EXHIBITION | PETERS VALLEY: PRESENT

Peters Valley: Present, 2020, exhibition catalog, cover design by Jordan Ricks (@_voidandnull), curated by Carolyn E. Herrera-Perez. Available at Peters Valley Craft School.

Peters Valley: Present reacts to the past twenty years of ceramic programming at Peters Valley School of Craft. Inspired by the school’s summer-class catalogs that offer many approaches to the medium, this exhibition appreciates a myriad of ceramic-making methods. 29 artists who have instructed at the craft school in the past two decades are in assembly, presenting a survey of work across claybodies, firing techniques, surface treatments, and concepts.

Artists include Posey Bacopoulos, Mary Barringer, Bennett Bean, Jerry Bennett, Ashwini Bhat, Cory Brown, Bruce Dehnert, John Dix, Sin-ying Ho, James Lawton, David MacDonald, Andrea Marquis, Leigh Taylor Mickelson, Maureen Mills, Malcolm Mobutu Smith, Dan Molyneux, Kristin Muller, Seth Nagelberg, Fred Olsen, Lisa Orr, Shiro Otani, Aysha Peltz, Doug Peltzman, Angelica Pozo, Brenda Quinn, Seth Rainville, Kevin Rohde, Jeff Shapiro, and Paul Andrew Wandless.

Curated by Carolyn E. Herrera-Perez. View the exhibition here.

Peters Valley: Present reacts to the last two decades of ceramic programming designed by Peters Valley Ceramics Head and artist, Bruce Dehnert. Inspired by the school’s summer-course offerings and catalogs that share many approaches to the medium, this exhibition appreciates a myriad of ceramic-making methods. 29 artists who have instructed at the craft school in the past two decades are in assembly, displaying a survey of work across clay bodies, firing techniques, surface treatments, and concepts.

This exhibition was to be held in Richmond, Virginia concurrent with the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts conference, an event where many ceramists convene away from home. To keep all safe during the first approaches of this pandemic, the NCECA conference was cancelled and the exhibition was postponed.

Originally, the choice of the exhibition title, Peters Valley: Present felt clever; what with its association to place, time, one’s response to an attendance rollcall, and even the feeling of being engrossed when in the ceramic studio. Now, the show convenes in a different way- not in a physical space but in a digital one. And, despite the associations that one may glean from working with such a tactile, traditional, or hands-on material, many of us ceramists find ourselves meeting and interacting with each other in new digital modes. Like so, the online adaption of Peters Valley: Present has leant new opportunities and meaning to this exhibition. It has invited more folks to interact with the show- much more than what was possible for the original three-day exhibition.

While we look forward to seeing one another again, in-person and on campus; this time has also offered a feeling that being present is not just about the physical presence. Instead, being socially apart can be a compassionate and communal act, offering us new ways to stay connected until the future.”

-Carolyn E Herrera-Perez

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