Walter Gropius Master Artist Mark Pharis speaks about his work during a public presentation at HMA on April 23, 2015, at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free. Pharis will present a three-day workshop at HMA titled “Two Dimensions to Three Dimensions and Back Again: Function, Context, and Process” on April 24-26, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For workshop fee information, call (304) 529-2701.

Mark Pharis was introduced to ceramics in the fall of 1967 as an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. While still finding his way around the art department, Pharis was encouraged to study under renowned functional ceramist and professor, Warren MacKenzie. Pharis had a transformational experience, drawn to his mentor’s ability to eloquently combine form and function within a structured set of rules. He graduated in 1971 and established a pottery studio in the rural outskirts of Houston, MN. For more than a decade, Pharis created functional pottery – thrown and fired in a wood and oil-fired kiln – and was employed by various Midwestern universities as a visiting artist. Pharis reconnected with the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota in 1985, this time as a professor. He served as Chair of the department from 1998-2004, and as the Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts from 2004-2008. His exhibitions are numerous and his work can be found in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; Gardner Museum, Toronto, Canada; Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ; and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among many others. Pharis resides in Roberts, Wisconsin.

Pharis has been making functional pottery for more than 40 years, and is particularly interested in the wide range of objects used in domestic environments: enduring themes such as vases, cups, teapots and plates. Pharis’s process is inspired by geometry and relies upon two-dimensional paper patterns – a process that owes much to the traditions of patternmaking found in sewing and sheet metal work. Ultimately constructed from clay slabs, these earthenware forms possess a dynamic and engaging presence that goes beyond utility and surface decoration. The endless variations of these familiar objects enrich our everyday lives and, in a broader sense, help to shape our cultural identity. Archeology and history suggest that humanity’s need for functional clay vessels is nothing short of eternal; our own culture is no exception. However, the efforts of contemporary clay artists are shifting as industry assumes more and more manual tasks, refocusing our own basic, utilitarian needs.

The Walter Gropius Master Artist Series is funded through the generosity of the Estate of Roxanna Y. Booth, who wished to assist in the development of an art education program in accordance with the proposals of Walter Gropius, who designed the Museum’s Gropius Addition, as well as the Gropius Studios. The Museum is indebted to Roxanna Y. Booth’s son, Alex Booth, for his participation in the concept development of the Gropius Master Artists Workshops.

A guided tour of the exhibit takes place during the Fourth Tuesday Tour on March 24, 2015, at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Refreshments will be served. This is a Macy’s Free Tuesday event.

Beginning with works from the early 18th century by Maria Sibylla Merian (Dutch, 1647-1717), and continuing into the 21st century with works from 2013 by Kate Bingaman- Burt (American, b. 1977), this exhibit will examine works by women artists who use the medium of paper to explore their world. The exhibit will include drawing, pastel, prints, photography, watercolor, hand-made paper, molded paper pulp, and a mixed media quilt.

The exhibit will include approximately 50 works by artists including (besides the two mentioned above) Käthe Kollwitz, Marie Laurencin, Sonia Delaunay, Berenice Abbott, Blanche Lazzell, Louise Nevelson, Gloria Vanderbilt, Marcia Marx, Lee Bontecou, Yvonne Jacquette, Helen Frankenthaler, Kiki Smith, Miriam Schapiro, Ida Kohlmeyer, Lesley Dill, Maggie Taylor, Janet Fish, Lynda Benglis, Alison Saar, Joan Mitchell, Carrie Mae Weems, Sandy Skoglund, and Sook Jin Jo, among others.

The exhibit will be presented in the Museum’s Daine Gallery, which was designed specifically for exhibitions featuring works on paper. The show will be on view during March, Women’s History Month. Since the year 2000, there has been a conscious effort on the Museum’s part to acquire works by women, and artists of color for the permanent collection. This is the first in a series of exhibits, which will present a selection of works by women artists in a variety of media.

This exhibit is presented by Macy’s. Additional financial support for this exhibit is provided by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

Designed with a Twist

February 2 - November 22, 2015

Since the beginning of glass blowing more than 2,000 years ago, different design techniques have been used to add variety to simple vessel shapes. Once design technique involves a twist of hot glass, and this twist can range from a simple turn of the wrist as seen in Fritz Dreisbach’s Goblet from 1976, to a complicated manipulation of a bubble inside the stem as seen in the “air twist,” or the spiraling action of colored enamel rods in the stem of a glass as seen in the “cotton twist.”

All of the works on view in this Glass Gallery exhibit come from the Museum’s permanent collection, and range in date from the latter half of the 18th century to the late 20th century.

This exhibit is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

Goblet photo by Amanda Abbott and Brittany Ward.

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