MENDOCINO, CA – The Mendocino Art Center presents two new exhibits opening September 30, “Earth, Fire and Ash,” a celebration of wood-fired ceramics and the Mendocino Open Paint Out Featured Artists exhibit.
Earth, fire and ashes are the necessary ingredients for wood-fired ceramics. Like all simple recipes, the quality of the ingredients is particularly important, but the art lies in how these ingredients are combined and processed together. Each piece that comes out of a wood-fired oven is completely unique; an expression of its material nature and of the specific confluent circumstances in which it was made. The “Earth, Fire and Ashes” exhibit, which will be presented in two chapters, showcases the growing community of wood-fired ceramic artists in the Mendocino area. Wood firing is a unique approach to ceramics that requires teamwork and dedication, encourages community, and celebrates unpredictability and surprises. Using high-temperature kilns and multi-day firings, these artists transform their clay creations into dynamic and unique works of art; painted by the flames, glazed by the melted deposits of wood ash and imbued with the spirit of a community creating art and navigating the difficulties of working together.
The first chapter of this exhibition, from September 30 to November 17, focuses on a number of ovens in the region; several pieces from each kiln will be on display along with information on the different approaches and techniques employed at each kiln. Participants will be Ian Hazard-Bill and Miles McCreary of the Mendocino Art Center; Nick Schwartz, Jessica Thompson and Doug Browe of Cider Creek Collective (Albion); Nakona McDonald and Andrew M. Kontrabecki of Rock Rose Studio (Philo); and Aum Kiln (Albion) Leslie Campbell, Jason Sanovich and Cliff Glover.
The second chapter, November 25-December 30, will showcase works straight from the Mendocino kilns at the Mendocino Art Center’s second Saturday reception and at other participating kilns in the fall. The exhibit will show the richness and variation created from a single firing and celebrate the start of the wood firing season in the fall. For artists who practice wood firing, the arrival of autumn rains signals the start of the firing season and brings the excitement of returning to the kiln and the joy of the community it creates.
The Mendocino Open Paint Out Featured Artists exhibit, September 30-October 30, highlights the paintings of three high-profile artists who served as featured artists at the Mendocino Art Center’s September Open Air Festival, Maeve Croghan, Ryan Jensen and Carolyn Lord. The exhibition features works created during the event, as well as paintings created previously.
The Mendocino Art Center is hosting a second gallery reception on Saturday, October 8, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Woodfire artists will share their stories of how they got into woodfired ceramics and what it means to them. There will also be a Q&A after the stories and the chance to talk to the artists about their work while enjoying snacks and wine.
Admission to the gallery is free. For more information, call 707-937-5818 or visit MendocinoArtCenter.org. The Mendocino Art Center is located at 45200 Little Lake Street (at Kasten Street) in Mendocino. The gallery is open every day, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.