The potter's wheel is often the beginning and the end for ceramics. As a medium it is often delegated to being a "craft" and nothing more.
Those ideas couldn't be any further from the truth when it comes to Rob McClurg. An instructor of the arts for over 14 years, McClurg has spent time in studios and shown in exhibitions across the country.
McClurg will display some of his ceramics/sculptures in the North Wing Display Case at The Renaissance Center in Dickson July 11-Aug. 25. An opening reception will be 6-7:30 p.m. Friday, July 13. A special reception will be 5-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, when the center celebrates its eighth anniversary open house and Arts Fusion III.
McClurg earned his Master's of Fine Arts at Texas A&M University and studied at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. He has taught pottery, wheel throwing and ceramics at the Watkins College of Art and Design, Cheekwood Museum, Chicago School of the Arts Institute, Barat College in Illinois and East Texas State University.
"Seeing Rob's body of work, one cannot begin to place a general term over the pieces that he creates," said Armon Means, curator at The Renaissance Center. "His work is playful, intriguing, smart, formal, engaging and everything in between."
As a ceramicist and sculptor, McClurg explores the medium of clay in many ways. There are pieces that act as vessels and others that exist purely as sculptures that aesthetically engage the viewer. The work quickly and clearly moves beyond simple craft and forcefully declares itself as a fine art. Experimentation and a deep understanding of form vs. function and technique allow the viewer to follow McClurg on the delightful journey through texture, shape, surface and color that activates his pieces.
Undeniably, the artist has the ability to continue moving into the realm of traditional sculptural materials, but McClurg maintains the formal qualities and techniques of ceramics as part of his process and concept, giving a renewed validation and strength to a "simple" medium.
For more information on The Renaissance Center's exhibition of works by Rob McClurg, call (615) 740-5600 or visit www.rcenter.org.