Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Scott Ziegler ceramics featured at Loyola University Art Faculty Biennale

Scott Ziegler's recent work is among those featured in the Art Faculty Biennale exhibition [Secret Lives Revealed] at the Crown Center Gallery at Loyola University Chicago. Ziegler, a former undergraduate of Loyola's Bachelor of Arts program, is showing two works in this year's exhibition. Notable is his piece, entitled 'Innocence', a porcelain work of unusual quality and substance.

Innocence is a functional teapot, but the title belies itself as anything but innocent. Ziegler has created a piece that initially strikes the viewer as both playful and creepy. This piece fits within the ceramic categories of functional/sculptural work. Ziegler has chosen to create 'Innocence' using a skeletal hand as his source of inspiration. The bones of the hand comprise the body of the pot. He extends the thumb outward as a spout, and the forefinger points up. The top two digits of the forefinger can be lifted so fluid can be poured into the vessel. The remaining fingers curl over the palm to create a handle. The surface of the porcelain bones are completely covered with tiny spikes, which feels like grabbing onto a stone crab. Colorful nerve or vein-like extensions crawl around the bones, giving the sensation of pulsating pain. What is truly creepy is a single, blue eyeball bewteen the bones of the hand that sneaks a peek at the viewer. What could inspire Ziegler to make such a unique work?

Ziegler admits in his artist statement that his work is a reflection of his feelings, having grown up within a dysfunctional family. Subjected to abuse in an alcoholic home, he felt his childhood was stinted. Ziegler hopes his work will help him deal with his past, and he hopes the work will resonate with the audience on those darker truths most everyone experiences in their own past.
Yes, it is fair to say one can 'get' Ziegler's darker side of life, but he disguises or plays down that dark side through the use of colorful glazes that initially suggests something amusing. All in all, Ziegler's work is incredible - both from a technical and substantive standpoint.

Ziegler has received a fair amount of attention recently, both in national competitions, and as an Upcoming Artist in Ceramics Monthly. He has studied ceramics at the penland School for the Arts and received his Master of Fine Arts degreee from Northern Illinois University. Currently, Ziegler teaches ceramics at Rockford College and is the ceramic lab technician at Loyola University Chicago. His work can be found in the Chicago Arts District at 1915 S. Halsted in Chicago.

Crown Center Gallery's exhibition also features the work of twenty-two Fine Arts faculty and staff from the Fine and Performing Arts division. "Secret Lives Revealed" opens to the public on Friday, October 10 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., and runs through November 7. Regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday 3 - 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 12 noon to 4 p.m. For more information about Scott Ziegler and this exhibition, please call 773-508-3811 or email tparke1@luc.edu.

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