Ceramics exhibition to open at KAM

By Melissa Mitchell

Art history professor and critic Donald Kuspit will visit the UI
on Saturday to moderate an artists' round-table discussion at the
Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion.

The round table - scheduled for 3 p.m. in the museum's auditorium
- will feature five artists whose work is highlighted in "Alfred
Now: Contemporary American Ceramics," a new exhibition that opens
the same day at the museum. Also participating in the discussion
will be Nancy Weekly, the Charles Cary Rumsey Curator of the
Burchfield Penny Art Center, State University College at Buffalo,
N.Y., who interviewed the artists for the catalog that
accompanies the exhibition.

Kuspit, who also wrote an essay that appears in the catalog, is a
professor of art history and philosophy at the State University
of New York, Stony Brook, and is a frequent contributor of essays
and criticism to various fine-arts publications, including
Artforum and New Art Examiner.

The Krannert exhibition, which runs through Jan. 22, features the
work of Anne Currier, Val Cushing, Andrea Gill, John Gill and
Wayne Higby, all faculty artists at the New York State College of
Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, N.Y. Mark Warwick, of
Krannert's exhibition design staff and an alumnus of Alfred
University, co-curated the show with UI ceramics professor Ron
Kovatch. Warwick said the New York school has an international
reputation as a leader in the education of ceramic artists.

"Our exhibition concentrates on faculty who are there now and the
work they're producing now," said Warwick, who noted that some
items included in the show were just completed this month and
have never before been displayed publicly.

In the show's catalog, Kuspit characterized the exhibitors as "a
remarkable group of very different artists, all of whom use clay
imaginatively. ... Each artist has his or her own emotional
intensity, conceptual sophistication and physical subtlety, but
all converge in the sense of the limitless possibilities of clay,
and its validity as an art medium, not simply a craft material.
In this alone, they show us how obsolete the distinction between
art and craft has become in the contemporary world."

Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion, 500 E. Peabody Drive,
Champaign, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays,
Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays; and 2 to 5
p.m. Sundays.

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