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The Arts

Canal Street Art Gallery presents fine-art ceramics show

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BELLOWS FALLS—Canal Street Art Gallery, 23 Canal St., presents “A Changing Form: Fine Art Ceramics,” the gallery’s fourth medium-focused group show. It opens Feb. 12 and runs through April 4. All are invited for the opening reception with the artists, on Bellows Falls 3rd Friday Gallery Night, Feb. 21, from 5 to 8 p.m.

The exhibit shares a collection from artists creating sculptural and functional original artwork using clay as a primary medium. Artwork by David Ernster, Kathie Gatto-Gurney, Deborah Goodwin, Caren Helm, Irene Lederer LaCroix, Carla Liguori, Naomi Lindenfeld, Amanda Ann Palmer, and Alan Steinberg will be on display.

This show features ceramic artists from across Vermont and New Hampshire, including members of the Vermont Crafts Council, the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, and Brattleboro Clayworks, and will present the viewer with each artist’s unique vision, techniques, design, texture, and message.

David Ernster is a multidisciplinary artist and educator, currently working in Newbury, N.H., with a focus on sculpture and vessels using both ceramic and metal as materials and inspiration.

“Fire, water, and air in their most basic forms have the power to change our world,” Ernster said in his artist’s statement. To this artist, clay is the most basic medium or material to craft. It can be found almost anywhere on the earth and used not only to make virtually anything, but also to create the kilns to fire it in.

Kathie Gatto-Gurney, currently working in Brattleboro, sculpts clay into abstract forms to reference the human figure with shape, movement, and line. Gatto-Gurney spent much of her early career improvising and choreographing dance in New York City. Gatto-Gurney’s work is made entirely of ceramic, with marble, granite, and tile bases.

Carla Liguori, recently settled in Bellows Falls from Philadelphia, creates mixed media anthropomorphic sculptures with humor and candor. The artist’s depiction of “delusional, sometimes unsanctified forms” gives Liguori’s sculptures a twisted whimsy, according to a news release. The artist presents narratives from life’s travels, while capturing the essence of each animal and/or individual.

Naomi Lindenfeld, from West Brattleboro, uses the rhythms and textures of carving clay to form new layered, colored clay to work with. The result is an uninterrupted movement, flow, and color that dominate her inspirations from nature and dance.

Lindenfeld co-founded Brattleboro Clayworks in 1983, and has taught ceramics at The Putney School for more than 20 years. The artist’s ceramic pieces were originally designed and shown in an exhibit at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center in 2015. The inspiration for this body of work came from the artist’s mother’s fiber work, as Lindenfeld interpreted a two-dimensional medium within a three-dimensional realm.

Alan Steinberg is currently located in Putney, where his vision as a sculptor strives to go from being “about nature,’’ to being “of nature.” Steinberg sees his work with clay over the past fifty years as being “kidnapped by clay.”

With beginnings as a New York City public school teacher, a co-founder of Brattleboro Clayworks, and a teacher with psychotherapeutic healing, Steinberg says he is focused on the spiritual side of making art.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #548 (Wednesday, February 12, 2020). This story appeared on page B1.

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