Nov. 4th - 25th
Reception: Saturday Nov. 4th 6 - 9 pm
Free Lecture: Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Wednesday Nov. 1st 6 - 7 pm
Ft. Wayne artist & gallery owner Charlie Cummings presents his exciting new body of work
focusing on surface design. Charlie is exploring decal imagery, including printing his own custom
decals. Many of the decals he uses are inspired by pop culture and images from his sculptural
artworks. Join us at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art on Wednesday, Nov. 1st at 6pm
for a free lecture by Charlie.
This exhibition is made possible, in part, by the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
Click here to view the exhibition. Please contact Charlie at (260) 458-9160 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in purchasing any of the pieces featured in the show. Please include the artist's name, title, and item number in your correspondence. Purchase Policies
I have hosted over 40 exhibitions in my gallery. I've shown thousands of pots and sculptures
from emerging and nationally recognized artists. Not just any person who happens to put some
clay together, these are the people who are shaping the world of contemporary ceramics. I walk
through the gallery every day. Many strong thoughts have come from this experience. Here are
First, I have the nearly unique honor of living with a whole body of an artist's work. If you walk through the gallery once, you will come away with an impression of the work. If you walk through the gallery every day for a month, your impressions will change every time. Over time the pieces that first catch your attention recede, and other sublimely subtle works catch your attention. If you only view a piece of art once, you may be missing the depth and breadth of what it has to offer.
Second, many functional pots are so linked to ceramic tradition and history that you have to be a potter or be well versed in ceramics to understand the conversation that the artist is participating in. Clay sculptures tend to participate in the current world of sculpture and often focus on pure form or social ideas. Other pieces fall somewhere in between. They want to be sculptures but are often too sentimental about the processes and forms of pottery.
Last, I have become very critical. I come away from every single exhibition with the thought "we can do better." We become so dedicated to a process that we sacrifice the potential of what the artwork could be for the sake of continuing to work with that process. We make aesthetic decisions based on financial considerations. We continue to work in a series long after we have mined every single useful nugget. We get comfortable and stop learning and growing.
I bear the weight of my own criticism. If we can do better, how do I do better? Have we reached the technical and aesthetic apex of ceramics? How do I live up to the standard of excellence that I expect from the artists who show in my gallery? What do I have to add to the thirty thousand year old field of ceramics? Who is my audience? The perennial question is this: how do I make pots that will be respected by my fellow clay artists, and will engage people from outside of the clay community?
My studio had become so crowded with questions that I don't have room to work.
Then one day I start to play. What's fun and interesting to me? Ah, that is a question I can work with. The little misfit pieces that I have been keeping became seeds for new work. I realized I've been working to hard to make what other people want me to make. I need to do something I want to do. I want to thumb my nose at some of the silly ideas that are accepted as rules in ceramics.
It started with making closed forms. That was fun. Then I set a rejected bottle on top of a rejected closed form. Suddenly I was on fire with ideas! I'll make closed forms and put bottles on top. Next I'll make the whole thing closed and put holes in the top and the bottom. I'll add lots of feet. How about vases that deny access to the bottom chamber? Oh, and then I can put bright glazes on them. How about pink? Pink pots will be great! How about images? I'll print my own ceramic decals and decorate the forms. Pop images. Hearts, bugs, and video game references! Since the whole exhibition seems to have a flower vase theme, I'll make some flower bowls. How can I make them relate to the vases? I know! Lots of feet! More and more and more ideas. My mind is still racing with all of the possibilities.
- Charlie Cummings