Work by Rebecca Chappell, Naomi Cleary, Ryan J. Greenheck, Jennifer D. Martin, and Melissa Mytty
November 8, 2011 - May 28, 2012
Contemporary artists who work with ceramic often choose to create vessels, basically a three-dimensional form able to hold contents such as water or food. The vessel form has been part of the ceramic continuum since archaeologists discovered the earliest known clay shards remnants of a vessel believed to be 18,000 years old. From early to modern civilizations, ceramic vessels have enhanced human existence as utilitarian objects and as forms of artistic expression. Today, artists continue to explore its creative potential. Some make ceramic vessels that are functional such as a vase, jar, cup or bowl, while others emphasize vessel-like qualities focusing more on the overall form and conceptual nature of the work. This exhibition features ceramic vessels by five Philadelphia area artists: Rebecca Chappell, Naomi Cleary, Ryan J. Greenheck, Jennifer D. Martin, and Melissa Mytty. Each has developed his or her unique approach to the historical vessel form.
Rebecca Chappell uses one of her favorite forms, the vase. Yet, she challenges the notion of what a vase can be, often grouping multiple forms together to create compositions reminiscent of landscapes in bloom. Chappell received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the prestigious New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University.
Naomi Cleary creates serving vessels – plates, bowls, and cups – objects that are “connected to family dinners, celebrations, and sharing.” Her forms are canvases for decoration as each is colorfully hand-painted, usually inside and outside. Cleary received her Master of Fine Arts degree from The Ohio State University.
Ryan J. Greenheck uses the potter’s wheel to create extremely precise forms that are both functional and beautiful. His repertoire includes vases, jars, and teapots along with complete dinner sets – plates, bowls, and cups. Greenheck received his Master of Fine Arts degree from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University.
Ryan J. Greenheck
Jennifer D. Martin creates tall, cylindrical vessels that are purposefully asymmetric to evoke the human form. Each is uniquely rippled by the marks from Martin’s hands. The vessels are often displayed in groupings in order to accentuate their individuality. Martin received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Georgia State University.
Jennifer D. Martin
Melissa Mytty describes her work as “form, function, fantasy, and fashion.” Mytty explores vessels as sculptural objects by experimenting with scale, colors, textures, and fibers. Her boldly painted, thin-walled vessels are often surreal as she incorporates playful juxtapositions of forms and elements. Mytty received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art