In the AMOCA Ceramics Studio
June 13 – July 6, 2014,
The exhibition, Connie Layne: A Playful Primitive, spans her 40-year lively “conversation” with clay. Connie’s work ranges from functional high-fire stoneware to salt-fired sculpture FREE Entry to the Studio Gallery
Connie Layne is an artist, a potter, a painter, a student and a playful primitive. She has been a part of the nurturing and supportive Claremont art community for over 40 years. The Greater Los Angeles area has so many internationally recognized artists that we sometimes take for granted the contributions and life’s work of our local artists. The American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA) in Pomona, CA is privileged to showcase an exhibition and sale of Connie’s pottery and sculpture in the AMOCA Ceramics Studio Gallery.
Connie started her career as a painter at the University of Arizona. To graduate, she was required to take a ceramic course. On her first day it was instant love, “I was captured by the smell of the clay, the feel and the texture”. From there she dedicated her life to clay, often feeling like she could dialogue with it, “I would suggest a shape, and the clay would push back and suggest something else. It was an animate object that I was constantly having a conversation with.”
In 1965 Connie moved to Claremont and found a supportive community that helped her blossom as an artist. Claremont at the time was full of artists who were meeting, critiquing, encouraging each other, many of whom happened to be potters. It was a close support group that gave her the freedom to pursue ceramics to her full capacity, “There was no rivalry, just potlucks and good friends, we all wanted each other to succeed.”
From 1970-2005 she was a studio potter, largely creating functional ware in her business “Good Earth Pottery”. In 1985 Connie had an exciting opportunity; after years of being a studio potter she became a “Special Student” at Scripps and was able to study under Paul Soldner for a semester. Studying with Paul changed her entire dynamic with clay. There was a freedom, to come and go as she pleased and to push the clay to new depths. Her work started to show more texture, she pushed metal, gravel and old ceramic pieces into the clay. Connie’s work evolved from functional ware to sculpture enhanced with colored slip and fired with salt. The interaction with the flame and the salt intrigued her as well and she was often surprised with opportunities to change her vision of work.
A Playful Primitive is a retrospective of Connie Layne’s life in clay. Putting this exhibition together was, for her, a rediscovery of her work from the last 40 years. Functional pots and ceramic ware span her career with peaks of wheel thrown sculpture and slab built masterpieces dotting the landscape. All the work on display will also be for sale. Come celebrate and move through the gallery and discover for yourself Connie’s wonderful world of ceramic art.
Opening reception with Connie Layne will be Friday, June 13 (6-9 pm).
Connie’s exhibit and sale will be from June 13 – June 29, 2014.