Arts & entertainment

Heat is on at Arvada Center

Three types of fired art make up latest exhibition

Posted 10/12/15

There’s something primal about humankind’s attraction to fire. Eons since fire was first tamed, it still holds a fascination for people in all walks of life.

The Arvada Center’s latest exhibition features media and artists that make use of …

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Arts & entertainment

Heat is on at Arvada Center

Three types of fired art make up latest exhibition

Posted

There’s something primal about humankind’s attraction to fire. Eons since fire was first tamed, it still holds a fascination for people in all walks of life.

The Arvada Center’s latest exhibition features media and artists that make use of fire to create their work: iron, ceramics and glass.

FIRED runs at the center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., through Nov. 15. Iron is in the Main Gallery, ceramics pieces are in the Upper Gallery and glass is in the Theatre Gallery.

“We had planned to do a ceramics exhibit for the fall, and thought we could add iron and glass, since they also use fire,” said Kristin Bueb, exhibition coordinator and registrar. “We were able to draw on the expertise of artists in these fields for the exhibit.”

FIRED: Iron

The main gallery showcases the enormous and minute works that cast iron is capable of creating, and was put together in partnership with the Western Cast Iron Art Alliance.

“Iron is the core of the earth — it’s the elemental material that we all use all the time,” said Rian Kerrane, a member of the alliance and associate professor at the University of Colorado Denver, who curated the exhibit. “The interesting thing about this show is the lineage we’re able to capture with the artists that we have on display.”

There are still a lot of connections to iron’s industrial roots, Kerrane added, and that is reflected in much of the iron work on display at the center.

FIRED: Ceramics

The Arvada Center has a vibrant ceramics program, and the center called on ceramics program coordinator Bebe Alexander to curate this portion of FIRED.

The show focuses on slip cast ceramics (a technique that uses plaster molds to create the works), and features artists like Richard Notkin, known for over 40 years for his extraordinary ceramics reflecting strong socio-critical narrative, and David Bogus, a 2015 recipient of an Emerging Artist Award from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts.

“Ceramics is such a huge field, that we thought it would be a good idea to narrow it down,” Alexander said. “We have a real diversity of creations on display, from functional to figurative work. We want people to see what can be done with this process.”

FIRED: Glass

The artists on display in the glass portion range from well-known masters like Dale Chihuly, Richard Royal and Lino Tagliapietra to local artists making a name for themselves on the national scene.

Guest curator Marcela Fuller said the show highlights four major techniques — blown, cast, fused, and flame-worked glass.

“I wanted to make it as educational as possible, because there’s a lot of mystique for many people as to how these pieces get made,” Fuller said. “We have videos playing of the different techniques so visitors can visualize and understand what the process is.”

Demonstrations

Making the works in iron, ceramics and glass requires an incredible amount of hands-on time, so the center is offering visitors a chance to see up close what the process is like.

There will be an iron casting performance, ceramics Raku and flame-worked glass demonstration from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17, in the field just south of the center.

Professionals will be on hand working on pieces, and for a $10 donation, tile molds will be available for the public to carve their own unique design to be cast in iron, and bisque ceramic pieces will be available to be glazed and then Raku fired. Scrumptious and other food trucks will be there, and Silver Vines and Yak and Yeti will be on hand selling beverages.

“We’re trying to be entertaining, educational and hands-on,” said Kerrane. “Everything looks so pristine in the gallery, but there’s a whole process that artists goes through. You can really see the artists’ passion when you watch them making their pieces.”

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