Sculpting Time
May 21 – July 26, 2009
Curated by Peg Koetsch,  Curator of Exhibitions
VisArts at  Rockville, MD

Sculpting Time juxtaposed the permanent properties of sculptures with the transitory qualities of time. From raw to woven clay, site-specific installations showcased a range of ceramic explorations and techniques that reflected the changes and cycles taking place within and around the artists.  The twelve artists in Sculpting Time revealed clay’s inherent, sculptural qualities while depicting deeply personal, yet universal issues.

J.J. McCracken, a Washington, D.C., area artist, explored the living qualities of clay by “preserving” sliced, thrown vases, cups and saucers in oil. Dates on the lids documented when the artifacts were “canned”.  The jars were stacked to emulate a supermarket display, emphasizing mass production and promotion of one-of-a-kind pieces.  McCracken’s artworks challenged issues of functional vs. sculptural, and perishable vs. permanent.

Comparing Catherine White’s plates to her Clay Pages revealed how she transfers her visual vocabulary from 3-dimensional, functional works of art to 2-dimensional drawings. Her Clay Pages were inspired by early Chinese experiments with clay slips used as glazes, and reflected new interpretations of journals she writes and draws in everyday.

The ephemeral nature of cherry blossoms inspired Laurel Lukaszewski to create one thousand stoneware blossoms, at the height of their bloom.  Adapting the work of art to one gallery’s corners, Lukaszewski evoked a forest without depicting tree branches.  Suspended blossoms from the wall, trembled at the slightest breeze. Scattered blossoms on the floor added a transitory dimension to the transitory .