Collaboration in Contemporary Ceramics

Duality, an exhibition currently on view at the Delaware Art Museum, highlights contemporary fine and decorative arts created by couples who synthesize their respective areas of expertise and examines the poignant and aesthetic effects that arise through such intimate partnerships. Heather Gibson Moqtaderi organized the show with the assistance of four artist couples, including the ceramicists Shoko Teruyama and Matt Kelleher, whose enchanting and playful scrafitto-decorated works embody their cultural and artistic backgrounds.

Matt is a professor of ceramic art in Alfred University’s School of Art and Design, and Shoko is an independent studio artist who left her native Japan to pursue graduate studies in ceramics in the United States. For Duality, the husband-and-wife team created variations of different forms that display their ability to harness clay and glazes in creative manners, from zoomorphic teapots to bird-like wall panels inspired by roof tiles at Alfred.

Matt handbuilt the red earthenware forms, which were then decorated by Shoko using her signature scrafitto technique created by scratching through layers of glaze to reveal the red body below. For inspiration, she harnesses memories of the highly decorated ceremonial objects that filled the temples and shrines of her community in Japan. While the teapot shown here is functional, Matt and Shoko’s contributions to Duality are sculptural in nature and appreciated for their three-dimensional grace, colorful ornamentation, and figural whimsy.

“We have made a few collaborative pieces each year since 2006 as a way to find freedom in our personal work,” Matt explained. “The shared ownership means we can focus on new ideas without the pressure of finished work fitting into our individual vision. At times it is a studio vacation, and, at its best, the collaborative efforts point each of us in new directions.”

Heather developed the show through the Museum’s Outlooks Exhibition Series, a guest curator program whereby the Museum solicits proposals from community members for temporary installations. A graduate of the University of Delaware’s Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, Shoko is the Associate Curator and Collections manager for the University of Pennsylvania. The Museum views the Outlooks endeavor as essential to its mission to provide an inclusive and essential public resource. Guest curators are provided exhibition space, administrative support, and funding for installation expenses. This highly desirable opportunity has drawn great interest, and the Museum keeps a lengthy calendar of upcoming shows, averaging three per year.

Duality is on view at the Delaware Art Museum through August 14. For more information, please visit www.delart.org. A graduate of the University of Delaware’s Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, Heather is the Associate Curator and Collections Manager for the University of Pennsylvania.

UPCOMING EVENTS

SAVE THE DATE
  • Special Program: Tour of the Newark Museum with retiring Chief Curator Ulysses Dietz
    November 3
  • New York Antiques Weekend
    January 19-20, 2018
  • Emerging Scholars Colloquium
    January 21, 2018
  • Symposium
    Upper Hudson River Valley: From the Mohawk to the Berkshires
    May 3-6, 2018
  • Symposium
    New Orleans & the Mississippi Delta
    Fall 2018
  • Study Trip
    Vienna & Prague
    With an extension to Budapest
    October, 2018

Duality, an exhibition currently on view at the Delaware Art Museum, highlights contemporary fine and decorative arts created by couples who synthesize their respective areas of expertise and examines the poignant and aesthetic effects that arise through such intimate partnerships. Heather Gibson Moqtaderi organized the show with the assistance of four artist couples, including the ceramicists Shoko Teruyama and Matt Kelleher, whose enchanting and playful scrafitto-decorated works embody their cultural and artistic backgrounds.

Matt is a professor of ceramic art in Alfred University’s School of Art and Design, and Shoko is an independent studio artist who left her native Japan to pursue graduate studies in ceramics in the United States. For Duality, the husband-and-wife team created variations of different forms that display their ability to harness clay and glazes in creative manners, from zoomorphic teapots to bird-like wall panels inspired by roof tiles at Alfred.

Matt handbuilt the red earthenware forms, which were then decorated by Shoko using her signature scrafitto technique created by scratching through layers of glaze to reveal the red body below. For inspiration, she harnesses memories of the highly decorated ceremonial objects that filled the temples and shrines of her community in Japan. While the teapot shown here is functional, Matt and Shoko’s contributions to Duality are sculptural in nature and appreciated for their three-dimensional grace, colorful ornamentation, and figural whimsy.

“We have made a few collaborative pieces each year since 2006 as a way to find freedom in our personal work,” Matt explained. “The shared ownership means we can focus on new ideas without the pressure of finished work fitting into our individual vision. At times it is a studio vacation, and, at its best, the collaborative efforts point each of us in new directions.”

Heather developed the show through the Museum’s Outlooks Exhibition Series, a guest curator program whereby the Museum solicits proposals from community members for temporary installations. A graduate of the University of Delaware’s Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, Shoko is the Associate Curator and Collections manager for the University of Pennsylvania. The Museum views the Outlooks endeavor as essential to its mission to provide an inclusive and essential public resource. Guest curators are provided exhibition space, administrative support, and funding for installation expenses. This highly desirable opportunity has drawn great interest, and the Museum keeps a lengthy calendar of upcoming shows, averaging three per year.

Duality is on view at the Delaware Art Museum through August 14. For more information, please visit www.delart.org. A graduate of the University of Delaware’s Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, Heather is the Associate Curator and Collections Manager for the University of Pennsylvania.

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