Strand, who heads the NDSU Fine Arts Department, has led or been part of numerous exciting projects over the past few years, including the Misfit Cup Liberation Project, the Fargo Project, and Engage U. In all cases, he has expanded upon his learned discipline of creating with clay to include broad social engagement measures and community involvement.
Smith creates gorgeous ceramics with simple, fluid lines, and graceful colors. She recently received an MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Should be quite the show for fans of ceramics. The reception gets started at 7 p.m. on Friday evening.
(EDIT: we found this lovely description of Strand and Smith’s working relationship on the Facebook event page for this opening.)
For nearly 15 years, Michael Strand and Amy Smith have maintained a friendship that started in graduate school, where they shared studio space at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. The preciousness of a trusted colleague in one’s profession, where you are open to both criticize and embrace one another’s work is a gift.
Michael and Amy have kept in close contact over the years, with path’s crossed in a variety of ways. They recently shared an experience at Red Lodge Clay Center in Montana as resident artists, and this coming Spring, Amy Smith will be the Rosenquist Resident Artist at North Dakota State University. Coming full circle after fifteen years, Strand and Smith will once again share a studio, tea, and bad puns. This exhibition then reflects upon this history of shared interests that extends well beyond the objects they make.
Along with a friendship, both Smith and Strand share a love of process and materiality. Each handles clay with attention to subtle detail without overwhelming the material. They create work that evokes one to touch the surface, inspiring intimacy even if the intention of the form is to be non-functional. In this sense, they are both contemporary and timeless. Brought together in the same space, at first differences may be obvious; but similarities will become apparent. Much like the artists themselves.
Image: Amy Smith, Carved Platter. Via amysmithporcelain.com.