Denatured Nature: Scripps College 69th Ceramic Annual, January 26 – April 7, 2013

Image: Frieda Dean, Moss #6, (detail), 2012, porcelain, powder-coated steel and slate, high-fired bisque, multiple firings, 54 x 14 x 14 (Photo by Andreas Salomon)

The Scripps College Ceramic Annual–the longest-running exhibition of contemporary ceramics in the United States–opened for its 69th consecutive year on Saturday, January 26, 2013.  Titled Denatured Nature, this Ceramic Annual highlights work from emerging artists as well as celebrated masters in the field of ceramics. The opening reception, with live music and light refreshments, was held on from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Williamson Gallery. Live music from The Skylarks, Tommy’s Hamburgers and lots of visitors combined to make a fun and memorable evening. On that same day, from 4 to 5 p.m., curator Virginia Scotchie gave an opening lecture on the exhibition to a full house in the Scripps College Humanities Auditorium.

The Ceramic Annual has historically been an “artist’s choice” exhibition, in which a leading ceramic artist personally selects the works presented. This year’s guest curator, Virginia Scotchie, is a professor of art and the head of ceramics at the University of South Carolina. Scotchie is an artist as well as an educator, whose work can be found in numerous public collections, including Alfred University, Alfred, New York; Asheville Museum of Art, North Carolina; Kruithuis Museum, s’Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands; and the Yingee Ceramic Museum, Taipei, Taiwan.

The concept behind her current exhibition comes from the field of science. Scotchie took the scientific term, denature, meaning to remove or diminish the original properties of a protein, and sought artists who alter objects via a variety of techniques—including misdirection and irony— to participate in the exhibition. Scotchie explained: “Denatured Nature is an exhibition that presents ceramic artists who enlist the use of change to explore the natural qualities of familiar objects.” Those artists include: Frieda Dean, Alexandra Hibbitt, Richard Hirsch, Priscilla Hollingsworth, Bri Kinard, Rebecca Manson, Jon McMillan, Jeffrey Mongrain, Kate Roberts, and Adam Shiverdecker.

The exhibition and catalog are generously supported by our sponsors: Bill and Francine Baker; Kirk Delman; David Furman; Sonny and Gloria Kamm; Susan and Brent Maire; Ginger and Marlin Miller; John Regan; Skutt Ceramic Products, Inc.; The Paul Soldner Endowment; The Joan and David Lincoln Endowment; and the Pasadena Arts Alliance.

The exhibition continues through Sunday, April 7.The Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery is located at Eleventh Street and Columbia Avenue. During exhibitions, the gallery is open to the public, free of charge, Wednesday through Sunday, from 1–5 p.m. For more information, please contact the gallery at (909) 607-3397.

Visitors view Priscilla Hollingsworth’s “Game Pieces.”

The Skylarks sang for the crowd all evening long.

 John Mason and friends at the opening.

Visitors came to look at works, chat, and enjoy the evening.

Visitor with Rick Hirsch’s work, Crucible #11.

Photos by Andreas Salomon