Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ceram-A-Rama Gala: A Really Progressive Affair

Last night was the 4th gala (bi-annual) for the ASU Art Museum's CRC, or Ceramics Research Center (curator Peter Held). I always enjoy this gala; it's my favorite arts event of the year. The progressive event (a new idea this year, I thought it worked well) started with the silent auction at the CRC in Tempe. I helped stage the artworks earlier this week, so knew in general what was up for auction, but there are always pieces I didn't discover the first time around. Plus I love seeing other people's reactions to the work, seeing if my favorites are getting the bids I think they deserve!

Ran into lots of friends and caught up with people on changes in Cervini Haas Fine Art. Bidding was moderate with people still being cautious in this fragile economy. But lots of great items were snatched up, and some of the works that didn't sell last night are going to be left up at the CRC for further bidding - stop by and you'll be amazed at the great ceramic works available! You can also view the remaining pieces online at the CRC's website.

Here are some highlights:

Sandra Blain, "Urban Facade 3" (I love this piece!)

Sam Chung, "Vase" - his new works are really smart.

Farraday Newsome, "Dark Blue Bowl w/Oranges", a classic piece.

Jason Hess, "Seven Tall Bottles"

Jill Oberman, "Inhale"

Jeff Reich, "Yucca Fields". Jeff's new cube series is simply amazing!

Triesh Voelker, "Stacked Jar w/Lid"

Sherrie Zeitlin, "Bird Talk"

Patricia Sannit, "Orbit"

Maren Kloppmann, "Pillow Vessel II"

After the silent auction closed, a bus shuttled us up to Scottdale's Optima loft community, where the live auction took place (A Progressive Affair, get it?). Everyone seemed to enjoy seeing the property, which I think we've all admired from afar. Especially its stunning landscaping draped from the penthouse balconies. Cocktails, h'ors d'oevres, chatting, and perusing the live auction items....... you know the drill.

Live auction table at Optima.

(L - R) Chris Staley, Takashi Hinoda, and a print by Akio Takamori.

(L-R) Jason Walker, Richard Cleaver, Karen Karnes and Kate MacDowell.

The Kate MacDowell was definitely my personal favorite, although it was too unsettling for some. Entitled "First and Last Breath," the work showed a mother rabbit nursing her newborn babies while wearing a gas mask - preserving her own last breath. Intricate, beautiful details, elegant sadness.

The guest of honor was Jun Kaneko, who joined us, along with his lovely wife, at the auction. He generously donated both a sculpture and a drawing, both of which were outstanding. The drawing was extraordinary - I'd have taken it home in a heartbeat, but I left my cash in my sock drawer....

Some of the other exceptional works were the intricate pieces by Jason Walker and Kurt Weiser, plus a very nice grouping of Feelies by Rose Cabat and a triptych by Susan Beiner (which generated some very excited bidding early on in the event!).

Cabat's "Feelies"

Beiner's "Synthetic Stems"

The Karen Karnes vessel being circulated amongst the bidders.

Congrats Peter, you pulled it off again.


  1. Thanks for sharing the wonderful ceramics on display during this event. My personal favorites are "Yucca Fields" and "Urban Facade" as well as the amazing work of Jun Kaneko.

  2. Amazing Art, thanks for sharing with us.
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