Stephen Braun/Guardian Angel for Oil/Raku
Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the Missoula Art Museum, in Missoula, Montana (http://www.missoulaartmuseum.org/.) They currently have a fine exhibition of contemporary ceramic art from that lovely state, in a show called "Home, Home on the Range. " Featured are 19 artists who collectively exemplify "the essential cultural fiber of Montana."
Two artists in particular have pieces that I found of interest. Stephen Braun has a piece called "Guardian Angel for Oil," made with Rakued Clay, showing a diving angel who is apparently about to save a barrel of oil. I enjoyed the metaphor, especially given our oil dependence and the current price of gas. I was most impressed, however, with his technical skill and the way he handled his materials, specifically the way he used the Raku texture to enliven the angel. Here is a YouTube video that features him at a raku clay workshop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VU6ST-YQC_8 .
The second artist whose work I enjoyed is Adrian Arleo. Her piece is a life- sized female figure called "Eve Honeycomb", and is made with clay, glaze and wax encaustic. I felt moved by her concern for the natural world and the primal part that bees play in our environment. I also felt kinship with her work, since my Bee series addresses the same essential ideas, and also uses hexagonal marks to illustrate honeycombs in beehives. Here is link to a workshop that she will offer in October at the Archie Bray Foundation: http://www.archiebray.org/workshops_classes/workshops_2011/workshop_arleo_2011.html
As is the case with my paintings, these pieces invoke the sense of touch as well as the sense of sight. I have never done ceramics, but its tactile qualities are seductive, and I admire the beautiful effects.
I am a San Francisco artist who enjoys making art and visiting art exhibits.