The Bertha V.B. Lederer Gallery, located in the Brodie Fine Arts building, is currently hosting "Celebrating Geneseo Alumni in Clay," an exhibit featuring the artistic creations of some of Geneseo's most talented graduates. Included are pieces done in clay, stoneware and raku (a form of Japanese pottery). They vary from human figures to impressive vases and even symbolic sculptures.
Carla Halstead (class of 1991) had several interesting raku human figurines on display, each in different positions and titled as such, including "Reclining," "Standing with Bowl" and "Pleading." All of the figures possessed striking physical characteristics, including jagged frames, unclothed bodies and intense faces. These almost animalistic qualities, in combination with the natural substance from which they were formed, brought to mind a primitive connection between man and earth and gave a deeper dimension to Halstead's designs.
Another impressive body of work is a set of three large and beautifully-crafted covered stoneware jars from John Verschure (class of 2001). Jars "006" and "007" featured blends of earth-tone colors including browns, beiges and greens that created rich and complex exterior designs. In addition, "007" (the largest of the three) was accented with several long stems of dark-red bamboo sticking starkly out of its top. This contrast in color between the jar and its contents proves an excellent touch to Verschure's work. Jar "009" was similar to its predecessors in design except that its principal color was a creamy, textured white, which gave way to rich purples and light blues at its lid, adding yet another mix of color to Verschure's display.
By far one of the most experimental projects was submitted by Luke Sworts (class of 2004) and was entitled "Sex, Drugs & Rock-n-Roll…Where's Religion?" Made from ceramic objects, it consisted of three distinct sculptures, each of which stood as an interpretation of the work's general theme of corruption. The first was a spine with a vibrantly red heart attached to it, beside which sat several condoms. The second featured a set of blackened lungs and lips with cigarettes and a lighter nearby. The final display was a sickeningly green esophagus attached to a black and purple liver with an empty beer bottle beside it. Sworts' display was an experimentally expressive use of his medium that successfully captured the attention and minds of observers.
The Lederer Gallery will be hosting "Celebrating Geneseo Alumni in Clay" through Friday, May 9, with an artists' reception on Saturday, April 26 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. More information about this and upcoming exhibits, as well as the gallery's hours can be found at www.geneseo.edu/~lockgallery.