City Sine Cera

MAY 4 – JUNE 24, 2018
Main Gallery

Opening Reception: Friday, May 4, 6 – 8 pm

Sine Cera is the root form of “sincerity,” from the Latin meaning “without wax.” When Romans made pots, they often sealed the base with wax, claiming they were thus watertight, but in time, the wax melted or wore away, rendering the pots useless for liquids. Pots not finished with wax were inscribed “Sine Cera” to prove that they were sound, and from this evolved the word “Sincere.” City Sine Cera explores the urban environment’s influence on contemporary ceramic artists. Exhibiting artists scrutinize the conceptual and material language, inspired by a sincere inquiry into the urban landscape. These artists include: David East, John Oliver Lewis, Sarah Lindley, Bobby Silverman, Adam Welch, and Merrie Wright.

David East’s most recent work is installation-based, focuses on digital technologies, and is an exploration of the contradictions between inane human patterns and originality. He examines “the science of the mundane, a tension between the generic and the highly personal.” He received his BFA in Ceramics from the University of Wisconsin–River Falls (1997) and his MFA from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville (2000). East currently serves as Chair of Ceramics at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Sarah Lindley records the environmentally violent history of the industrial communities that surround her through installations that call attention to the materials employed and how they relate to the permanent scarring of a location, as well as a visual reference to both the strengths and vulnerabilities inherent in our ecosystems. Lindley earned her BFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University (1996) and her MFA from the University of Washington (2001). She is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, where her teaching focus is ceramics and sculpture.

John Oliver Lewis currently lives and works in San Diego, California. A Wisconsin native, he earned a BFA from the University of Wisconsin­–Eau Claire and an MFA from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Lewis’ work was selected for inclusion in the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s exhibition Here Not There: San Diego Art Now and the exhibition Uberyummy at the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art at Cal State San Bernardino. Lewis’ sculptures, drawings, and installations have also been exhibited nationally at venues such as the American Museum of Ceramic Art, as well as the Amarillo Museum of Art. His ceramic sculpture is featured in 500 Ceramic Sculptures by Lark Books.

Bobby Silverman’s work forces the marriage of the visual experiences of the body with the more personally intuitive perceptions of the mind. His commitment to the inherent properties of clay plays alongside text in various forms including graffiti, Braille, barcodes, and Morse code to compel the viewer to experience the work less covertly. Silverman trained in Japan with the master potter Samejima Saturo before receiving his BA in social geography from Clark University (1978), a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute (1980), and his MFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University (1983). Additionally, Silverman has been the director of the Ceramic Center of the 92nd Street Y in NYC since 2007, where he recruits working artists and manages the ceramics facilities.

Adam Welch employs the brick at the core of all of his sculptural and design work; as a foundation for creating a structure; as a commentary on and character within history; as a material object in and of itself. “I find limitless and liberating potential in the fixed structure of the brick. My interest stems from it being a thing in itself, existing as universal, iconic, and ever-present.” He earned his BFA from Northern Arizona University (2000) and his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University (2003). He teaches at Princeton University where he was appointed Lecturer in the Visual Arts Program in 2010. Additionally, Welch is the director of Greenwich House Pottery in New York City.

Merrie Wright’s precision is at the center of her work. The surfaces, landscapes, and forms are painstakingly created and demand inquiry into their production and origin. Is it digital industrial technology or is it handmade? Color and pattern play an unavoidable visual role and have their foundations in her surroundings as well as cultural context and art history. She earned her BFA in ceramics at Kansas City Art Institute (2000) and her MFA from Louisiana State University (2004). She currently serves as an Associate Professor and Department Chair at the University of Texas at Tyler.

Related Activities

X15: Artist talk with Bobby Silverman and Merrie Wright
Thursday, May 3, 6 pm
NCC Library – FREE

Join in on a lively conversation between Bobby Silverman and Merrie Wright, followed by a discussion led by the curator of City Sine Cera, Heather Nameth Bren. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is much appreciated, as seating is limited.

X16: Packing for Pros with Merrie Wright
Saturday, May 5, 9 – 11 am
Fee: $20

Witness a professional packing demonstration with visiting artist Merrie Wright. Following her example, you will learn how to send any object, anywhere—safely with clear communication for the recipient, ensuring successful installation and/or return of your art objects.