The Clay Connection: Jim and Nan McKinnell

May 18–July 28, 2013

The Clay Connection: Jim and Nan McKinnell celebrates the five-decade careers of Jim and Nan McKinnell, whose prolific output included tens of thousands of ceramic works. The McKinnells, known for their diverse vessel forms, often collaborated on pieces, with one shaping the work and the other adding decoration. When viewing their solo pieces, though, their individual preferences become unmistakable. Beyond their own predilections and artwork, their innovations in ceramic technology and their commitment to teaching have provided the field of ceramic art with a lasting legacy. To sum up, their 50-year career evidences substance, challenge, and exquisite sensitivity.

Jim and Nan McKinnell are said to have lived largely. Their active role in changing the identity of American potters and American ceramics in the mid-twentieth century resulted in an important transformation of ceramic history. The story of the McKinnells and their work speaks of growth–artistic, personal, social–inspired by and creating itself of those most human partners, clay and grace. It’s a story well worth telling.

The exhibition will also include work from Rudy Autio (founding resident of the Archie Bray Foundation), Wayne Higby (professor of ceramics at Alfred University), Daniel Rhodes, Toshiko Takaezu, Clary Illian, Paul Soldner, Peter Volkos, Tom Potter, Kurt Weiser, Gerry Williams, Edwin and Mary Schier, Bob Turner, Bernard Leach, Betty Woodman, Henry Varnum Poor, Kate Horsman, Robert Turner, Warner & Alix MacKenzie, Karen Karnes & David Weinrib, Ken Furguson, David Shaner, Ruth Duckworth, Shoji Hamada, Vivika Heino, Michael Cardew, Val Cushing, and Don Reitz.

This exhibit is accompanied by The Clay Connection: Jim and Nan McKinnell, a 176-page book written by Susan Schoch and featuring 190 color and black-and-white photographs.

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