. His workshop on hand built forms is March 4 and 5 at West Liberty University. For more information contact Robert Villamagna at 304 336 8370 or at rvillama@westliberty.edu.

All exhibitions at the Nutting Gallery are free and open to the public. The Nutting Gallery is open 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM weekdays; evenings and weekends by arrangement. Nutting Gallery will be closed for spring break, March 8 through 12. For additional information contact Robert Villamagna at 304-336-8370 or at rvillama@westliberty.edu

Here are a few more images of work that will be in the exhibition. Once the exhibition opens, I will include more images in this blog.


DANCING IN BLUE FLOWERS, Eric Pardue; 5"x4.5"x4.5", earthenware

My wife, Chris, and I first saw Eric Pardue’s work when we visited  Mountain Made in Thomas, WV two years ago. This past year we saw more of Eric’s work at Taylor Books in Charleston, WV, and purchased two pieces.

Mountain Made, Thomas, WV

Not only is Eric in the upcoming clay show at West Liberty Universtiy, but he and artist Mark Tobin Moore just had an exhibition at the Arthur Butcher Art Gallery at Concord University in Athens, WV. Mark was kind enough to send me the catalog from the exhibition and I’d like to share a few of the images with you.

NAVIGATOR, 2004, Mark Moore; mixed media installation, 9'x9'x6'

Navigator knocks me out! Mark makes using color as easy as breathing. What a great piece! Proving that Mark’s use of color is no fluke, here is another example:

BACK HOME-STUDIO TIME (detail), 2007, Mark Moore, mixed media, 36"x36"

These next two pieces are by Eric Pardue, a collage and a 3D clay work. I wish I could have seen Mark & Eric’s exhibit in person!

UNTITLED COMPOSITION #2, 2009, Eric Pardue, acrylic & collage on paper, 11"x10"

BLUE FORM, 2009, Eric Pardue, glazed earthenware, 10"x10"x10"


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