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 Breaking the Mold: de Saisset Features Artists Who See Clay Differently

Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013

SANTA CLARA, Calif., January 2, 2013—The de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University opens the winter season with an exhibition that speaks to the legacy of ceramics in Northern California.

Clay in the Bay, on view January 18 to March 17, 2013, brings together twelve contemporary artists from around the Bay Area who work with clay in diverse ways. The use of clay as a fine art medium has deep roots in Northern California. Once considered a form of craft, it took the ingenuity, creativity, and vision of artists like Robert Arneson and Peter Voulkos to look beyond the medium’s utilitarian properties to its expressive qualities. In the decades following, their successors—artists such as Stephen DeStaebler, David Gilhooly, Ron Nagle, and Richard Shaw—continued to stretch the creative boundaries of clay sculpture. Today, the use of the medium as a respected art form continues to thrive.

Through the use of varied techniques the artists featured in the exhibition, many of whom teach at local Universities, transform clay into organic shape, architectural design, and narrative form. For some, it is the sole medium in which they work; for others the ceramic elements are part of a larger whole. Regardless, the works included in the show speak to the incredible versatility of the medium as it is molded, shaped, and otherwise manipulated.

Artists in this exhibition include Bean Finneran, Don Fritz, Francisco "Pancho" Jiménez, Robert Kvenild, David Linger, Spring Montes, Matthew Scheatzle, Nancy Selvin, Ehren Tool, Monica Van den Dool, Jenni Ward, and Stan Welsh.

Events:
The museum celebrates the opening of Clay in the Bay on Thursday, Jan. 24 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Many of the artists in the exhibition will be present and available to discuss their work.

On Wednesday, February 27 at 7 p.m., artist Stan Welsh will give a public lecture on his art. The program is co-sponsored by the de Saisset and SCU’s Department of Art and Art History.

Artist Nancy Selvin will lecture on Radical Pots: Ceramics in the Bay Area, 1960s Onward on Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m. She will address the radical departure from the norm that took place in Bay Area ceramic work in the 1960s and discuss how that shift is carried forward in today’s clay community.

All events are free and open to the public.

Media Contact:
Lindsey Kouvaris | de Saisset Museum | 408-554-4528 | 408-554-7840 fax | lkouvaris@scu.edu

About the de Saisset Museum

The de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University is the South Bay’s free museum of art and history. The museum was founded adjacent to the Mission Santa Clara de Asís on the Santa Clara University campus in 1955 and is one of only three museums in the South Bay accredited by the American Association of Museums. The de Saisset Museum collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets objects of art and history for the educational and cultural enrichment of all people. The museum achieves its mission through an active program of exhibitions, collections, education programs, and publications.

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley. Santa Clara offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master’s degrees in a number of professional fields, law degrees, and engineering and theology doctorates. Distinguished by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, Santa Clara educates leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion grounded in faith-inspired values. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara is California’s oldest operating institution of higher education. For more information, see

www.scu.edu.

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