HERDING CATS: An exploration of clay by five ceramic artists.
Closing Reception: Saturday, August 14, 7 to 10 pm
Herding Cats showcases the work of five individuals: Elizabeth Cohen, a lawyer turned realtor, turned artist; Dana Garner-Ishihara, an English teacher turned ceramist; Stephen Lam, "an aspiring Fireman/EMT" who discovered a love for clay, accidentally; Tom Warren, a nurse who finds fulfillment working with his hands in a way he never imagined; and, last but not least, Shirley Whong, an artist whose work ranges in mediums, from clay to computer.
When asked to exhibit together, the five artists, who come from such differing backgrounds, felt they were trying to make the impossible, possible. In addition, they had the daunting task of filling a gallery in three short weeks. In this show, these artists endeavor to challenge themselves each in their own way, pushing the limits of what they know and have yet to master in ceramics.
Elizabeth Cohen’s work focuses mainly on composite pieces. Influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement, her vessels are mainly utilitarian with emphasis on the decorative. Using various chops, carvings and hand-built items, she combines techniques to create work that is visually interesting and functional.
Dana Garner’s work, like Cohen's, focuses on the utilitarian. However, being influenced by the work of Japanese potters, she strives to create pieces that are subtle and refined. Using an extremely dark clay body with elegant glazing, she creates “little gems” in the form of bowls and sake sets.
In contrast, Stephen Lam has a physical yet light touch. His work is large in scale and is, contrary to the stereotype of large work, very refined. He uses the clay to communicate volume and form. Making large bowls, lidded jars and clay doughnuts, his work is visually light and whimsical. Both supple and sensual, it calls the viewer to touch it, to embrace its voluminous grace.
Tom Warren’s work incorporates multiple techniques. Warren uses hand built and extruded forms to create a collage that represents his life. The extruded forms, pulling from his experience as a nurse, reflect the people he encounters everyday. Warren’s thrown work shows his love of working with his hands and clay as a medium.
Shirley Whong chooses to create work that speaks of her family and life. Endeavoring to use the clay in a very organic sense, Whong creates cups that resemble sheep. The cups, when combined together offer up a portrait of “family”.
Gallery hours 12 - 4 pm Tuesday thru Friday, and 3 - 5 pm on Saturday.
Sponsored by Pasadena Art Alliance and VAMS