FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 24, 2012
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Contact: Emelia.Cowans@naturalsciences.org ; 919.733.7450, ext. 305
“Color on Clay, II” to open at the NCMNS Nature Art Gallery Friday, June 1
(Raleigh)—The Nature Art Gallery at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is celebrating summer with a featured exhibit of new pottery by Freechild Studio beginning Friday, June 1. Color on Clay II is Freechild’s second show at the Nature Art Gallery. John Garland and Mary Paul, owners of the Knightdale pottery studio, will be at the Gallery for an opening reception and meet and greet on June 1 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The show continues through Sunday, July 1.
Inspired by the garden just outside their studio in Knightdale, John and Mary have incorporated the plants, birds and insects they see into the designs. “The pieces in this collection are so vivid and life-like, you can practically smell the flowers blooming around the earthenware vases and platters and hear the birds and insects circling the bowls,” says Karen Bethune, Curator of the Nature Art Gallery. Dragonflies and Monarch Butterflies are also popular motifs with a wide variety of flowering plants. Sometimes they employ a single flower design with one or two colors and other times a variety of flowers and colors are used. They favor background colors of black, navy and dark green which sets off the brilliant, primary colors of the flowers to fantastic effect.
Their work is almost seamless and people are amazed that they both have a hand in creating the pots and the paintings applied to the surfaces. The pots themselves are either hand-built by Mary or thrown by John then bisque-fired which strengthens the clay. The process of applying the artwork to the pots is laborious and time consuming. They begin by outlining the designs in black and then going back in to fill in the color. After the designs are complete the piece is fired a second time followed by a coat of clear glaze which adds a gloss to the piece, and then fired a third and final time. The potters say their goal is to “give form to the creative spirit within."
John and Mary met over two decades ago at a pottery workshop at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. They credit that workshop with setting them in the direction their work has since taken. They exhibit continuously all over the country in craft fairs and galleries and have won numerous awards including many “Best In Shows.” They are members of Carolina Designers and Piedmont Craftsmen and sell work at both of those annual fairs in the fall each year. They are also frequent exhibitors at Cedar Creek Gallery in Creedmoor. Their work was also included in "500 Platters, Plates and Chargers" by Lark Books.
The Nature Art Gallery is located on the top floor of the Museum Store. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m.; and open until 9 p.m. on First Fridays. For more information about the Nature Art Gallery, call 919.733.7450, ext. 369.
First Friday is a free, family-friendly, social event held the first Friday of each month at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh. Visitors can enjoy exhibits, shopping, food and spirits until 9pm. The Natural Horror Picture Show (a vintage, sci-fi flick of 'B' movie caliber) begins at 7 p.m. Arrive early for live music and a film short from the A/V Geek archives. For information, call 919.733.7350, ext. 379.
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (11 W. Jones St.) and its new wing, the Nature Research Center (121 W. Jones St.) in downtown Raleigh, documents and interprets the natural history of the state of North Carolina through exhibits, research, collections, publications and educational programming. Hours: Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sun., noon-5 p.m. Admission is free. Visit the Museum on the Web at http://naturalsciences.org . The Museum is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dee Freeman., Secretary.