MUW, CAC join in ceramics, pottery exhibits


Work by Joe Kraft

Work by Joe Kraft Photo by: Courtesy


Work by Elizabeth Cohen


Work by Christopher Melia


Work by Al Holen



Jan Swoope



Form and function may never have blended so well. Those who appreciate ceramics and pottery will revel in two exhibits taking place simultaneously in Columbus -- at Mississippi University for Women''s Eugenia Summer Art Gallery on the MUW campus and at the Columbus Arts Council''s Rosenzweig Arts Center downtown.


The brainchild of MUW Assistant Professor of Art and Ceramics Al Holen, the Functional Relationships and Mississippi Mud exhibits bring some of the finest craftsmanship in the country to Northeast Mississippi.


"The MUW Art Department and the Columbus Arts Council have combined their energy to bring world-class, beautiful and exciting ceramic art to the Golden Triangle," stated Holen.



With about 30 national artists showcased at MUW and 15 Mississippi artists featured at the Rosenzweig Arts Center, the public has plenty of reasons to attend receptions at both locations Friday, Jan. 15. The MUW reception is from 5-7:30 p.m.; the arts center reception is from 5-7 p.m. Many pieces displayed are available for purchase. A shuttle service between the two exhibits will be provided, Holen said.



At the W


Functional Relationships is a national juried ceramics exhibition that challenges the clay artist to create a group of functional objects that have visual and/or utilitarian harmony, Holen explained. Jurors are Robert Long, ceramics professor at Mississippi State University, and Matt Long, ceramics professor at the University of Mississippi.


The call for artists went out through national publications and networking. "Ceramics is a theme that''s very close to my heart," Holen said. "So we''re really excited; we got responses from California, Washington state, New York City, Texas ... even a fellow from Canada who asked if we could make it an international exhibit," she smiled. "And how exciting to see three of our artists featured in the recent issue of ''Ceramics Monthly.''"


The Functional Relationships exhibit will remain on display through Feb. 4.



At the RAC


Mississippi potters and ceramic sculptors from across the state are featured in the Mississippi Mud exhibit at the Rosenzweig Arts Center at 501 Main St. through Jan. 30. Among the 15 artisans showcased are Lee McCarty, Wallace Mallette, Claudia Ka Cartee, Patti Johnson and Holen.


"This show is the product of Al Holen''s hard work and determination to bring quality clay artists to Columbus," said Columbus Arts Council Executive Director Rachel Hurt. I have always truly admired potters and their creations, and this exhibit will not disappoint."


Works submitted for the invitational show range from the truly unique to works of art difficult to imagine being made by someone''s hands, Hurt said. "The arts community is lucky to have a partner in MUW''s Art and Design Department. They continue to raise the bar for art, and I''m glad the arts council is able to ... benefit from the caliber of artist they bring into and train in our community."


For out of town visitors, a block of rooms has been booked at a special rate at the Wingate Inn in Columbus, under the MUW Art Department name, Holen noted.


For more information about the Functional Relationships exhibit at MUW, contact Holen at [email protected], or 319-621-6894. For additional details about the Mississippi Mud exhibit at the RAC, visit, contact the arts center at 662-328-2787, or e-mail [email protected]



Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.


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