Exhibition Dates:
December 2015 to May 2016
Grand Gallery Glass Cases

A welcome addition to JCSM’s permanent collection is the Janus-like Green-Eyed Jug/Purple-Eyed Jug, by Andy Nasisse, one of two vessels by the artist recently donated by Ron Porter and Joe Price. Nasisse is emeritus professor and former head of the ceramics department at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia. He now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. An important figure in contemporary ceramics production and instruction, he

is also a curator, author, and collector of art and craft. Examples of Nasisse’s highly expressive ceramic art are held in major public and corporate collections both in the United States and abroad, and portions of his collection of folk and outsider art, gathered over decades, now reside at the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia.

Nasisse states that he is interested in “the tension between opposites; between light and dark; male and female; between expansion and contraction; good and
evil; organic and geometric; ration and intuition; mind and body; night and day; between our conscious lives and our subconscious self; between matter and spirit.” His works’ distinctive surfaces derive through methods he developed that bring out clay’s natural qualities in the processes of shaping, drying, shrinking, glazing, and the dynamics of intense heat. Nasisse uses the primal forms of figure, landscape, and vessel as platforms for thoughts about the human condition. He describes his figures as we see in this dual-faced jug “as part of a family of images that find their way through my hands into the outer world.

At their best they present an enigmatic expression, somewhere on the edge between whimsy and fear.” (For additional information, see andynasisseart.com)

In December 2015, JCSM accessioned a gift of 34 works of art from collectors Ron Porter and Joe Price, of Columbia, South Carolina. Dr. Price, a retired physician, is an undergraduate alumnus of Auburn—he punctuates our phone calls, emails, and personal visits with a hearty “War Eagle!” The pair’s decades- long passion for art has resulted in a distinctive private collection with a focus on figurative ceramic sculpture; but their wider ranging interests have led them to significant acquisitions of both two- and three-dimensional art in many other media, including glass, wood, painting, prints, and jewelry. Knowing of our nascent collection of ceramic art, Messrs Porter and Price wanted to help us move that collections area forward, which they are now accomplishing in a major way.

Among the group of objects in last year’s gift are a large number of teapots by contemporary craft artists. These will complement and greatly enhance our present Dana King Gatchell teapot collection, transferred from Auburn University College of Human Sciences, which features older works including service pieces by George Ohr, Sadie Irvine, and numerous European and Asian producers. The teapots and other objects in the Porter/Price collection will rotate on display at the museum throughout the coming months. But teapots are only one part of the story. Their generous initial gift and others to come include remarkable examples of non-functional ceramics, metalwork, and multimedia sculpture in addition to utilitarian decorative art.

Leave a Reply