‘Ceramic Showdown’ Sale Features Exotic Pottery

Thursday, September 21, 2006

CHICKASHA – Zigzags, spiral patterns and smooth curves line the Davis Hall third floor art gallery in the form of ceramic sculptures currently on display at the University of Science and Arts. Through Oct. 13, a new art show exhibits colorful handmade vases, plates and cups swimming with a variety of patterns and textures. The pieces are being sold to the public to help support an artistic cause.

“Ceramic Showdown” features nearly 500 ceramic art pieces of virtually every color, shape and size. From coin-sized “pirate doubloons” to large vases, the exhibit contains stunning works by junior and senior art students.

Whereas most art displays are for exhibition only, this show is primarily a sale. The proceeds from all art sales go towards sending art students to the annual National Council for the Education of Ceramic Arts (NCECA) convention. Held next March in Louisville, Ky., the convention includes symposiums, lectures and demonstrations by professional artists and professors in the field. Multiple graduate schools are also represented at the conference.

With nearly 300 pieces of his own for sale, Chickasha art senior David Fortner is heading up the fundraising showdown by donating his sales to the general fund for all students planning to attend the conference.

“I guess it’s my way of trying to make it fair for everyone,” he said. With hotels, the cost is about $700 per student. Last year, similar art sales generated nearly $2000 in funds for the NCECA trip.

Fortner said that variety is the key to the ceramic art sale.

“It is an amazing variety of ceramics,” Fortner said. “Each piece is an individual piece of art. There is a wide variety to choose from; you could find something for every type of person.”

Every piece is unique and varies from simple to exotic, from earthy to otherworldly. Some sculptures sparkle with a shiny gloss, while others seem to glow from inside out. Teacup-sized sculptures are dainty and cute. Smooth vases beg for a tactile touch. Large centerpieces scream for flowers.

Overall, the large collection of individual pieces radiates a colorful visual experience. Sky blues mix with sea greens and mustard yellows. Terra cotta browns fuse with stony grays and ashen hues.

Most of the pieces are as functional as they are attractive. Included in the versatile mix are flower vases, jewelry, tiles, cups, pots, bowls and more. In addition, several photographs, drawings and prints are available. Prices vary from under $5 to more than $30, though most vases are about $15 apiece.

For Fortner, hanging on to his pieces is easier said than done.

“My dad asks for a lot of ‘horsehair’ pieces, but my girlfriend likes the crystalline glazed ones,” he said. “She’s always wanting to take them home.”