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The Arts Council of Wilson will host the expressive work of local potter and educator Mark Gordon in the Hammond Gallery at the Edna Boykin Cultural Center from March 14 to April 27. The opening reception for “20 Years in Wilson” is Thursday, March 14, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., with an artist talk at 5 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public.
A native of Rochester, New York, Gordon has worked in clay for more than 40 years, beginning as a potter and then expanding into modular assembled clay sculptures and mixed-media site-specific installations. His work is exhibited in national and international colleges, universities, art centers and museums. He has traveled the world teaching and documenting claywork traditions, and his work has appeared in a variety of ceramic journals.
Gordon has served as an associate professor of art at Barton College since 1999, and in 2009, he was named Higher Education Art Educator of the Year by the North Carolina Art Education Association. He brings a blend of curiosity and creativity into his college classrooms and believes that the arts fulfill a vital role in promoting visual literacy while fostering creative exploration and challenging students to question the way the world presents itself to them.
“Clay is a universal medium — potters’ vessels have formed an essential part of material culture. My work explores the inherent properties of clay transformed through the kiln’s incandescent energy,” he said. “The physicality of clay, along with its remarkable ability to freeze action and respond to physical impact or retain any fleeting impression, immediately and permanently captured my interest.”
His experimentation with form and surface, combined with an element of mystery, draws viewers to his work. He finds inspiration from an eclectic mix of nature and plant growth, animal skeletons, machinery, scrap yards and through his many travels. The full range of his creative work can be seen at www.markgordon.com.