‘Women Makers: THEN, NOW, HERE’ at Clay Studio in Goleta
Ceramics Exhibition Honors Women Makers for Women’s History Month
Works by Margaret Keelan, Marsha Bailey, and Jean Range | Credit: Courtesy
Women have been shaping the course of ceramic art for generations, and this work takes the spotlight in a new exhibition, Women Makers: THEN, NOW, HERE, opening March 8 at Clay Studio in Goleta.
This celebration of women ceramicists (makers) is presented in honor of Women’s History Month and includes selected work by notable artists, including Judy Chicago, Beatrice Wood, Lucy Lewis, Mary Law, Adelaide Robineau, Vivika Heino, the Saturday Evening Girls, Toshiko Takaezu, Karen Karnes, Grace Hewell, Polia Pillin, Dora De Larios, Lucie Rie, Rebecca Youngbird, Frances Simches, Nancy Selvin, Margaret Keelan, Stefani Gruenberg, Ayumi Horie, Hitomi Shibata, Barbara Loebman, Genie Thompson, Lauren Hanson, Victoria Littlejohn, Linda Haggerty, and Lynda Weinman.
Also on exhibit is the work of the late Marge Dunlap, a regional artist noted for her public installations in Santa Barbara County, whose works include “It’s Raining,” an engaging fountain of faces at the Las Aves office complex on Los Patos Way near the Bird Refuge.
The show — which includes almost 50 artists’ work, courtesy of both private and public collections from across the U.S. — began to come together in August, said Marsha Bailey, retired Executive Director of Women’s Economic Ventures, who is one of the organizers. “Jean Feigenbaum Range and James Haggerty proposed putting together a women’s show for the Clay Studio Gallery during Women’s History Month, and we were excited by the prospect. As a young organization, we didn’t yet have a formal gallery committee, and this provided the impetus to start one.”
She continued, “Because we only had six months to put the show together, we approached local ceramic art collectors to ask if they would be willing to lend pieces for the exhibit. The response was universally enthusiastic. Women have long been accomplished ceramic artists, but as in other fields, their work has often been overlooked and undervalued. In this show, we’ve tried to represent the diversity of women in ceramics, both historically and in the present. Contemporary work includes juried pieces made by both emerging and established women artists working at Clay Studio today. Accomplished women ceramicists who have been teaching and working locally for many years were also invited to exhibit their work.”
Asked about notable pieces, Bailey said, “We have many notable and impressive pieces from important women artists throughout the country, but one of my personal favorites is a humble cup and saucer by the Saturday Evening Girls. I love the piece because of what it represents: The Saturday Evening Girls was a club for young immigrant women that started out as a reading group in 1899 in Boston. From 1908–1942, they operated the Paul Revere Pottery, where they taught young women skills and provided employment in good working conditions where they were paid a living wage. The piece is on loan to the gallery from James Haggerty’s personal collection.”
That piece and the others can be viewed at Women Makers: THEN, NOW, HERE at Clay Studio (1351 Holiday Hill Rd., Goleta) from March 8 to May 31. The public is invited to attend an opening reception on Wednesday, March 8, from 4-9 p.m.
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