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BREAKING THE GLASS CEILING | Notes from Director Leslie Ferrin

BREAKING THE GLASS CEILING | Notes from Director Leslie Ferrin

Toshiko Takaezu, “Form Blue #31”, 1990, porcelain, 19″H

Beatrice Wood, “Men are not to be looked at”, 1978, colored pencil, pencil on paper, 10.625 H

Elsa Rady, “Four Zig Wings”, private collection

BREAKING THE GLASS CEILING | Notes from Director Leslie Ferrin



As we emerge from the year spent sheltering in place, exhibitions are reopening, paused plans are taking form, and exhibitions for 2021 are getting scheduled. We’re seeing new artwork emerging from studios telling stories from this time, and we are watching profound change take place at record pace in institutions throughout the country.

In March 2020, we went into lockdown with an exhibition Nature/Nurture, that had just opened and featured a diverse group of twelve women artists working in ceramics. With support from PPP, we used the opportunity to focus on each artist and explore the role of gender, identity at this stage in their careers. Over the twelve weeks, we learned from each of them about the women artists who inspired, mentored, and blazed a path that fractured glass ceilings during their lifetimes. As the year progressed, our work with artist archives and private collections led to new discoveries and shifting priorities. As we work with curators and collectors, we are seeing increased visibility for artists whose work was overlooked and undervalued during their lifetimes and well-deserved attention.

During this year, profound social movements have put pressure on institutions to reflect on their origins, collections and programs through the lens of diversity and equity. As they address gaps in their collections, we are watching opportunities for both past and living artists grow. We are hopeful that changes that began with small fractures in glass ceilings have further broken through barriers based on gender and identity to include not just the collections and programming but also staff and leadership.

With this newsletter, we bring you some highlights of the work we’ve been doing and the exhibitions we’ve been learning about that are contributing to the change we are watching take place in our lifetimes and invite you to make plans to continue the discussion in person and see our summer exhibition The Melting Point a group show of artists working in ceramics and glass in partnership with Heller Gallery.

Director’s Notes – Leslie Ferrin – May 2021


(American, 1922-2011)

In 2015, The Ceramic Presence in Modern Art: Selections from the Linda Leonard Schlenger Collection and the Yale University Art Gallery featured three spheres by Toshiko Takaezu in visual dialog with 20th paintings by Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, and Sylvia Plimack Mangold. At the time, it was one of the first survey ceramic exhibitions to integrate works associated with craft in galleries with contemporary fine art. Takaezu’s works continue to lead this dialog in museum exhibitions currently on view at MFA Boston, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

An in-depth collection of her work can be seen at Racine Art Museum (RAM) from individual forms to multi-part installations and includes the Star Series, an installation comprised of 14 “human-sized” forms.

Toshiko Takaezu, Form (Makaha) Blue #31, 1990, porcelain, 19″H

(American, 1943–2011) known in the 1980s and 1990s for her exquisitely designed porcelain vessels. The Edge of Elegance: Porcelains by Elsa Rady solo exhibition on view at the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA through Nov 1.

Elsa Rady, Four Zig Wings, 1986, 9″H


(American, 1893-1998) In addition to her ceramic works, Beatrice Wood maintained a daily drawing practice to explore the female form, desire, and sexuality – oftentimes using humor to poke fun at the traditional roles available to women during her time.

Beatrice Wood Selected Works is in the viewing room at Andrew Kreps Gallery.

Tête-à-Tête-à-Tête: Drawings by Beatrice Wood is on view at Everson Museum of Art through August 8.

Beatrice Wood, Men are not to be looked at, 1978, colored pencil, pencil on paper, 10×13″


(American, b.1939) Ferrin Contemporary is pleased to present the Coille Hooven Legacy Project. The archive collection offers an opportunity to acquire documented, historical works from a famously feminist ceramicist, whose work combines sculptural narrative and blue and white porcelain traditions.

For Now or Future Retrieval features “In God We Trust”, 1978 at the Cincinnati Art Museum through Aug 22.

Coille Hooven, Petite Fille, 1986, porcelain, 9.75″H


On view through May 31.

Crafting America presents a diverse and inclusive story of American craft from the 1940s to today, featuring over 100 works in ceramics, fiber, wood, metal, glass, and more unexpected materials.

READ … Celebrating Women Artists in Crafting America

“I didn’t want a flat surface to work on but a three-dimensional one” – Toshiko Takaezu, featured with Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell


“Women Take the Floor” challenges the dominant history of 20th-century American art by focusing on the overlooked and underrepresented work and stories of women artists. This reinstallation—or “takeover”—of Level 3 of the Art of the Americas Wing advocates for diversity, inclusion, and gender equity in museums, the art world, and beyond.

READ … Women take the floor: an exhibition that shifts the male gaze of art history – At the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, female artists throughout history are being given their due in a vital new exhibition … The Guardian – Nadja Sayej


Posted by AxelJ in Blog, News, NOTES FROM DIRECTOR
Virtual Closing | ART IN THE AGE OF INFLUENCE: Peter Pincus | Sol LeWitt

Virtual Closing | ART IN THE AGE OF INFLUENCE: Peter Pincus | Sol LeWitt

ZOOM Virtual Closing Event

Friday, October 9th at 5 pm EST

NORTH ADAMS, MASSACHUSETTS — Art in the Age of Influence: Peter Pincus | Sol Lewitt culminates with a virtual closing event on Friday, October 9th at 5pm, with additional public programming available online.

After a very successful show, the closing event will take place on Zoom and feature a virtual studio visit with the artist, Peter Pincus.

Other programming, such as artist presentations and curatorial conversations with the Everson Museum and the Birmingham Museum of Art are available HERE.

Time: Oct 9, 2020 05:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting: JOIN HERE
Meeting ID: 840 5700 0457
Passcode: FCTalks

One tap mobile
Meeting ID: 840 5700 0457
Passcode: 4265636
Find your local number: HERE

Pincus will be broadcasting from his studio in Penfield, NY, and asks all to join him for virtual cocktails and a kiln opening, revealing the third set of jars from his “Jar Drawing” series, inspired by Sol LeWitt.

This is the Pincus’ summer of 2020 favorite cocktail – join us in mixing it at home using the recipe from


Rochester’s First and Finest grain-to-glass distillery since prohibition


  • ¾ oz Gin
  • ¾ oz Blanco Tequila
  • ¾ oz Crème de Cassis
  • ½ oz Lime Juice
  • Shake with ice & strain
  • Top with 3 oz Ginger Beer
  • Lime wheel garnish

Leslie Ferrin will be on-site in the gallery, streaming a live view of the exhibition: ART IN THE AGE OF INFLUENCE: Peter Pincus | Sol LeWitt, and celebrating the closing along with all virtual & socially distanced attendees.

Posted by AxelJ in Artist News, Blog, Events, News
Chris Antemann in Exposition Ceramiques Gourmandes at Fondation Bernardaud, France

Chris Antemann in Exposition Ceramiques Gourmandes at Fondation Bernardaud, France


June 21, 2019 – October 31, 2020

When art becomes epicurean, voracious, pie-eyed with the pleasures of the palate—inventing dishes, desserts, pieces montées or banquet scenes—sinking its teeth into an examination of our relationship with food (guilty, sensual, problematic)—we have Céramiques gourmandes, an exhibition cooked up by the Fondation Bernardaud, featuring fourteen international artists with a taste for ceramic: the crème de la crème!

Fired clay and fine fare have long been companions. Gustatory pleasure has inspired artists in every era: what we eat says so much about humankind, its environment and its excesses. The feasts we see here are technical feats, to be savored visually, virtually. Like a mouthwatering promise. You can almost hear the “mmmm”s, “yum”s, and “more”s.

In the 18th century, during the vogue for naturalism, ceramicists played with trompe l’oeil. Fantasies in faience and porcelain, decorated plates or trick displays, were wildly popular through Europe—England, Hungary, Germany, and France. There were reproductions of radishes, artichoke quarters, and hard-boiled eggs, sometimes doused in mayonnaise. Kilns yielded compotiers full of olives and bouchées à la reine. There were terrines in the form of pheasants, ducks, roosters; plates disguised as hearts of lettuce or bunches of asparagus; bonbonnières as lemons. Bestiary and kitchen garden were called upon to decorate festal tables.

Delectation is always a question of taste. Gluttons are scourged; gourmets’ refinement encouraged. What we eat reveals what we are. And in our consumer societies, now grown obese, the question of food is at the heart of sanitary, political, and ecological issues.

Olivier Castaing, Exhibition curator

Hélène Huret, Director of the Fondation Bernardaud

Chris Antemann (USA)
Bachelot & Caron (France)
Anna Barlow (UK)
Charlotte Coquen (France)
Christina Erives (Mexico)
Jae Yong Kim (Korea)
Juujuu Kim (Korea)
Yuko Kuramatsu (Japan)
Kaori Kurihara (Japan)
Shayna Leib (USA)
Susan Nemeth (UK)
Marie Rancillac (France)
Dong Won Shin (Korea)
Jessica Stoller (USA)

Contact Presse Hélène Huret : hhuret(at)

Chris Antemann’s DINING IN THE ORANGERY at Bernardaud

Posted by AxelJ in Artist News
ART IN THE AGE OF INFLUENCE | Notes from Director, Leslie Ferrin

ART IN THE AGE OF INFLUENCE | Notes from Director, Leslie Ferrin

ART IN THE AGE OF INFLUENCE | Notes from Director Leslie Ferrin

Art in the Age of Influence is a series of solo exhibitions presented by Ferrin Contemporary during 2020-21 season, considers the impact of artist’s source materials on their artistic process and practice.

Good news! Here in the Berkshires, fall foliage is peaking and the governor just announced we are in step 2 of phase 3. Our museums are open, we can enjoy live performances for up to 250 and travel from most nearby states is permitted. The gallery is open Friday and Saturdays, other times by appointment and we’re always up for sharing a meal, hot coffee or fresh beer with our guests under the tent in the courtyard.


Peter Pincus‘s stunning exhibition is on view through October 11 and at nearby Porches Inn, we are showing a series of tile works by Giselle Hicks. For those who can’t get away, we are scheduling individual virtual tours on zoom, facetime and a closing event is in the works for the final week.

Read more & tour the exhibition HERE.

Leslie Ferrin, director Ferrin Contemporary

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Art in the Age of Influence: Peter Pincus | Sol LeWitt, features new works by Peter Pincus inspired by three of Sol LeWitt’s wall drawings, #340, #422 and #289, as seen first-hand in Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective at MASS MoCA.

Using color theory and formulaic design patterns as points of departure, Pincus creates brightly colored vessels and expansive tile murals. Inspired by Sol LeWitt’s distinctive style, this body of work takes on his influence in their vibrant patterns and forms. LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #422 specifically relates to Pincus’ exhibition centerpiece, a series of 15 large-scale columns that carry colors across the surface of each form which create a large-scale painting when aligned together.

Gallery director, Leslie Ferrin notes “Pincus’ work in this exhibition began during his first visit to our gallery located on the MASS MoCA campus for the opening of a group show, Glazed and Diffused. After a full day exploring Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective, we had an animated discussion of how the LeWitt works related to his creative practice. Like LeWitt, Pincus often begins a new series using a premise to explore various possibilities of form and color within a shared framework.”

Pincus’s last solo exhibition in 2018, Channeling Josiah Wedgwood was also a result of direct research into the extensive collection at the Birmingham Museum of Art that informed a series of complex forms based on urns and challices. Now, five years later, Pincus’s work for this 2020 exhibition began with a series of premises based on the color theories and conceptual instructions of Sol LeWitt inspired by wall drawings he first saw in person in 2014. This body of work includes containers, vessels and wall tiles, each a result of extensive research and technical experimentation.

“There is a big difference between being influenced by and being in conversation with. As an artist and educator, I am eager to acknowledge those who have elevated my thinking through their work, and to consciously engage with influence as a productive, and insightful element of studio practice. This exhibition is an opportunity to celebrate LeWitt’s approach to making as a foundation, from which I can challenge myself to see new things and grow.” -Peter Pincus

Posted by AxelJ in Blog, NOTES FROM DIRECTOR

Peter Pincus Featured in Everson Museum of Art’s Virtual Class

Peter Pincus Featured in Everson Museum of Art’s Virtual Class

Everson Museum’s Online Classes and Studio Tours, featuring Peter Pincus

September 11, 2020, from 1-2:30 pm

Garth Johnson, the Everson Museum of Art’s Paul Phillips and Sharon Sullivan Curator of Ceramics was joined by Peter Pincus to discuss the exhibition ART IN THE AGE OF INFLUENCE: Peter Pincus | Sol LeWitt at Ferrin Contemporary, highlighting the influence of Sol LeWitt and the experience of how the show has developed during the Age of COVID.

Posted by AxelJ in Artist News, Blog, Highlights, News

Peter Pincus Featured in the Berkshire Eagle

“A day spent exploring in the Sol LeWitt retrospective at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art has inspired a new show by ceramicist Peter Pincus.

“Art in the Age of Influence: Peter Pincus | Sol LeWitt,” which reopened Ferrin Contemporary on Saturday, features new works inspired by three of LeWitt’s wall drawings, “No. 340,” “No. 422” and “No. 289.” The show is the first of “Art in the Age of Influence,” a series of solo exhibitions, presented by the gallery, which considers the impact of artists’ source materials on their artistic process and practice.

Pincus’ work in this exhibition began during his first visit to our gallery located on the Mass MoCA campus for the opening of a group show…”

Peter Pincus, ‘Scratch Spin Amphora’ 2020, colored porcelain, gold luster, 18 x 8 x 8″ (each).

Posted by AxelJ in Artist News, News

Mara Superior in PEOPLE’S CHOICE at the Bennington Museum

July 3 through November 3
Parmelee and Limric Galleries

This pandemic has wreaked havoc on our exhibition schedule, making it impossible to secure loans, or to properly uninstall and prepare galleries. Therefore, we’re going to let YOU decide the objects in our next exhibit. Our Collections Manager has come up with a list of interesting objects in storage that deserve a little time in the galleries.
Objects are powerful tools – touchstones filled with meanings and connection – that help a community understand its sense of place and future direction. Of the 40,000 objects in Bennington Museum’s collection, only a fraction are on view at any point.  Through online voting, hundreds of people picked from over 250 objects in five categories to determine the “winners” for viewing here.
Some of the runners up are also displayed to give you a better idea of the scope and breadth of our collections. And finally, for fun, we are asking you to take a look at everything and vote on your very favorite object.  Each week we will be awarding a blue ribbon to the people’s pick.

“Allure, A Dream House”, 1996, 15.5 x 22 x 7″, high-fired porcelain, ceramic oxides, underglaze, glaze, faux marble paint, wood, brass pins. Bennington Museum of Art (2019.1.3.a-c).

Jamie Franklin, curator at the Bennington Museum of Art continues his online series, “Chats with Jamie” with Ferrin Contemporary artist MARA SUPERIOR to discuss her dynamic practice and new works while in quarantine.

Jamie Franklin, Curator at Bennington Museum

Posted by AxelJ in Artist News, News




With Over 300 Works of Art Set for Ebay Auction, The International Ceramic Arts Community Join Forces to Raise Funds for Artists Affected by COVID-19.

During this period of economic and social disruption, a group of galleries, collectors, artists and art-related businesses have joined together in an online ceramic auction to provide direct monetary support to artists and organizations in the craft community and, in doing so, unite the ceramics community in our shared values.

The auction, running on Ebay from Friday, June 19th and ending on Sunday, June 28 at 4 p.m. PDT ( ), hosted by Jeffrey Spahn, Jeffrey Spahn Gallery) ).  An online public preview cocktail party, hosted by Everson Museum’s ceramics curator Garth Johnson, brings together donors, artists and the beneficiaries on Thursday, June 25th 7pm EST via Zoom. 


Thursday, June 25, 7 pm EST

Hosted by Garth Johnson, Everson Museum

Guests include Cornelia Carey, CERF+, artists Christa Assad, Lauren Mabry and others involved with the auction as donors and receiving organizations. This program will be live and include conversations about the artworks in the auction from studios and donating galleries.

CERF+ Auction Preview
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 987 2092 8898



Betty Woodman, Lucie Rie, Josef Albers, Ruth Duckworth, Jun Kaneko, Linda Lopez, Lauren Mabry, Warren Mackenzie, Sergei Isupov, Rose Simpson, Peter Voulkos, Akio Takamori, John Reeve, Jesse Small, Shin-Yu Wang, Patti Warashina, Adrian Saxe, David MacDonald, Ashwini Bhat, and Bobby Silverman, are just several of the world-renowned ceramic artists whose works will be on eBay, to raise funds for artists in need. Bidding begins Friday, June 19th, and ends Sunday, June 28th, at 4:00 pm PDT. The Jeffrey Spahn Gallery created a flipbook, which includes a number of the artists whose work will be in the auction.

The purpose of this auction is two-fold. One, to raise direct funds for artists in need. Two, to unite the ceramics community in solidarity for our shared values. Collectors, gallerists, and artists have united the ceramics community with the majority of proceeds going to the Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+) along with several other beneficiaries including the Arizona State University Art Museum Ceramic Research Center, Everson Museum of Art, Howard Kottler Scholarship Fund at Cranbrook Art Academy, National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, and The Studio Potter.

Participating Galleries

Cross Mackenzie Gallery, Duane Reed Gallery, Ferrin Contemporary, Harvey Preston Gallery, Jeffrey Spahn Gallery, Lucy Lacoste Gallery, Mindy Solomon Gallery, Rago-Wright Auctions and Trax Gallery, with contributions from Peter Held Appraisals and the LEF Foundation.

Posted by AxelJ in Artist News, Blog, Highlights, News
BLACK LIVES MATTER | A Note from Director Leslie Ferrin

BLACK LIVES MATTER | A Note from Director Leslie Ferrin

“Choice Matters.”

BLACK LIVES MATTER | Notes from Director Leslie Ferrin

Due to the extended run of Nature/Nurture, we have the opportunity to reflect on paths taken, connections made and shared experiences in our weekly series of FC News & Stories with each issue focusing on an individual artist in the exhibition. The ON NURTURE statements written by each artist acknowledges family, artist mentors, education and, particularly for Linda Sikora, reflects upon social and political spaces. 

But… when poised to release this newsletter featuring Sikora’s work, achievements, and writing, all of us at Ferrin Contemporary mutually agreed to pause all programming, social media and online communications in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement while we and the nation mourned the murder of George Floyd and protests took place throughout the world.

Our online stillness was not silence. Instead, we devoted the week to direct, individual conversations about race in America – human to human – within our various communities – our neighbors, families and among the artists, art professionals and collectors with whom we work. Reflecting on the past recognizes that, despite efforts to diversify and reform patterns of exclusion, it has not been enough. 

In this week’s director notes, Leslie Ferrin shares what we’ve learned from these discussions, provides links to what we are reading and the causes we are supporting. We encourage you to join us in our efforts by making donations and committing to support the changes that must take place.

“Silence is complicit.”

During the pause, we read, listened and took a staggering step back as our nation’s social and political spaces again revealed themselves as the stage for something that made everyone stand still…

Silence is complicit. 

Our online stillness and silence allowed us the time to reflect on the past and recognize that, despite efforts to diversify and reform patterns of exclusion, it has not been enough. 

Structural change is underway that will combat these established systematic patterns. During every conversation, we hear of priorities shifting to commitments and to pledges to create new opportunities. 

Choices matter. 

With each choice we make, we prioritize time and resources on who and what we read, listen to, learn from and ultimately choose to support economically through action, donation and purchases. 

While we cannot go back and change past complicity, we are all accountable for what happens tomorrow. The choices we make each and every day are within our immediate control and will lead us to the ultimate change needed in our political system on November 4, 2020. 

I want to personally thank Anina Major, one of the artists in this exhibition, for engaging in numerous, frequent and long conversations about race that began when we first met in 2018. These conversations have helped inform and guide me and continued throughout the past week. She inspires me to speak out and use the platforms we have – our gallery program and our social network – to open up these uncomfortable, difficult, but necessary conversations about race, about how to effect change, and what we can each do based on the commitment to racial justice and equality. 

Leslie Ferrin, director Ferrin Contemporary

Posted by AxelJ in Blog, NOTES FROM DIRECTOR
Linda Sikora in Wallpaper Diaries Exhibition at Chautauqua Institution

Linda Sikora in Wallpaper Diaries Exhibition at Chautauqua Institution

Virtual Opening Monday, June 29 | 8:15 pm

Chautauqua Institution | Strohl Art Center | Main Gallery

Linda Sikora presents six works from her series Floral Series- Black on White, at the Strohl Art Center’s upcoming exhibition, Wallpaper Diaries.

This exhibition focuses on eight artists whose work involves pattern. The result will be a colorful, dynamic show, marrying and merging intricate patterns created by each artist. Works on paper, oil paintings, collages, wood wall sculpture and ceramics will be featured.


Posted by AxelJ in Artist News, News