Handle Carefully: The Power of Words and Clay

ROBERT ARNESON, Typewriter, 1965, Painted and glazed earthenware, Courtesy of University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Gift of Robert Arneson
© 2022 Estate of Robert Arneson / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

We welcome you to join our opening reception on January 21 from 7-9 PM featuring live music and light refreshments. Gallery events are free and open to the public.

Binding the visual with the conceptual, the works in Handle Carefully: The Power of Words and Clay—Scripps College’s 78th Ceramic Annual Exhibition—explore the possibilities born from pairing text with image. Handle Carefully is another chapter in the college’s storied history of showcasing ceramic artistry, as the Annual is the longest ongoing exhibition of contemporary ceramics in the nation. On view from January 21 through April 2, 2023, the exhibition includes artists Robert Arneson, Judy Chartrand, Keiko Fukazawa, Catherine Lee, Beth Lo, Mette Maya Gregerson, Thomas Müller, Elyse Pignolet, Ōtagaki Rengetsu, and Nancy Selvin. These artists engage in multidisciplinary practices, each one offering inventive answers to the question of when to use text in art and to what ends.

In curating the exhibition, Kirk Delman, Interim Director of the Williamson Gallery, highlights “how artists have used words incorporated with clay to illustrate, emphasize and elaborate on social, political, and gender concepts along with personal inspirations.” The gallery is open from 1 to 5 pm, Wednesday through Sunday during exhibitions. Admission is free. Handle Carefully features an illustrated catalog designed by Jennifer Anderson of Creativity Collaborative along with an essay entitled How We (re-)Learn to Read by LA-based artist and writer Kay Whitney.

We extend our deepest gratitude to our dedicated sponsors, whose continuing support is greatly appreciated. The Pasadena Art Alliance has graciously made this and many previous Ceramic Annual catalogs possible. Our generous donors include Bill and Francine Baker, Kirk and Dana Delman, David Furman, Skutt Ceramic Products, Inc., the Joan and David Lincoln Endowment, and the Paul Soldner Endowment. Finally, we thank the Williamson Gallery’s Advisory Council, President Suzanne Keen, Dean of Faculty Amy Marcus-Newhall, and the Trustees of Scripps College.

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