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Matters of the Heart & Aestivation exhibitions

  • November 15, 2021–February 3, 2022

Joint exhibitions featuring work by Anna Greidanus and Elaine Tolsma Harlow.

On view November 15 – February 4

Matters of the Heart: An exhibition of ceramic works by Anna Greidanus

Art practice includes an exploration of materials, techniques, concepts, and self-reflection. As the process progresses, understanding expands and deepens in the interaction with clay. The transition from a lump of clay, centering it and moving it outward and upward, to a vessel is a matter of giving and receiving. But of course, not all vessels are made of clay. We are also vessels.

In his Confessions, St Augustine promotes the practice of writing from the heart, our innermost self. Metaphorically, the heart, a vessel, has often been approached as if it were a book, where memories and sentiments are inscribed. The ceramic works in this exhibition, reexamine the relationship between the heart, the text of record, and the materiality of vessels. The viewer is invited to contemplate, honoring their own associations and reflections. - Anna Greidanus

Hands-on Workshop Space:

This space provides opportunities for bringing together material, technique, and persons. Workshop sessions with the artist will offer contemplative moments for exploring porcelain. Guided hand building techniques will result in the creation of small vessels to be fired for the maker’s keeping. This malleable material, responsive to touch, will become transformed by heat into strong, vitreous form. Participants are invited to display their works in the gallery during the closing reception in February, 2022. Sharing this experience invites community. Workshops to be announced.

Altered Rim Bowl with Deep Oxblood Glaze .jpg   Altered Rim Bowl with Deep Oxblood Glaze, detail.jpg

Aestivation: An exhibition of painted works by Elaine Tolsma Harlow 

During the start of the pandemic, my artwork changed. It went from abstract to realistic, with peonies often the subject. I also turned 50 in a healthy body that had eluded me in my younger years. As I contemplate the change in my artwork, I am asking questions of what is beauty, what makes something beautiful, and is it still beautiful as it evolves? Beauty can be dictated upon us by those more powerful, such as the Taliban in Afghanistan, and society as a whole. It often faces violence and even destroyed. These works are a reflection of the concept of beauty at this point in my life being a woman after cancer, after a pandemic, and after turning 50.

These oil paintings on wood panels capture both the timeless and the fleeting. The moments of perfection and perfection blighted. Of beauty and beauty violated. Painted thinly and rarely with more than one layer of paint, they are both laborious and instant, intuitive and intentional. Through these contrasting ideas and practices, I am continuing my efforts to become not just whole, but holy. - Elaine Tolsma Harlow


All are welcome to join for a closing reception: Thursday, February 3, 5–7 pm.

Images: Anna Greidanus (banner: Pierced Rim Sea Foam Heart Vessel), Anna Greidanus (top: Altered Rim Bowl & detail), Elaine Tolsma Harlow (bottom image)

This exhibition and the associated programming are supported in part by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.


November 2021
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