#ArtLitPhx: Artist Lecture with Patti Warashina and Transitory Conversations Exhibition

Join us for an Artist lecture with Patti Warashina on Saturday, May 12th from 6:30- 7:30 pm in the Dobson lecture hall at Mesa Arts Center, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum (1 E Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201).  Warashina’s Transitory Conversations exhibition opening reception will be May 11 from 7:00-10:00 pm. The exhibition will be at Mesa Arts Center from April 13th through August 5th.

With a career spanning over 55 years, Washington State artist Patti Warashina has established herself as an artistic icon, especially in the media of ceramics. She uses the human figure as a vehicle to portray what she draws from her own daily life experiences, as well as the absurdities and foibles from the civilization in which we live. Her characters become the actors in her introspective narratives and the viewer becomes the voyeur. In most of her current work, the abstract quality of the surfaces erases and denies the identification of time and place, speaking to the universal quirks of all human nature. However, recently the absurdity of the current world has been a fascinating source of ideas for her to explore.

 

ASU Art Museum Presents Ehren Tool and Erik Gronborg Ceramics Exhibition

“Statement Piece: Erik Gronborg and Ehren Tool” on view through Nov. 21 at the ASU Art Museum Brickyard

Tempe, Ariz. – This fall, the ASU Art Museum’s Ceramics Research Center will present Statement Piece: Erik Gronborg and Ehren Tool, an exhibition that brings together two socially-engaged artists from different generations. The exhibition is curated by the ASU Art Museum’s curator of ceramics, Garth Johnson, and will be on view Aug. 1 through Nov. 21, 2015 at the ASU Art Museum Brickyard, located at 7th Street and Mill Avenue in downtown Tempe.

In the 1950s, Erik Gronborg, who was born in Denmark, spent several years in a work camp for conscientious objectors before moving to the United States, where he made his mark with a series of functional pots addressing the Vietnam War. At age 83, Gronborg is still working in his studio, although he has shifted from ceramics to woodworking and maintaining an elaborate garden that he began in 1976.

ceramicEhren Tool joined the Marine Corps in the early 1990s and served in Operation Desert Storm. Upon his return, he began to study ceramics, using functional pottery as a way to explore his evolving views about military service and the human toll inflicted by warfare. Over the past decade, Tool has given away more than 14,000 handmade cups loaded with images related to the United States military. He was recently featured in an episode of the PBS program Craft in America that revolved around veterans in the arts. When asked about the function of his artwork, Tool has said, “I hope that some of these cups can be starting points for conversations about unspeakable things.”

“Gronborg and Tool have been paired for this exhibition because of similarities in their work and parallels in their personal histories,” explains Johnson. “Both artists harness the power of images pressed into wet clay. Both create approachable, functional pottery with social content built in that causes the person using the artwork to contemplate their own relationship with the U.S. Military. It is also no coincidence that Gronborg and Tool both received advanced degrees from the University of California-Berkeley.”

RELATED PROGRAMS

From Sept. 9–11, artist Ehren Tool will be in the Phoenix area, creating cups and speaking to and making art with veterans groups and the general public. The ASU Art Museum is partnering with ASU’s Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement and Pat Tillman Veterans Center, which seek to help veterans and their dependents pursue their educational goals, and Wings for Warriors, a nonprofit that helps wounded veterans with healthcare and financial benefits counseling and travel expenses. Further details will be made available by late August.

A reception for the exhibition will be held Friday, Sept. 11, from 6:30–8:30 p.m. (with a members, alumni and press preview from 5:30–6:30 p.m.). Tool will spend that day making cups in the gallery space at the ASU Art Museum Brickyard. Members of the public are welcome to collaborate with Tool to create their own handmade ceramic cup

All ASU Art Museum events are free and open to the public.

During the course of the exhibition, the ASU Art Museum’s Ceramics Research Center will welcome classes and groups to meet at the ASU Art Museum Brickyard for discussions over coffee and tea served from Ehren Tool’s cups. To schedule a visit, please call the ASU Art Museum Brickyard at 480.727.8170.

CREDIT

This exhibition is supported by The Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Ore., Ron M. Werner and Scott McCoy, Dan Berman and Greg Weller, James Wallace and Julie Bergstrom, Erik Gronborg and Ehren Tool.

ABOUT THE ASU ART MUSEUM

The ASU Art Museum, named “the single most impressive venue for contemporary art in Arizona” by Art in America magazine, is part of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University.

To learn more about the museum, call 480.965.2787, or visit asuartmuseum.asu.edu.

Location/Parking: The museum has three locations across the metro Phoenix area: the ASU Art Museum at 10th Street and Mill Avenue, on ASU’s Tempe campus; the ASU Art Museum Brickyard at 7th Street and Mill Avenue, in downtown Tempe; and the ASU Art Museum International Artist Residency Program Project Space at Combine Studios, in downtown Phoenix. Designated parking is available at all three locations.

Admission: Free at all three locations.

Hours: The ASU Art Museum and ASU Art Museum Brickyard are open 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays. The ASU Art Museum International Artist Residency Program Project Space in downtown Phoenix at Combine Studios has variable public hours depending on exhibition schedules and is open by appointment.

ASU’s Art Fest: A Success

Art Fest PosterOn February 12, the ASU Tempe campus played host to the annual ASU School of Art: Student Art Fest at the Neeb Plaza. The promotional poster was inviting—”Tickle all your senses,” it read—a colorful display of art students practicing their crafts with utter concentration. I arrived to Neeb Plaza, excited to take a look at what the School of Art has been doing this semester, and was greeted by a Volkswagen Beetle, charmingly vandalized by other passersby. It was the perfect introduction into the art scene here at ASU. The Beetle was decorated with all sorts of designs and messages, a piece of art contributed to by any ASU student that had something to add.

Fourteen student art clubs from metal, wood and fibers, painting, printmaking and drawing to ceramics, photography and foundry presented their work at the Art Fest. The students proudly invited interested peers to sign up for club newsletters and offered samples of their work. The Wood and Fibers Club displayed elegant bracelets printed with their club logo of a tree, while the Ceramics Club provided kiln-fired bowls and painted statues, and the Printmaking Club handed out Valentine’s Day-themed postcards.

Ceramics ClubEach club had a few students demonstrating their trades. The ASU Metal Club demonstrated the process of burning simple patterns onto metal through the use of stencils. A Ceramics Club member slowly crafted a pot on the spinning wheel. The Photography Club took pictures of volunteers with a Polaroid camera and invited people to view their gallery showings at Gallery 100 and Step Gallery, just off of the ASU Tempe campus. A table was set aside for Utrecht, the student-friendly art store found at the corner of Rural and University, where they offered art advice and free student discount cards to be used for any artist’s next purchase. They also had a display board where an enterprising artist could splash a bit of paint on the increasingly messy collage.

The Art Fest ran from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., after which students were invited to attend a gallery crawl. Galleries attended include Gallery 100, Harry Wood Gallery, Northlight Gallery, and Step Gallery, all of which are within walking distance of the Tempe campus.

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