In the Johnson’s ongoing series of exhibitions that underscore the vitality of Ithaca’s art scene, this show highlights the creativity and innovation of area artists working with clay. Artists were invited to participate based on their artistic vision, craftsmanship, and unique applications of clay. Works could be sculptural, functional, or both, but each work included was chosen based on artistic merit.
In many ways, the Cornell Ceramics Studio was the incubator for this exhibition. Several of the artists moved to Ithaca to be program directors for the studio, and others have participated in its programs to pursue their work. In 2003, the studio graciously provided its facilities for Taiwan ceramic artist Ah Leon’s residency at Cornell, funded by the Freeman Foundation. That residency, which also included an exhibition of Ah Leon’s ceramics at the Johnson Museum, brought many local ceramic artists together, and inspired new directions in their work.
The distinguished ceramics program at nearby SUNY Cortland has also played a significant role in the local ceramics community, bringing internationally renowned artists such as Jiansheng “Jackson” Li and Richard Notkin to Ithaca and encouraging local artists to participate in summer residencies at Sanbao, Jackson Li’s studio in Jingdezhen, China. The inspired results of the many interactions and collaborations encouraged by the dedicated artists associated with these organizations are on display in this exhibition.
It was an honor for us to visit the studios of this incredible pool of talented ceramic artists, and the Johnson Museum is pleased to present this work by members of our outstanding local arts community. We thank all the artists who lent their work.
Chief Curator and Curator of Asian Art