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Interpreting the Cup

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Article Published: Nov. 3, 2011 | Modified: Dec. 31, 2011
Interpreting the Cup

Crimson Laurel Gallery in Bakersville presents Interpreting the Cup, starting Nov. 5.

Cups today and throughout history have reflected the way we live.

Whether its function is utilitarian, or an abstraction of an idea, this simple form is complex. Artists from all over the world have been selected for this exhibit to represent how they interpret the ceramic cup through their range of processes, influences and intentions.

This exhibit, “Interpreting the Cup,” at Crimson Laurel Gallery in Bakersville, just outside of Spruce Pine, will feature more than 400 cups representing 84 of the finest potters from around the world. The exhibit is curated by Jason Bige Burnett.

Burnett selected the artists based on the range of possibilities found among firing methods, construction techniques and surface design. He is fascinated with how artists use traditional and more contemporary processes, from digging their own local clay to slip casting with commercial made slips.

Then he focused on the unlimited ways to decorate surfaces from dipping into glazes to brushing on slips and carving into the pot or layering with decals and overglazes. He then began to look at influences of the artists themselves and their own creative styles and whether or not work was utilitarian or conceptual.

Among the pieces in this exhibit, Burnett is particularly intrigued by Pattie Chalmers’ use of the ceramic cup as a fragment in her narrative sculpture that observes relationships and social phenomena.

He also said he appreciates that Benjamin Carter’s utilitarian cups are essentially a metaphorical landscape for Southern comfort and hospitality.

He found a sense of intimacy in the surfaces of Emily Schroeder’s fingerprints and Susan Feagin’s collaged fragments of written letters and journal pages as opposed to the controversial content that can be discovered in works by Tom Spleth and Triesch Voelker, also the range of narrative on the cups surfaces of Ayumi Horie, Kathy King and Rough and Perfect.

In the work of Elisa Helland-Hansen’s mugs and Gwendolyn Yoppolo’s cups and saucers, Burnett said he recognizes the beauty of form. The fantastic range of atmospheric surfaces can be found in the work of Shawn O’Conner, Lindsay Oesterritter and Judith Duff.

Finally, Burnett said he is fascinated by the influences of kitsch and souvenir portrayed by potters like Amy Santoferraro, Jeremy “Jr.” Kane and Mark Burns. Every artist included in this exhibit contributes in some significant way to interpreting the cup.

The exhibition will open Nov. 5 and remain through Dec. 31, with an artists’ reception Nov. 5 at 6 p.m.

For more information call (828) 688-3599 or visit
Gallery Times

Gallery Times is a weekly news feature of The Mountain Times, featuring short news items submitted by local galleries.

For more information or to make a submission, contact editor Frank Ruggiero at ( or (828) 264-6397.

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