Nostalgia and pop culture given a twist

picture-12.pngOn April 4, First Friday in Old City features exhibits using pinhole cameras, ceramics, video and puzzling mixed-media at three local sites: AxD Gallery, The Clay Studio and F.U.E.L. Collections.

At AxD Gallery on South 10th Street, artists Marcia Treiger and Karen Brown showcase works that utilize the pinhole camera in different ways. Treiger developed color prints of blown glass that appear as lush as landscapes. This magnified glass photography was inspired by Treiger’s time spent growing up in her father’s glass store. Treiger, a Tyler graduate, earned her master of fine arts in photography and has created images for more than 30 years.

Brown, a sculptor by trade, is also showing at AxD Gallery. Her predominantly monochrome transparencies portray bleak urban settings installed as graffitied mixed-media sculptures. These warped pinhole images of Interstate 95 each have their own sculptural encasements that convey a look of rawness, as if they had been plucked directly from the streets.

The Clay Studio will display two exhibitions this month, which feature artist Maren Kloppmann as well as a group show. Kloppmann was influenced by the modernist ideal of simplicity, and her technical processes help express the formal qualities of ceramic forms and vessels. Kloppman uses coiling and hand-building to form pieces in her showcase, New Work. To highlight her ongoing theme of simplicity, the surfaces of her pieces rarely juxtapose more than two colors as Kloppmann applies just a few terra sigillatas and glazes. In turn, her limited parameter allows for slight variation while maintaining aesthetic restraint.

The Clay Studio’s second showcase is a group exhibition entitled Speaking Low: Surfaces in Earthenware. The exhibition features 28 artists from the United States and Canada who explore the creation of ceramic work using earthenware and low-fire clay bodies. The curator for this exhibition, Linda Arbuckle, is a master of the low-fire process.

The ceramic low-fire piece is essentially tin-glazed pottery that is created using a process called

majolica. This archaic pottery technique is characterized by white-glazed red earthenware clay, which is then decorated with over-glaze floral and brushwork designs.

F.U.E.L. Collections, located on Second and Arch streets, will host the work of 17 national and international artists who use several different mediums. The first showcase, aptly named Indifference and Apocrypha, will exhibit paintings that explore the mystery of forgotten memories, dreams and distant childhood.

Indifference and Apocrypha is unique because it incorporates motifs that are very familiar, like toys and family, within very awkward situations. This odd combination invites the viewers to formulate individual impressions of the works based on their own personal experiences.

In F.U.E.L.’s second showcase, Momento Mori, artists use consumer objects and political figures to symbolize earthly pleasures and represent the pitfalls of materialism and mortality. Borrowed from a Latin phrase loosely translated as “remember that you are mortal,” this exhibition strives to suggest themes of spiritual growth that are contrary to a focus on material possessions.

Carlene Majorino can be reached at

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