The Hudgens Center for Art & Learning is excited to present its latest exhibition, Shaping the New South, curated by Garth Johnson and featuring contemporary clay works by Darien Arikoski-Johnson, Daniel Bare, Jeff Campana, Tanner Coleman, Alexis Gregg, Mark Knott, Alex Kraft, Matt Mitros, Raoul Pacheco, Ibrahim Said, Hitomi & Takuro Shibata and Sandra Trujillo.
Studio artist, writer, curator and educator Garth Johnson is Curator of Ceramics at the Arizona State University Art Museum in Tempe, Arizona. Before moving to Tempe, Johnson served as the Curator of Artistic Programs at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia and spent seven years as a Professor at College of the Redwoods in Eureka, California. The one-time Atlanta resident is a self-described craft activist who explores craft’s influence and relevance in the 21st century.
According to Johnson, “It’s no coincidence that most creation myths involve shaping human beings from clay. Clay is a primordial connection to the earth that we all share. Shaping the New South features 13 ceramic artists who did not grow up in the South, but have chosen to put down roots there.” He continues, “Their diverse life paths and approaches to art mirror the complexity and heterogeneity of the modern South. It has taken millennia for the forces of geology to create the exquisite clay that is native to the South, but the past decades have seen a seismic shift in those who shape that clay.”
In conjunction with Shaping the New South, the Hudgens is also thrilled to present its 2nd National Cup Show, featuring over 170 cups from 58 artists from across the nation. A “Best in Show” award and three “Honorable Mention” awards will be selected; additionally, the Hudgens Center will be offering Purchase Prizes for three pieces of artwork for acquisition into The Hudgens Permanent Collection, to be selected by the Hudgens staff along with juror Garth Johnson.
“Given that ceramics is such a major cornerstone of The Hudgens’ educational programming, we are committed to presenting major clay exhibitions biennially,” says Angela Nichols, Director of Exhibitions at The Hudgens. “Garth has certainly kicked it up a notch this year and we couldn’t be happier with the results. This is absolutely a “must see” exhibition.”
Shaping the New South will be on view from May 20-July 29, 2017.
Also on display: Emerge, the smART Honors Program Student Exhibition
Started in 2004, the smART Honors Program is a Community Arts Initiative of the Jacqueline Casey Hudgens Center for Art & Learning, with a goal to make measurable, positive differences in the lives of Gwinnett County high school students through intensive art education. Led by artist Jerushia Graham, the program provides professional mentorship and hands-on experience to underserved students who have been identified by their teachers to have an interest and passion for art, while also facing financial, linguistic or emotional barriers to advance arts education resources.
“We are so pleased to have had the honor of working with each of these talented artists,” says Graham. “To watch them navigate new challenges, articulate their perspectives, and to see each individual’s personality manifest within their creations has been a joy.”
Over the course of the eight-month program, smART Honors Program students learn to craft an artist statement, create a body of work and collaborate on a large scale team project. The 2017 cohort included students from North Gwinnett High School, Discovery High School, Norcross High School and Peachtree Ridge High School.
Emerge will also be on view from May 20-July 29, 2017