Morean Center for Clay Current Exhibitions

Figurative Florida

November 9 thru November 29, 2019

In this exhibit curated by TJ Erdahl viewers have the opportunity to see the work of the state’s top figurative ceramic sculptors.  Artists included are: Nan Smith, Pavel Amromin, John Byrd, Liz Bryant, Derek Reverts, Taylor Robenalt, Mario Mutis, Angela DiCosola, Tammy Marinuzzi, Matt Schaeffer and TJ Erdahl.

Erdahl’s aestethic is reflected in the exhibit. Looking beyond what others see to focus on the worn edges of a well-loved toy, the abstraction of meaning in obsolete artifacts, the personal history of a common man or woman, Thaddeus (TJ) Erdahl uses clay sculpture to build a visual narrative. “I use my art to satisfy my urge to document what I see in human nature. I encourage the viewer to disconnect from the present situation and conjure their own legends from my sculptures,” said Erdahl.

Erdahl, is a studio artist in St. Petersburg and teaches at Berkeley Prepatory School in Tampa. He has held residencies at Guldegegaard Internatonal Ceramic Research Center in Denmark and at Arrowmont in Tennessee. Erdahl has had a solo exhibition at Greenwich House Pottery in New York City and was nominated as an emerging voice in craft by the American Craft Council.

Erdahl is also hosting two-day workshop “Shaped Narratives in Clay” from 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday, November 2 and Sunday, November 3 at the Morean Center for Clay. Workshop participants will create a clay replica of their face from a life-cast mold before being guided through techniques in alteration and modification. All skill levels are encouraged while some comfort working small and life drawing or sculpture experience are helpful.

Jen Rose

The Middle Gallery, curated by Danny Dobrow, at the Morean Center for Clay will feature an installation of work created by Texas-based porcelain artist Jen Rose. An opening reception is scheduled from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Saturday, November 9, as part of the St. Pete Arts Alliance Second Saturday Artwalk program in St. Petersburg.  

Rose is inspired by nature and prefers working in repetitive forms. In her “Clutch” exhibit her collections of similar forms are inspired by animal or insect species. She self-describes as continually learning and exploring, changing her working medium or even where she lives when curiosity moves her. Her work has explored feminism, sexuality, and the boundaries of strategically planned craft form. Her work delivers conceptual depth and non-traditional approaches to craft media.

“My brain tingles when I see forms and images in endless quantities. If you were around in the early 1980’s, you might remember the ‘Generic aisle’ at the grocery store. For a short period of time, all generic items had black and white, text-only labels that created a wonderland of repetition. This unintended ‘art installation’ in my small town made a profound impression on my concepts of beauty and order,” Rose explains.

“I want my clay to push forward and leave fresh marks of form and surface. I want to see my work hanging from the ceiling and the walls, rejecting the table and pedestal altogether,” said Rose. “Most of all, I want to see my thoughts communicated to an audience through whichever medium I choose.”