Mara Superior News

MUSEUM NEWS | HEY! Ceramique.s – Paris, France | Chris Antemann, Crystal Morey, Mara Superior

MUSEUM NEWS | HEY! Ceramique.s – Paris, France | Chris Antemann, Crystal Morey, Mara Superior

Paris, France

Musée de la Halle Saint Pierre | Paris, France
on view through August 14, 2024

In this newsletter we introduce you to our colleague in France, Anne Richard, founder, author & curator of HEY! Modern Art & Pop Culture. In 2023, she invited 30 international ceramic sculptors to HEY! CÉRAMIQUE.S  her latest and current exhibition on view in Paris at La Halle Saint Pierre Museum. A specialist known for discovering new genres, graphic art and pop surrealists, Anne was inspired to curate exhibitions that highlight figural sculpture in ceramic media.

Two ambitious 2022 exhibitions Anne curated introduced internationally known sculptors from Ferrin Contemporary. HEY! LE DESSIN featured recent works by Sergei Isupov and Jason Walker in Paris and the exhibition  Esprits Libres at La Fondation d’Enterprise Bernardaud in Limoges featured new works by Crystal Morey and Mara Superior. The three artists featured in HEY! CÉRAMIQUE.S  are Chris AntemannCrystal Morey, and Mara Superior.

 Each of the HEY! exhibitions present multiple works by the artists introducing them to new audiences.They are each documented by extraordinary, fully illustrated publications accompanied by commissioned essays. In the current edition, Maria Porges has written about Crystal Moreyand Lauren Levato Coyne about Mara Superior.



“Reflecting the visual and stylistic language of the 18th century, Chris Antemann’s art aims at transforming the status of the object while making parodies of social norms and taboos. Gender roles are often reversed, gestures and expressions are based on time-worn themes of passion, power and jealousy.” – curator essay by Anne Richard.

Chris Antemann, Kissing Booth, 2023, 17”h, photo Kendrick Moholt.


“From there, [she], like many of us, sees the news, imagines the future, and find solace in the triumphant artworks of the past. She is chronicling our time, a unique and strange mix of hope in the ace of humanities greatest collective threat— ourselves.” –  Mara Superior, Chronicling our Collective Hopes– essay by Lauren Levato-Coyne

Mara Superior, Birth of Venus (After Sandro Botticelli), 2021, 17.5” h, photo: John Polak.


“Quotations from eighteenth-century painting and sculpture, as well as from the extraordinary richness of that period’s porcelain, all come together in Pop/Surrealist figures of astonishing delicacy and beauty.”– Crystal Morey, Shaping Interconnectedness – essay by Maria Porges

Crystal Morey, RePlanting: Over the Land (Mt. Lion and Unicorn), 2022, 17.5″ h, detail.


Author, publisher, curator, founder of HEY! Modern Art & Pop Culture

Anne Richard has been working in the art world under three pseudonyms (Anne & Julien, Anne de HEY!, Rosita Warlock) since 1986. Her knowledge of pop subcultures, as well as a solid involvement in alternative arts, have made her a key player in the cultural landscape, thanks to her national and international achievements. In 2010, she co-founded the multidisciplinary structure HEY! modern art & pop culture, which she has directed ever since.

Photographer, Projects and Development Manager

Zoé Forget has been a member of HEY! modern art & pop culture since 2012. Initially a photographer, she is now also in charge of publications and exhibitions curated by Anne Richard. A graduate in photography from ENS Louis Lumière, she also holds a doctorate in Aesthetics, Science and Technologies of the Arts and is a lecturer at Paris 8 University. In parallel, she has been developing a personal photographic practice, focusing in recent years on hair and femininity.


Includes beautiful artwork photos, essays, and installation content of and about the exhibition. 

Released September 15, 2023
Edited by Anne Richard Bilingual (French/English)
250 pages
28 x 24.5cm
Published by HEY! PUBLISHING


Ferrin Contemporary’s newsletters connect artists, collectors, art professionals and the media with exhibitions and opportunities to learn more about artist practices, works on view and new work taking place in the studios.

now located at ProjectArt at 54 Main Street in Cummington, MAOpen by appointment Winter – Spring.
Contact us to arrange a visit in person or by zoom


Copyright © 2023 , Ferrin Contemporary, All rights reserved.
Posted by Isabel Twanmo in Artist News

ARE WE THERE YET? Featured in the Berkshire Eagle


NORTH ADAMS — Sometimes, the only way to move forward is to look back.

Leslie Ferrin, director of Ferrin Contemporary, at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is doing just that with “Are We There Yet?” It’s an exhibition that is one-part retrospective, one part celebration. It’s a show about evolution, of transition.

It’s an introspective show, for Ferrin, who after 40-plus years in the ceramics market is pondering the next phase of Ferrin Contemporary.

Posted by AxelJ in News, Press Coverage

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

NATURE OF NURTURING | Notes from Director, Leslie Ferrin

NATURE OF NURTURING | Notes from Director Leslie Ferrin

A renewed awareness and galvanizing commitment for change is surging through American cultural and academic institutions, organizations, and businesses of every sort, exposing the crying need for structural change. Specifically, this includes the advancement of equality for artists of all genders, eliminating the sexual harassment, wage discrimination, and the other forms of sexism that continue to affect the lives of women, transgender and non-binary individuals. As part of the movement to reverse and rebalance priorities as well as open new doors, it is crucial to offer opportunities to artists who have been historically marginalized.

Ferrin Contemporary has invited twelve female artists to pause and reflect on the role gender plays in their artistic practice, to consider the impact of the #MeToo movement, and/or to examine how the constructs of gender and gendered behavior impact their personal and professional lives. Nature assigned these artists who identify as female on a given path, whereas nurture is an accumulation of experiences and influences has had both positive and negative impact on their personal and professional lives.

Individual artworks do not always offer specific references to identity through direct content. However, a close look at the career paths in the short biographies and written statements in this exhibition, Nature/Nurture reveals information about how each of these artists – members of several different generations – has sustained her creative practice. The ceramic artworks in Nature/Nurture converge in a dialogue and accumulation of experiences and influences; they reflect on positive and negative forces shaping contemporary female and non-binary identities. Together, through the artwork, statements and biographies, these women artists who identify as female and are at various stages of their careers, convey different experiences defined by their gender, age, geographic and cultural identities.

Mara Superior, Sally Silberberg, Tricia Zimic have had decades-long careers that began before the two youngest, now in their 30’s were born. Unlike the women who began their career in the 70’s, Crystal Morey and Lauren Mabry and others born in the 80’s are already well established with museums actively acquiring important mid-career works. Linda Sikora and Linda Sormin have balanced their international artistic practices with teaching in University programs. As a graduate student, Linda Sikora was unable to attend a program led by a female professor. Linda Sormin, of the generation following, pursued graduate studies specifically with three leading women artists Linda Sikora, Andrea Gill and Anne Currier. Likewise, Giselle Hicks and Cristina Córdova had the advantage of powerful female faculty and confidence that led to independent paths, establishing their own studio practice supported by periodic short term teaching, unhindered by the politics of full-time academia. International artists, Kadri Pärnamets (Estonia), Rae Stern (Israel) and Anina Major (Bahamas)

have located their practices in the USA where residencies have welcomed them, supported the development of their work and proximity to the marketplace.

For the two artists who began their careers in the 70’s, their education took place in institutions with male-dominated programs. As they began their careers, the studio craft movement provided independent economic security and a “workaround” for women whose chosen media, ceramics, had yet to be embraced by the fine art world. For those who followed beginning their careers in the 90’s and until the market crash in 2008, the glass ceiling showed cracks. Women were hired in academic positions, replacing retiring male faculty as programs were rebalanced to achieve diversity.

Starting in the eighties, studio craft was avidly collected by private collectors through fairs, galleries and directly from the artists themselves. The ultimate goal of self-support through sales was viable for a large number of artists but that ended with the recession. For those who began their professional careers at a time when the market system had collapsed, these artists were ultimately fortunate as a new path opened for work in ceramics when the groundbreaking survey exhibition in 2009, “Dirt on Delight” jettisoned ceramics into the broader field of contemporary fine art in the USA. In addition, the explosion of international biennales inclusive of ceramics and craft that provided context for material based artworks in the broader art scene.

This wide acceptance for ceramics and the other female associated media, fiber arts, has settled the Art vs. Craft debate. For both emerging and established artists whose chosen primary material was previously segregated and independent from the mainstream, these new opportunities for their works have begun to balance the gender and cultural gap of representation at galleries and museums. Foundation support for diversity initiatives have had a significant impact through awards for artist fellowships and new scholarship. For those whose work took the form of vessels or studio pottery, a new generation of curators have embraced their work by making connections between practicing contemporary artists and past masterworks in the areas of decorative arts and design.

Inspired by the important work of Judith Butler and Helen Longino, the artists in this show were invited to explore the influence of ‘Nature/Nurture’ within their practice. Their work ranges from more direct interpretations of the natural world, to more abstract notions, such as the construction of gender, and endowed role of women.  “Possibility is not a luxury; it is as crucial as bread.” ― Judith Butler, Undoing Gender, 2004

Seen as a whole, this group of twelve women artists who live and work throughout the USA, is representative of the rising tide of professional opportunities. While significant earnings and advancement gaps remain, a course correction is underway through the increasing number of gender and culturally specific exhibitions. As priorities shift for museum collections, educational public programming and private collectors, these efforts to course-correct are bringing recognition to artists previously overlooked and undervalued and to undocumented legacies. Nature/Nurture seeks to contribute to and further this recognition.

Leslie Ferrin, director Ferrin Contemporary

a group exhibition of twelve contemporary female artists invited to explore the influence of gender and its impact on their practice.

Read the NATURE/NURTURE series

NATURE/NURTURE | Group Show of 12 Women Artists
LESLIE FERRIN | Director Notes | Nature of Nurturing
CRISTINA CORDOVA | Nature/Nurture | PBS Craft in America – Identity
GISELLE HICKS | Tiles & Vessels | Teaching Online in the Time of COVID19

LAUREN MABRY | Nature/Nurture | Cylinders & Flow Blocks
ANINA MAJOR | Nature/Nurture | No Vacancy in Paradise
CRYSTAL MOREY | Nature/Nurture | Museum Acquisitions
KADRI PÄRNAMETS | Nature/Nurture | Small Matters and Roots & Pollinators
LINDA SIKORA | Nature/Nurture | On Nurture: Our Social and Political Spaces
MARA SUPERIOR | Nature/Nurture | Museum Acquisitions
RAE STERN | Nature/Nurture | In Fugue
TRICIA ZIMIC | Nature/Nurture | Sins & Virtues



Posted by AxelJ in Blog, News, NOTES FROM DIRECTOR

Ferrin Contemporary featured on Everson Museum’s Online Class and Studio Tour

Everson Museum’s Online Classes and Studio Tours, featuring Ferrin Contemporary

May, 15, 2020, from 1-2:30 pm

Garth Johnson, the Everson Museum of Art’s Paul Phillips and Sharon Sullivan Curator of Ceramics will join Ferrin Contemporary’s director, Leslie Ferrin to discuss the exhibition Nature/Nurture and the role of gender in contemporary ceramics. Mara Superior and additional artists from the exhibition will also join in from their studio to discuss their practice and new work in process.

Ferrin Contemporary Featured in Everson Museum of Art’s Virtual Class


Posted by AxelJ in Artist News, News

5 Must-See Ceramics Shows You Can View Online, Artsy, April 29, 2020

“While galleries have temporarily closed worldwide due to COVID-19, we can still get inspired by the work of contemporary artists. As part of Artsy’s Art Keeps Going campaign, we’re featuring exhibitions that you can access via Artsy, with insights from the artists and our writers. This week, we’re sharing a selection of shows featuring ceramics at galleries from Los Angeles to Helsinki…”

“Nature/Nurture” Installation View, Crystal Morey, Mara Superior, Kardi Parnamets, 2020.

Posted by AxelJ in News, Press Coverage
LIFE IN THE TIME OF COVID | Commemorating Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary

LIFE IN THE TIME OF COVID | Commemorating Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary


Earth Day 2020

Commemorating Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary

Today, on Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary, while hunkered down in our pods, we are viewing a live stream of powerful images illustrating issues related to the environment and COVID-19. These images are delivered 24/7 via the internet, video, on our phones and the most powerful ones are imprinted permanently in our minds as we try to wrap our heads around this moment. We appreciate, more than ever, the importance of creative work done by artists, photographers, writers, musicians, filmmakers and performers as they fill our days in isolation with beauty and eloquence, and provide truly necessary, brilliant cultural entertainment. While we cannot physically “see” art in person, we are enjoying creative activity of our own and the opportunity to explore culture delivered virtually. It is amazing to watch this lifeline emerge with lectures, classes, and exhibitions – all of it illustrated, scripted and conceived of by creative artists – our “canaries in the mines.”

On Earth Day in 2020, we revisit our 2018 exhibition Canary Syndrome, featuring recent works by international artists from US, AU and UK. Inspired by the saying “canary in the coal mine”, we hypothesized that artists, much like caged canaries once used by coal miners to warn of dangerous gases, are hypersensitive to the adverse conditions and forces that jeopardize human existence. At the time, the exhibition and the works in it focused on climate change and environmentalism. Now, two years later, as a result of COVID-19, we are seeing the shut down of travel delivering clean air to polluted cities and allowing animal migration to resume to their ancestral habitats.

This week in FC News & Stories, we look back at Canary Syndrome and feature works by artists who are considering the environment and man’s impact on the planet we all call home.

Be Safe – Be Well – Stay in Touch

Leslie Ferrin, director Ferrin Contemporary

Life in the Time of Covid
Read MORE here.

Above: Mara Superior, Only One Planet Earth, 16″d, featured in “Nature/Nurture”, Ferrin Contemporary, North Adams, MA


“The very act of creating provides artists with an outlet for the anxiety caused by relentless exposure to contemporary conflicts. They are compelled to address environmental and societal issues through their practice and are sounding the alarm in the form of beautiful and compelling pieces of art.”

View online exhibition HERE.

The urgency has never been greater, and the stakes have never been higher – we are now in an environmental emergency and a climate breakdown.  We have two crises: One is the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The other is a slowly building disaster for our climate.

  • On Earth Day 2020, we say enough is enough.
  • We say we believe in science. We say that everyone can make a difference.
  • We say that the protection of our planet and the wellbeing of the people who live upon it are the top priorities.
  • On Earth Day 2020, we say that we’re committing to vote, we’re registering to vote and we’re showing up to vote.

FERRIN CONTEMPORARY presents contemporary ceramic art for exhibition and sale at 1315 MASS MoCA Way in North Adams, MA; at ProjectArt at 54 Main Street in Cummington, MA and at galleries and museums around the world.

COVID-19 | Closed until MASS MoCA reopens regular hours.
GALLERY HOURS: Wednesday – Saturday 11 – 5:00
+ by appointment
+ by chance

PROJECT ART supports and promotes local and international ceramic art and artists through artist residencies, internships, workshops, studio rentals, events and exhibitions at 54 Main Street in Cummington, MA.

forward to a friend | inquire about a work

Posted by AxelJ in Blog, NOTES FROM DIRECTOR
MUSEUM NEWS | Mara Superior

MUSEUM NEWS | Mara Superior

MUSEUM NEWS | Mara Superior

Mara Superior is an American visual artist who works in porcelain. A native New Yorker, Superior made good use of her proximity to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, visiting constantly. From an early age, her life has been spent in the pursuit of art, beauty, history, and travel.

Her work demonstrates a thorough grasp of historical precedents with an added twist of her enchanting reinterpretations. She is known for her detailed narrative sculptures and wall reliefs with subject matter ranging from the personal to the political and environmental.

Superior has received a National Endowment for the Visual Arts fellowship and numerous individual artists grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, most recently in 2017. She is included in the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, and her work can be found nationally and internationally in many public and private collections.

In 2018, through the generous support of the Kohler Foundation, gifts of art by Mara Superior were made to fifteen museums throughout the USA. Since 1970, the foundation has donated thousands of pieces of art to more than 300 museums and non-profits across the country, in addition to preserving in situ art environments. Kohler Foundation’s mission is to support the arts and education, with a focus on art preservation.

Cool Clay: Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Ceramics
Crocker Museum of Art in Sacramento, CA | July 21, 2019 – December 31, 2020

Tending the Fires: Recent Acquisitions in Clay
Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA | September 7, 2019 – March 14, 2021

Major Work On View at the PEM
Peabody Essex Museum of Art in Salem, MA | Currently on View, New Wing Opened in September 2019

A Legacy of Firsts: The Everson Collects
Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY | November 16, 2019 – January 3, 2021

People’s Choice Exhibit
Bennington Museum | Bennington, VT | July 3 through November 3, 2020

ON VIEW in the Rowland Gallery
Chazen Museum of Art| Madison, WI

Posted by AxelJ in Artist News, News, On View

Galleries closed due to COVID-19, but Art must go on!, Beautiful Bizarre, March 17, 2020


Galleries closed due to COVID-19, but Art must go on!

Beautiful Bizarre,

March 17, 2020
“Sensibly many galleries around the world have decided to close their doors, cancel opening receptions and operate online or by appointment only, due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In an effort to assist our community in this time of uncertainty and hardship, we are putting together the below list of exhibitions from around the world, whose opening receptions will not go ahead because of the virus shutdowns. In order to promote that these exhibitions ARE STILL HAPPENING…”

Crystal Morey, “Three Graces” 2019, hand-sculpted porcelain, 19 x 10 x 8″.

Posted by AxelJ in News, Press Coverage
NATURE/NURTURE: Female ceramists reflect on experiences that shaped them, The Berkshire Eagle, March 13, 2020

NATURE/NURTURE: Female ceramists reflect on experiences that shaped them, The Berkshire Eagle, March 13, 2020

The Berkshire Eagle

by Jennifer Huberdeau

March 13, 2020

“In the late 1970s, group shows, featuring women ceramists were few and far between.

“In 1979, there were no solo shows for women. The numbers today are better, but still bad,” said Leslie Ferrin, gallerist and owner of Ferrin Contemporary.

Back then, Ferrin had just opened Pinch Pottery, a working studio, shop and gallery in Northampton with fellow ceramic artists, Mara Superior and Barbara Walch. Women ceramicists, she said, struggled for recognition, not only because they were female artists, but also because their chosen medium wasn’t as accepted [as fine art] as it is today….”



Posted by AxelJ in News, Press Coverage