TROY – Troy University’s Department of Art and Design will host the 25th Annual Alabama Clay Conference Feb, 19-21.
The conference, co-hosted by the Alabama Craft Council, the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Potters Council, brings together clay artists, art educators and clay art enthusiasts to promote fine craft in Alabama and the Southeast. This year’s theme is “Rhythms, Generation and Re-Generation.
“‘Rhythms’ calls into focus the rich history of this conference and 25 years of celebrating mud, fire and passion,” said Larry Percy, a professor of art at TROY and chair of the conference. “The concepts of ‘Generation and Re-Generation’ challenge us to consider the present and future place of fine craft in Alabama and the region and our roles as artists and craft persons in these challenging and changing times.”
Presenters at this year’s conference are Juan Quezada, Lana Wilson, Marko Fields and Brian Nettles.
Quezada discovered ancient painted pots in a cave near his home in Mata Ortiz, a rural village in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Throughout his life, he recreated the pottery methods of the Paquime Indians and has trained others in his village to use the methods to spark an economic rebirth of the village.
Wilson is a published author of pottery methods and specializes in glaze formulas, and is a member of the faculty of both Grossmont College in El Cajon, CA. and Mesa College in San Diego. She has also taught in Canada, Israel, New Zealand and South Africa and has written a regular column for Clay Times magazine since 1996. Her work has been in over 180 shows and appears in 14 books including both volumes of The Best of Pottery and Kathy Triplett’s Hand-built Ceramics and several of Robin Hopper’s books. She is the author of Ceramics: Shape and Surface and a video “Soft Slab Techniques with Lana Wilson” has been produced on her working techniques. She is currently on the board of Craft Emergency Relief Fund. She has appeared twice on Discovery Channel to extol the delights of working in clay while making a teapot.
Fields earned his master of fine arts degree in ceramics at Kansas State University and has served as resident artist at Cordova University in St. Paul, MN since 2003. The former owner of Mind’s Eye Studio, a design and illustration studio, Fields has also served as art director of Key West Publications and was an editorial cartoonist for the “Key West Citizen,” a daily newspaper. His work has been featured in some 10 art books and he has authored numerous papers on ceramics. In 2004, the National Council for the Education of Ceramic Arts awarded him its “Emerging Talent” designation.
Nettles was born and raised in Ocean Springs, MS. He studied Architectural Engineering at the University of Southern Mississippi until he took his first ceramic class and was hooked for life. He went on to earn a bachelor of fine arts degree in ceramics and sculpture. After graduating in 1996, he worked for a year at The Inferno Art Foundry in Atlanta, making large-scale outdoor sculpture. In 1997, he returned to the coast of Mississippi and rented a studio space in Pass Christian. There, he founded Nettles Studios, a ceramic and sculpture studio, as well as, a showroom. In 2000, his business was growing and he purchased 28 acres on the Wolf River, just north of “The Pass.” There, he designed and hand-built his home, studio and kilns, but keeping a showroom and foundry in downtown. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina came ashore with a 35-foot tidal surge in “The Pass” and washed everything he had built away. Since the storm, Nettles has rebuilt half his home and studio at the Wolf River location and continues to rebuild as he can.
For more information on the conference, contact Percy via email at email@example.com or by telephone at 334-670-3391.
For information and resources on clay, visit Clay Art Web Guide.com, a leading clay art information portal since 2000.