Ancient Forms, Modern Minds: Contemporary Cherokee Ceramics
Exhibition featuring the work of eleven Cherokee artisans
Opening Reception June 27 from 1:00 to 4:00 at the Pickens County Museum of Art & History
The Pickens County Museum of Art & History will be presenting two new exhibitions beginning June 27, 2015. Please join us from 1:00 until 4:00 p.m.on Saturday, June 27 as we host a reception to open the exhibition, Ancient Forms, Modern Minds: Contemporary Cherokee Ceramics, focusing on the works of 11 contemporary Cherokee potters.
Also opening that day will be the exhibition, Surfaces and Spaces: Photography of Cecelia Feld & Bruce Schlein. Both exhibitions will be on display through August 20, 2015.
The Cherokee have been making pottery in Western North Carolina for almost 3,000 years. Though nearly disappearing in the 19th century, the tradition survived, emerging as a contemporary art form enriched by the Cherokee artists who have carefully preserved and passed on their practice from one generation to the next.
For the first 2,000 years of the tradition, Cherokee potters created large, thin-walled, waterproof pots that were stamped with geometric designs. But early in the 20th century this style was almost entirely replaced by the production of heavier pottery, termed blackware, which was incised rather than stamped, a style common to the Catawba, Pueblo and Navajo tribes at that time. Though heavily influenced by these other Native American traditions, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians developed their own techniques. Commonly referred to as the traditional style, this work persisted as the dominant form for the duration of the 20th century.
It was not until the beginning of the 21st century that Cherokee potters revived the historic, thin-walled pottery style. Also during the present century, a third category of artists working in a contemporary style emerged producing highly decorated and glazed ceramic works. Many of these artists utilize the Cherokee syllabary or other Cherokee symbols in their work.
Artists including Davy Arch, Darrin Bark, Bernadine George, Betty Maney, Louise Maney, Harold Long, Shirley Oswalt, Joel Queen, Dean Reed, Alyne Stamper and Amanda Swimmer, are among those featured inAncient Forms, Modern Minds. This exhibition celebrates the rich history of Cherokee pottery as well as the creativity and innovation of contemporary Cherokee potters.
This exhibition was organized and curated by the Asheville Art Museum.Ancient Forms, Modern Minds is sponsored in part by RTCAR, Cherokee Preservation Foundation, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and North Carolina State University. This exhibition will travel to other venues.
The Pickens County Museum’s hosting of “Ancient Forms, Modern Minds: Contemporary Cherokee Ceramics” is sponsored in part by South State Bank, Pickens Savings & Loan and Robinson Funeral Home, Crematory and Memorial Gardens. The Pickens County Museum of Art & History is funded in part by Pickens County, members and friends of the museum and a grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Located at the corner of Hwy. 178 at 307 Johnson Street in Pickens SC, the museum is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Admission is free but donations are welcomed.
For more information please contact the museum at (864) 898-5963 or visit us at www.pickenscountymuseum.org. For this and many more events in Pickens County visit www.visitpickenscounty.com/calendar.