Inspired Utility: Clay at Main Line Art Center

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Kris Nelson

This invitational group show of (in theory at least) utilitarian clay objects is a cool cuppa on a hot day. I saw it yesterday at Main Line Art Center and it hit the spot. Unfortunately it’s around only til June 13, but for you…I took pictures of almost the entire exhibit and so you can catch it virtually here if you can’t make it out to Haverford in the flesh between now and then. High points– in a show with where pots and cups seem now to be decor items set in display trays to look great on your buffet table, and is display now considered utility??– are Jill Bonovitz‘s sublime plates which evoke fly-overs of the earth on a cloudy day, Matt Nolen’s Rococo-like “painted” urns which sample from art history and deliver gorgeous scenes and voluptuous figures, Kathryn Narrow‘s old-fashioned vases with soft, flocked-like surfaces and gorgeous color, and George Johnson‘s bird-adorned pots which have whimsy and earnestness and a little of the outsider about them.

It’s a big show with 29 artists all from the mid-Atlantic region but the delights keep coming so it’s a great way to spend an hour. Kris Nelson‘s unusable coffee cup (pictured above, click image to see it bigger) with the hole at the bottom and what appear to be sperm swimming towards it just cracked me up. Inspired Utility indeed. The show’s curated by Gail M. Brown.

I’ve been meaning to do a studio visit with George Johnson since I saw his piece at the Philadelphia Museum of Art last year. Note to self: Get on the stick will ya.