Vessels of beauty

FAC presents annual ceramics exhibition

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A lot of art forms that have a tactile element to them, but none perhaps is as connected to human history as ceramics.

Foothills Arts Center also has a long history of celebrating the clay creations of Colorado artists, and will honor their works once again with its latest exhibition.

The show will be on display at the gallery, 809 Fifteenth St., through March 16. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

“This is one of our longest standing shows,” said the FAC’s coordinator of juried exhibitions, Becky Guy. “It really shows what people can do with clay.”

The first juried ceramics exhibition was held in 1974, and since then the FAC has presented more than 30 exhibitions that have studied the medium, according to information provided by Marianne Lorenz, curator at the center.

According to Guy, what makes this year’s exhibit different from previous years is that this year the works will be juried instead of the artists.

“In the past we would jury in the artists and then those who were selected could bring in whatever work they want to,” Guy explained. “This year we invited five artists we are familiar with to submit work and all the other submitted works will be juried in.”

Invited artists include Bebe Alexander, Heather Mae Erickson, Sara Ransford, Martha Russo and Maynard Tischler.

Juried artists include Julie Anderson and Gregory Grasso, Jerry Rhodes, Maura Rieman, Denise Whittaker-Hoar and Steven Wood.

“It was a very competitive process — we had about 296 entries and selected only 44 pieces for the show,” Guy said.

This year’s juror is Doug Casebeer, chair of the Artists Residency Program and Artistic Director of Ceramics, Sculpture, Furniture Design & Woodworking at Anderson Ranch Art Center in Snowmass.

Casebeer received his master’s degree in fine arts in ceramics from Alfred University and his bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Wichita State University. He has served as pottery consultant to the United Nations and the German government. In 2009, Casebeer was elected to the International Academy of Ceramics in Geneva, Switzerland. He was also a featured artist at the Chinese Academy of Fine Art in Beijing.

Awards were given out on Jan. 24 and include: best of show — Claire McArdle for “Equipean 2 & 8”; most innovative use of material — Lauren Mayer for “Other Moments of an Interior”; best fulfillment of concept — Jenny Gawronski for “Teapot”; and Marsha Levy Memorial Award, donated by Pete & Meryl Sabeff — Carla Kappa for “One Thousand Butterflies.”

In addition to the show, the center has turned its gift gallery into a showcase for participating artists to sell their lower-priced works, $250 and less.

“The main thing is to create an interesting show for everybody, but if we can find a way to help out the artists as well, that’s great too,” Guy said.

According to Guy, one of the best things about this year’s show is the diversity of pieces. She said there is everything from functional to fine art and sculpture to installation pieces.

“This is a really strong show, with a really nice range,” Guy said.

For more information and special events, call 303-279-3922 or visit .