Earth Works :
May 19, 2008 - July 16, 2008
Reception: 5/23/08 5-7pm
Artist Statement by Gary Schirmer
My work for the past twenty years has dealt closely with human relationships and symbiosis with nature, domestication, history and progress. Incorporating the urban environment and architectural edifice was a result of direct experience with that particular phenomenon on a daily basis, living in that environment for a number of years. Likewise, my most recent set of images has come from living in and experiencing the rural landscape. These works specifically recognize technological and industrial implants into the mid-western landscape, appendages of our ever-increasing needs and obsessions with energy and communications. The images do not particularly intend to criticize these seeming encroachments on the rural landscape, and in fact to some degree may express a strange beauty. More than anything they are intended simply to acknowledge them for the omnipresent reality that they are. My own aesthetic interests dictate certain spatial relationships that for me give these matter-of-fact subjects a connection to a larger picture.
Artist Statement by Philip Schroeder
My current work draws inspiration from the rich history of Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD) ceramics. This 300 year period is often referred to as the Golden Age of Chinese ceramics. Tang pottery experienced an explosion of technical and aesthetic inventiveness prompted by the emergence of a strong ruling class. A distinct line of pottery vessels was established which were intended for use in ceremony and ritual. This marked a divergence from functional pottery which was made for daily use.
I am particularly fascinated by ceremonial vessels commissioned by the Chinese ruling class. Their preference for pottery with clean, uncluttered form and dramatic decoration continues to exert an influence which is still apparent today. Tang potters also provided the foundation for many technical advances. Their achievements in the area of glaze development include celadon, ash, and mottled glazes. Their work was the starting point for a number of bold, polychromatic surface treatments as well as for the first porcelain clay bodies.