Friday, May 1, 2009

Gillian Parke and Ronan Peterson exhibit at MudFire Gallery

"Chemistry, anthropology and lots and lots of fire..."

MudFire Gallery welcomes two fantastically-talented ceramicists from the Durham/Chapel Hill area for a deep look into their latest work. Gillian Parke and Ronan Peterson studied chemistry and anthropology respectively, then veered quickly into the world of studio pottery with graduate studies and residencies. They share an almost obsessive interest in building texture and layers of surface treatment to convey content on vessel forms. However, the two use different materials, firing processes, and decorative techniques to achieve their ends.

The Parke-Peterson exhibit promises to take viewers on a fascinating journey, with exceptional depth in which to explore context, innovative technical achievements, and an intriguing pair of aesthetics.

The artist reception and exhibit opening will be held just in time for Mother's Day gift shopping on Saturday, May 9, from 5-9 pm. The exhibit and sale will be on display through May 30, 2009.


Gillian recently received a 2008 Emerging Artist Award from Ceramics Monthly magazine, and was further selected as the cover artist for her associated profile article. Her work is a study in contrasts, combining the purity of fine porcelain with Shigaraki style feldspar inclusions, stock decals, metallic lusters, and visceral surface treatments. By managing the interaction of these conflicting elements carefully, she unconventionally achieves ceramic surfaces that warrant careful study and ongoing reflection.


Ronan is also a Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist Award recipient, dating to 2004. He maintains a busy schedule teaching and exhibiting in juried and invitational shows nationwide. He is interested in natural cycles of growth and decay, and strives to present an intensity of tactile and visual stimulation that rivals a lush mountain forest. His earthenware pottery also reflects a love of comic books, and can be viewed as a comic book interpretation of natural phenomena replete with bold color and vivid fantasy.

Detailed information about each artist, including artist statement, resumes, and images of representative works, are available at:


MudFire Clayworks and Gallery is a unique community art center dedicated to clay arts. Celebrating its 7th anniversary this year, MudFire Clayworks is home to over 150 artists, and is equipped with pottery wheels, sculpting equipment, communal tools, glazes, kilns and plenty of inspiration. Artists in residence and "free range" instructors make it a perfect place for beginners as well as seasoned ceramicists. MudFire also brings high profile artists from around the world to Atlanta for lectures, slide presentations, demonstration workshops, and intensive hands-on classes.

MudFire Gallery is Atlanta's clay-only gallery, providing representation for some of the Southeast's top potters and sculptors. MudFire also celebrates this diverse and accessible medium with monthly exhibits of functional and decorative works including solo, group and themed exhibits.

The studio is open Weekdays from Noon to 10pm, and Saturday- Sunday from Noon to 8pm, but closed Wednesdays. The gallery is open Thursday - Sunday from Noon to 8pm and by appointment.
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