January 31 – February 28, 2017

Artist Talk: Wednesday, February 1, 5pm, Guggenheim Hall, Room 001 

Reception: Wednesday, February 1, 6-7pm  

Oak Room Gallery

VolumesandGestures is a two-person exhibition by contemporary ceramic artists, Lars Voltz and Joyce St. Clair. The works on view celebrate the language of porcelain pottery in a way that emphasizes volume and ornamentation.

Lars Voltz says his work “cultivates a sense of material ruggedness,” that forms a kind of, “crucial synergy between the material world and our cultural existence.” Voltz’s work is exceptionally raw and earthy, an aesthetic which reflects upon his method of wood-firing colored clay to produce vessels with surfaces resembling geologic impacts and features.

Like Voltz, Joyce St. Clair creates work that is informed by celebrating volume and exaggerated gesture. The artist creates colorful, ornate, and whimsical vessels that reference what St. Clair calls, “robust femininity.” Her pottery cultivates a unique kind of beauty that brings genuine joy and a generous use of clay, glaze and decoration that contrasts the historical cultivation of refined, delicate porcelain.

Lars Voltz grew up in Bemidji, MN: home of the Mississippi River. After receiving his BS in Art Education in 2009 from Bemidji State University, he went on to earn his MFA from Wichita State University. He has since moved to Shawano, WI to work with Simon Levin and traveled to Hangzhou, China to build wood kilns for the China Academy of Arts. Lars has lectured and exhibited nationally and internationally.

Joyce St. Clair was born and raised in Bedford, TX. She received her BA in Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies and BFA in Ceramics from the University of North Texas in 2011. After graduating from Wichita State with her MFA in 2014, St. Clair moved with her fiancé, Lars Voltz to Shawano, Wisconsin where he apprenticed with artist Simon Levin. St. Clair was named one of Ceramics Monthly’s Emerging Artists of 2015. St. Clair and Voltz are both currently Red Lodge Clay Center’s 2016-2017 Long Term Residents.

Voltz and St. Clair come to UNC as Visiting Artists; a program of the Galleries that offer unique opportunities for first hand discussion with artists, curator, and scholars to provide a closer look at how creative professionals live and work. Over the course of four days the pair will be integrated into the classroom as guest instructors. Voltz and St. Clair will lead hands-on demos and workshops, allowing students to observe new techniques and creative processes. The duo will give a joint artist talk to further elaborate on their professional journey and what life as a working artist looks like in the studio and beyond. 

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