Talk and sculptures by noted ceramicist Gary Erickson
By Elaine Dunn
The Chinese Heritage Foundation Friends will host an evening talk by noted ceramicist Gary Erickson on Friday, Nov. 15, 6-8 p.m., at 6711 Lakeshore Dr., Richfield.
The evening also includes a preview of Erickson’s porcelain sculptures
that will be on exhibit at Concordia University (Nov. 21-Dec. 18) and Mankato State University (January 2014), which are underwritten in part by Chinese Heritage Foundation grants. There also will be video clips of Jingdezhen, with its age-old water-powered hammer mills crushing chinastone, multi-person teams throwing more than 300 pounds of clay together in making sections of 15-foot tall vases, decoration factories, and a tile village producing porcelain tiles up to 12 feet long!
Erickson, who has spent eight summers in the historic porcelain city of Jingdezhen (景德镇) in China’s Jiangxi Province, will talk about learning to work with the Chinese superwhite porcelain clay (高白泥) in China’s “Porcelain Capital,” and reflect on its influence on his own porcelain sculptures.
Jingdezhen is an active industrial town where Chinese and foreign artists explore the unique properties of the historic porcelain clay. “The characteristics of Jingdezhen’s unique clay has challenged me while translating my U.S., low-temperature, coil-built earthenware aesthetics into China, high-fire, porcelain slipcast work … I consider my creativity with a life both in America and China. My symbiotic relationship with China is reflected in the interdependence of forms nestled within or balanced and perched on top of each other. These life experiences have made the work extremely personal and reflective of my growth as an international artist,’ says Erickson.
For “A Passage to China” attendees, you may remember Erickson as the anchor of the porcelain medallion table, one of the most popular activities of the event.
Erickson is currently a professor at Macalester College Art Department. His work was exhibited at the Jingdezhen International Academy of Ceramics the summer of 2011. This past summer he lectured at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and has established gallery representation at
the SAS Gallery in Shanghai. Erickson received his B.A. from Hamline University, St. Paul, Minn., and an M.F.A. from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y. His sculptural work is in many collections: National Museum of American Art/Smithsonian Institution’s Renwick Gallery in Washington D.C.; Cuban Institute of Friendship with the People in Santiago de Cuba; Jingdezhen Sanbao Ceramic Art Institute in Jingdezhen, China.