Ceramic Top 40 | New & Selected Works at Harvard

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Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts at Harvard
Gallery 224, 224 Western Avenue, Allston, MA

Leslie Ferrin, Director, Ferrin Contemporary, CERAMIC TOP 40 curator
info@ferrincontemporary.com  |  413.446.0614
Kathryn King, Director of Education, Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts at Harvard
kking@fas.harvard.edu  |  617.495.8680

The work in this exhibition was drawn from the Ceramic Top 40 show held at Red Star Studios in Kansas City, Missouri in 2013. The exhibition includes new pieces from artists working on the cutting edge of contemporary ceramics.

May 27–August 16, 2014
Other Events: June 11, 2014
2–5:00pm   Workshop Demonstration with artist Lauren Mabry
5–6:00pm   Curator Lecture with Leslie Ferrin
6–8:00pm   Opening Reception


Ceramic Top 40 exhibition at Harvard

ALLSTON, MA – CERAMIC TOP 40 | New & Selected Works, an exhibit of contemporary ceramic art, will open May 17 at Gallery 224, Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts at Harvard. Featuring pieces selected from a broad survey of today’s leading ceramic artists, the exhibition will be curated by Leslie Ferrin, director of Ferrin Contemporary.

The pieces are new and selected works from the artists featured in the Ceramic Top 40 | 2013 show, held at Red Star Studios, part of Belger Crane Yard Studios in Kansas City, MO. The Harvard exhibition combines invited and juried submissions representing a range of conceptual, utilitarian, and sculptural ceramics and seeks to identify artists working on the cutting edge of current processes, ideas, and presentation concepts. Both up-and-coming and established artists who are breaking new ground are included.

“For over 25 years, our gallery has shown the finest ceramic art and studio pottery in solo and group exhibitions at the gallery, online, and at art fairs. With new technologies and collaborative methods of producing art, the time had come to take a closer look at the artists who are responding to and using these new opportunities. After reviewing 475 submissions, we selected the artists whose current works best embody this new paradigm. In addition to the juried artists, several others were invited who were also clearly leading the field in new directions,” Ferrin said.

The Ceramics Program has served Harvard University and the greater community with its exciting educational offerings for more than 40 years. Known for its leadership in the field, the Ceramics Program provides a creative learning environment for a dynamic mix of students and professionals from the University, greater Boston, and international community.

In conjunction with the exhibit, a day of educational events is planned for June 11, starting with a workshop demonstration with exhibiting artist Lauren Mabry from 2 to 5 p.m. The workshop is designed to demonstrate expressive surface application techniques and concepts including the use of colorful slips and underglaze to achieve depth and painterly qualities in ceramic surfaces. Techniques covered will include slip brushing, underglaze application, and monoprinting. This demonstration-based workshop focuses on building rich, complex surfaces with low fire materials, but many of the techniques translate seamlessly to high fire materials.

Mabry currently lives and works as a studio artist in Philadelphia as a long-term resident at The Clay Studio. She received her BFA in ceramics from Kansas City Art Institute in 2007 and her MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2012. She is a recent recipient of several awards including the 2014 Emerging Artist Award from the National Council on Education for Ceramic Arts and the Raphael Prize Merit Award from the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh, PA.

Later in the day, Leslie Ferrin will give a curator’s talk from 5 to 6 p.m., and an opening reception follows from 6 to 8 p.m. Events are open to the public. Registration for the workshop is required.

“This is an important moment for a generation of makers and collectors.” Ferrin said. “Ceramics as an art form has come into its own. Increased media recognition and integration of contemporary ceramic art in museum exhibitions and collections as well as contemporary art galleries indicates the time is right to provide a more comprehensive survey of the contemporary medium of clay.”

Gallery 224, located at 224 Western Ave. in Allston, MA, engages the public with exhibitions that showcase the work of emerging and established ceramic artists, research through academic collaboration, and the talent within our studio community. Gallery 224 offers a stunning 680 sq. ft. space with a full street-side view. Ceramics Program Directors Shawn Panepinto and Kathy King lead all programming for Gallery 224. The exhibit will be on display through August 16.

“We are pleased to host this important survey exhibition that explores current trends in contemporary ceramics including the use of new technologies, conceptual models of creative practice, and references to art history.” Kathy King explained. “With our new gallery space, this exhibition, workshop, and lecture will bring the local and New England clay community together alongside the academic Harvard student, faculty, and staff.”

Red Star Gallery was instrumental in realizing the original show in a nationally central location. CERAMIC TOP 40 | 2013 was the inaugural exhibit in their newly renovated and spacious gallery space at Belger Crane Yard Studios in Kansas City, Missouri. They continue their participation by lending assistance with this show of selected works at Harvard.

Sean Erwin, a ceramic sculptor selected from CERAMIC TOP 40 |2013 exhibitors, will have a solo exhibition at the Red Star Gallery at Belger Crane Yard Studios in Kansas City, MO.  “Object, Self,” will feature Erwin’s recent work exploring the complex nature of the human condition by studying personal possessions and their role in the structure of an individual’s psychology. Show dates will be November 7, 2014 through January 24, 2015. Contact Ferrin Contemporary for more information.

A full-color print catalog of work from CERAMIC TOP 40 | 2013 will be available in June.



Lauren Mabry, "Composition of Enclosed Cylinders" 2013, red earthenware, slips, glaze, 20 x l7 x 6".

Lauren Mabry, “Composition of Enclosed Cylinders” 2013, red earthenware, slips, glaze, 20 x 7 x 6″.


Sean Erwin, "Whoopee" 2012, polished porcelain, bronze, resin, glaze, oil paint, gold leaf, flocking fibers, 9 x 7 x 14".

Sean Erwin, “Whoopee” 2012, polished porcelain, bronze, resin, glaze, oil paint, gold leaf, flocking fibers, 9 x 7 x 14″. 

Ferrin Contemporary specializes in ceramic art produced circa 1950 to the present.  For more than thirty years, collectors, institutions, and the media have made Ferrin Contemporary their preferred source for artwork by established and emerging artists and designers whose primary medium is clay.
Based in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, Ferrin Contemporary maintains exhibition space, business office, library, and art warehouse at Project Art, an artist residence in a renovated, 19th-century mill building in Cummington, MA. The exhibition space features artworks from current projects and artists engaged in our international program for visiting artists and professionals. Programs include presentations at art, design, and antiques fairs; partnerships with commercial galleries; and support for artists at museum venues. Leslie Ferrin, along with a team of art professionals, provides services to private collectors as well as project and career management for artists.
For more general information, please visit our website. https://ferrincontemporary.com/


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