"Moon Over Superior" by Elizabeth James
Art gallery carries on with virtual 'Visions in Clay'
September 02, 2020

STOCKTON Delta College’s L.H. Horton Jr. Gallery isn’t letting the COVID-19 pandemic get in the way of its mission.

The Gallery will push forward this week with the launching of the 11th annual Visions in Clay Exhibition and Awards Competition, the largest exhibition of ceramic works in the San Joaquin Valley.

This year’s virtual exhibition will be posted at gallery.deltacollege.edu following a welcome reception on Thursday evening. The show is just one example how Delta continues to offer quality academic and community experiences even in a time of separation.

In the case of Visions in Clay, a bright spot on the exhibition being held online is the opportunity for an audience from around the country to meet the artists virtually and learn more about their work.

“While we clearly wish we could have the exhibit in person, we want to make the best of this situation by taking advantage of technology to bring the public a unique chance to hear directly from the artists,” said Gallery Coordinator Jan Marlese.

Visions in Clay, happening virtually this year, is the largest ceramics exhibition in the San Joaquin Valley.

The online Gallery will open from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 3 with a virtual reception featuring the artists and the presentation of awards. The reception and other events will be presented through a Zoom video conferencing link that may be found on the Gallery website under Online Exhibitions & Virtual Events on the scheduled dates.

Additionally, two artists will present a talk about their work in ceramics: Visions In Clay exhibition juror and ceramics professor at California College of the Arts, Nancy Selvin, will speak from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 17; and exhibiting artist Marianne McGrath, ceramics professor at CSU Channel Island, will present from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 25.

Visions In Clay has been featured several times in the national magazine, Ceramics Monthly. It is an exceptional show of technical ability with diversity in style, process and content. This year’s exhibit features 56 works by 40 artists from around the country, including many Bay Area artists and local artist Tricia Hand from Tracy. The artwork and awards were selected by this year’s juror, Nancy Selvin. Selection was based on quality of work, unique content and form, as well as technical skill.

Founded by the San Joaquin Potters Guild in 2002 through 2007, Visions In Clay was turned over to the Horton Gallery in 2010 to continue the ceramics-based exhibition.

"Cast" by Gratia Brown

"Cast" by Gracia Brown


Nancy Selvin — Exhibition Juror’s Statement

"It is an honor and a challenge to be asked to jury artist’s work. Thank you Shenny Cruces and Jan Marlese for inviting me. Over the forty plus years during which I have judged artworks I now notice more and more eclectic entries and a wider range of “de-skilled” attitudes taking root. I applaud this and see it as a pronounced shift toward bravado and broader intent from the world of clay.

With an elegantly crafted still life “Moon Over Superior” by Elizabeth James, and a small, rough, “Pleather and Seafoam Study" by Gratia Brown, that knowingly or not reflects the influence of Dutch ceramist Anton Reijnders, the two artists fully illustrate how the field of ceramics has opened up to the inflections of the larger art world.

This now necessarily virtual exhibition for San Joaquin Delta College drew 279 submissions from 91 artists. From these entries I have selected 56 works. No central theme emerged although there was an abundance of reticulated forms and lattice like structures. As one would expect given our geography there was a myriad of figurative sculpture running the gamut from the refined, Andrew Wyeth-like realism of Megan Angolia, to figures in the spirit of the “funky” Davis School of clay.

There were many pieces of merit. It was daunting to settle on four award winners. Congratulations for the fine showing. There are always risks in judging three-dimensional art solely from digital imagery and even more so choosing awardees. Some art was passed over because I was unable to interpret the fullness or the detail from the images provided. Hopefully in the new world that emerges from this pandemic we can rectify the situation: holograms?

Some additional pieces worth noting include a fine pair of cups with knobs on either side of their tray by Chris Pickett and a large vessel like structure by Barbara Andino- Stevenson which appeared to have fiber atop an oval clay base. The beautifully crafted “Crucible 62” by Kenneth Baskin and the reticulated “Maebyeong Form I” by Tyler Quintin stood out as well. The possibly excellent submissions by Yvonne Christine described as ‘clay on paper’ were impossible to decipher from the visuals as presented. I would like to know more about them. And of course rather than the virtual I would love to see everything installed in the gallery as we originally planned. I know you would too! Again, congratulations everyone!"

Nancy Selvin trained as a sculptor at the University of California, Berkeley, in both the undergraduate and graduate programs, receiving her MA in ceramics in 1970. At UC Berkeley, Selvin learned the lessons of scale, volume, compositional finesse and, most importantly, energy — how to tap it, how to articulate it.

Selvin teaches ceramics at California College of the Arts in Oakland, and maintains a studio practice in West Berkeley, California. She is a board member of the American Museum of Ceramic Arts, and Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts.

Best known for works such as *Nolinas* in which hand-made vessels are displayed on shelves, [her] pieces speak to Selvin’s fascination with the form of the vessel — a theme that has sustained her attention for many years. The treatment of the surfaces, with her use of underglaze, screened images and text, creates a feeling of timeless- ness, as if the objects have been unearthed rather than newly created in Selvin’s Berkeley studio.

— Lindsey Kouvaris, Curator de Saisset Museum

"Linked" by Karyn Gabriel

"Linked" by Karyn Gabriel


Visions In Clay Awards

Brian Caponi - Best of Show $300

Gratia Brown - 2nd Place $200

Karyn Gabriel - 3rd Place $100

Elizabeth James - San Joaquin Potters Guild Founders Award $300

Exhibiting Artists

Lillian Abel • Los Angeles, California

Barbara Andino-Stevenson • San Rafael, California

Megan Angolia • San Rafael, California

Eliza Au • Lake Dallas, Texas

Kenneth Baskin • Lake Charles, Louisiana

Sean Bill • Sacramento, California

Gratia Brown • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Brian Caponi • San Jose, California

Lauren Clay • Huntsville, Texas

Yvonne Christine • Pace, Florida

Natasha Dikareva • San Francisco, California

Claire Elise • Cedar Falls, Iowa

Karyn Gabriel • Fairfax, California

Tricia Hand • Tracy, California

Kendra Harvey • Anchorage, Alaska

Bryan Hiveley • Miami Florida

Jennifer Holt • Decatur, Illinois

Elizabeth James • Duluth, Minnesota

Judith Berk King • Miami, Florida

Yoonjee Kwak • Rochester, New York

Chris Leonard • McAllen, Texas

Anthony Maki Gill • Auburn, California

Rene Martucci • Davis, California

Marianne McGrath • Ventura, California

Lee Middleman • Portola, California

Arny Nadler • University, Missouri

Jeff Nebeker • Sacramento, California

Kate Nelson • Austin, Texas

Kathy Pallie • San Rafael, California

Matthew Patton • Seattle, Washington

Jasmine Peck • Idyllwild, California

Brian Peshek • Granada Hills, California

Chris Picket • Pocatello, Idaho

Tyler Quintin • Bloomington, Indiana

Julee Richardson • Brentwood, California

Marilyn Richeda • South Salem, New York

Leslie Plato Smith • Oakland, California

Lucy Snow • Martinez, California

Cheryl Tall • Carlsbad, California

Barbara Weidell • Luther, Oklahoma

Suzanne Wolfe • Honolulu, Hawaii