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The Edwardsville Arts Center is excited to present it’s first juried ceramic cup show opening on Friday, October 18th from 6-8pm, titled “Raise a Toast: An Exhibition of Ceramic Cups.”  Over 70 artists applied online for the exhibit, and just 40 were selected to send their artwork to the EAC for the exhibit.  The juror is Mark Arnold, a recent graduate of SIUE’s Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics program, who now lives in Elizabeth City, NC, and is well known among ceramic artists and pottery enthusiasts for his architecturally inspired functional pottery featuring muted colors and subtle textures.  All cups will be for sale – be sure to check out this exhibit for great holiday shopping opportunities!

SIUE ceramics professor and EAC board member Joe Page had the idea for this exhibit, and asked Mark Arnold, his former student, to jury it.  The SIUE ceramics program will be involved in more ways than one – the SIUE Wagner Potters Association will be installing the exhibit at the EAC, a great opportunity for students to get some real-life experience working in a gallery setting.  

Cups in the show range from mugs to tumblers, espresso cups to cappuccino cups, ornamental cups to sculptural cups.  Artists had the option to submit up to 3 pieces in their applications, and Arnold had a tough job sorting through nearly 200 cups to choose the best ones for this show.  In the end, he chose only 87 cups to be featured in the exhibit. While many accepted artists are local to the Edwardsville and St. Louis area, a number of them shipped their work from their homes all over the country – as far as Texas, California, Connecticut, and many more places.  The EAC is thrilled to showcase ceramic artwork that is being made across the country

In addition to the juried artists, six invited artists will also have their work featured in this show.  Chosen by Arnold, invited artists will include Mike Cinelli, Naomi Clement, Chandra DeBuse, Ben Jordan, Tim Kowalczyk, and Stephanie Wilhelm.  Along with Arnold, these artists have made their mark in the clay world with their skillful and unique work. Stephanie Wilhelm paints and carves detailed dahlias on her mugs.  She talks about them in her artist statement, “The work I make requires a great deal of hand painting and I enjoy how ornamentation inspires me to ask questions about the relation between functional and decorative form.”  Three of Wilhelm’s mugs will be on display as well as cups by the other five invited artists.

The cup is an oft repeated form for many ceramic artists – potters and sculptors alike. Most beginning ceramics students start out by making cups, but it’s reputation as an intimate object compels artists to continue working with its form throughout their careers as artists.   Cups are used daily by nearly every person, so ceramic artists have a unique opportunity to create works of art that are actually picked up and used, touched, brought to our mouths, and held – not placed on a pedestal to be gazed at from a distance. With that in mind, the cup as a precious item that is not discarded but cherished and shared with family and friends. Forget single use!  These cups celebrate and invite the holder to enjoy it’s purpose and function.

In the DeToye Student Gallery, the EAC will be featuring artwork by Edwardsville area private schools, including St. Mary’s, Father McGiveny, St. Boniface, and Metro East Montessori.  Artworks will include sculptures, paintings, drawings, clay work, and more. Please join the EAC on Friday, October 18th from 6-8pm for an opening reception for this exciting, juried cup show and the local private school show. Our 2019 exhibitions are made possible in part by Mathis, Marifian, and Richter Law. The EAC is located at 6165 Center Grove Road in Edwardsville on the campus of Edwardsville High School.  Gallery open hours are Wed, Thu, and Fri from 10am – 4pm, and Sat 11am – 3pm.

View promotional poster here.