Current Forms: Ohio Figurative Ceramics


About the Exhibition

The figure has been represented in the ceramic arts for thousands of years. Most common depictions of the figure offer an understanding of how the artist reflects on gender, societal roles and status, politics and religion. Increasingly, and featured in Current Forms, ceramic works are exploring topics of the self through introspective renderings or those about the outside or external world. Artists are delving deep into psychological and sociological understandings of the individual and the collective.

Current Forms is co-curated with Kourtney Stone, an Assistant Professor at the Harrisburg Area Community College in Pennsylvania, and Richard W. James, Assistant Professor of Art at Miami University. The exhibition originated out of a 2021 conversation Richard James had with Curator of Exhibitions, Jason E. Shaiman, while working on the Spring 2022 ceramics exhibition, From the Ground Up. James recommended creating an exhibition in association with the March 16-20, 2023 NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) conference in Cincinnati, OH. Referencing the conference theme of ”Current,” James suggested centering the exhibition around figurative ceramics to showcase the strength and history of the art form in connection with Ohio artists. A special event is being organized to welcome NCECA conference attendees to Miami University to see this exhibition, as well as a second exhibition of ceramics by MU alumni on display at the Department of Art’s Hiestand Galleries.

Stone and James, both figurative ceramists, recommended each of the invited artists based on prior engagements and recognition of work. Artists were invited to submit up to 2 works produced within the past 3 years. After receiving submissions from 15 artists, Current Forms features 25 works, including two by James. The exhibition will be on display in the Art Museum’s first two galleries. All of the 15 artists have connections with Ohio, either as working artists, students, or faculty at Ohio-based universities. Works range in scale, with some approximately life-size, and will be either wall-mounted or displayed on pedestals in-the-round.

To support the development of the exhibition and associated programming, staff of the Richard and Carole Cocks Art Museum submitted an ArtSTART grant proposal to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC), and was generously awarded $3,041. The awarded funds for the exhibition will go largely towards associated programming. Such opportunities will include guest speakers, and hands-on experiential learning opportunities for local children and the Oxford Senior Center. Programming will be presented in collaboration with the Art Museum’s education intern.

Natalia Arbaelez  |  Tom Bartel  |  Mark Burns   |  Andréa Keys Connell  |  Jack Earl  |  April Felipe  |  Richard W. James  |  Ryan Kelly  |  Gun Young Kim  |  Ben Lambert  |  Kelly McLaughlin  |  Bri Murphy  |  Kelly & Kyle Phelps  |  Derek Reeverts  |  Sara Torgison  |  Janis Mars Wunderlich

Art Museum Members Association and the Ohio Arts Council

Exhibition Graphics by Macey Chamberlin, Communication Design student.

Open Jan 24-Jan 10, 2023
Tue–Fri 10 AM–5 PM | Sat 12–5 PM | 2nd Wed 10 AM-8 PM


Related Programming

SAT | JAN 28 | New Exhibitions Open House

Noon-5 PM - Open House
Join us for an open house with refreshments and activities.

WED | APR 12 | 5 PM
Blue Collar Ceramics by Kelly and Kyle Phelps

Building on their youth, raised in a blue-collar/factory environment in Indiana, identical twin artists and educators Kelly & Kyle Phelps produce art about the working-class, race, and the everyday struggles of the common man and woman. Everyday people who worked at various factories, steel mills, foundries, coal mines, and railroads of the American rust belt, and Appalachian regions of the United States, provide inspiration for the creation of their mixed-media ceramic works. Join us for their discussion of inspirations, works, and approaches to art making. 

All Programs are FREE & OPEN TO ALL.