UNM-LA Opens ‘Sculptural Vessels’ Ceramics Exhibit

Sharon Brush in the UNM-LA ceramics studio with a piece she will display in the Sculptural Vessels’ exhibit at the UNM-LA Library. Photo by Nancy Coombs

Sharon Brush’s open handed vessels are hand-built with stoneware clay, using pinch, coil and slab construction methods. Courtesy photo

After construction, Sharon Brush’s open handed vessels are sanded smooth, sprayed with layers of slip and terra-sigilatta, burnished and fired in oxidation. Courtesy photo

UNM-LA News:

“Sculptural Vessels,” an exhibition of ceramics by Sharon Brush, will open Wednesday, Sept. 19, in the UNM-Los Alamos (UNM-LA) Library.

UNM-LA will host a reception 1:15-2:15 p.m., during the university’s common hour, and the public is invited to attend.

Brush is a ceramics instructor at UNM-LA and had the privilege of participating in a residency 1999-2000 at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts. Formerly a brick manufacturing factory, the facility has a huge beehive kiln, as well as a number of studios. The residency program attracts many talented potters, and selection is highly competitive. Brush was accepted for a residency and also served as an instructor.

After her residency, Brush lived in Silver City before moving to Show Low, Ariz. where she served as gallery director and was an instructor of Fine Arts at Northland Pioneer College.

The “Sculptural Vessels” exhibition will feature Brush’s mid-sized pieces, which are generally 25”-27” tall. She constructs her pieces using a combination of hand building techniques: slab, coil and pinch. For the exteriors, Brush does not use traditional glazes, instead applying burnished slips (terra sigillata) to create a more matt surface.

“I usually like minimalistic color, subtle and simple, in order to keep the emphasis on form,” Brush said.

In her Artist Statement (www.sharonbrush.com), Brush said, “I have always been drawn to objects whose history is written upon their surface: The river rock worn smooth from centuries of tumult; the bleached, chewed bone found on the desert floor; the bare-bones landscape of the American southwest … the influence of such objects and landscapes seep into every piece I make.

“I approach the construction of each of my vessels as a sculpture– working to create rhythm, flow, reverberation and quiet within each one. Intrigued by contrasts, I move from slow, sweeping curves to staccato points and ridges; from enclosed space to open passage; from deeply textured surface to river-rock smoothness; from black to white. It is my hope that the finished piece will bring the viewer a sense of calm and quiet.”

Brush’s “Sculptural Vessels” exhibition will be on display in the UNM-LA Library for six weeks beginning Sept. 19. The Library is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and  8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit losalamos.unm.edu/library/.

UNM-Los Alamos is an innovative, rigorous, and affordable comprehensive branch community college that provides foundations for transfer, leading-edge career programs, and lifelong learning opportunities. More information about UNM-LA is available at losalamos.unm.edu.

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