EDWARDSVILLE - "The Edwardsville Arts Center has an exciting first online art exhibit underway through this week: "Metal and Mud: An Exhibition of Jewelry and Ceramic Cups." The exhibit is sponsored by EAC 2020 Exhibitions Sponsor, Mathis, Marifian & Richter.

While the Edwardsville Arts Center will remain closed until at least 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, they are thrilled to be able to utilize their new and improved website to host an entire art exhibition which would normally be on display on their gallery walls.

The new juried and invitational exhibit "Metal and Mud:" celebrates a collection of ceramic drinking vessels and art jewelry. Both have been made and used since before recorded history and both define the individuality of their owners and makers.

The EAC is excited to share work from more than 40 artists from across the country working in these mediums in their first online exhibition. The show began on August 22 and will run through Saturday, September 19. The EAC's website to view this exciting exhibit at www.edwardsvilleartscenter.com.

"The jurors, Aimee Howard-Clinger and Joe Page (Metalsmithing and Ceramics faculty at SIUE, respectively) accepted 39 artists to participate in this exhibit and invited five other artists to show their work," Carolyn Tidball of the Edwardsville Arts Center, said. "Aimee and Joe are both well-known artists in their fields and the EAC was pleased to have their expertise in jurying the show. The result is a superb collection of jewelry and ceramic cups made by hand by many talented, hard working artists - some of whom are students and some of whom are working artists."

Tidball continued and said: "The jewelry in this exhibit is a fascinating collection of highly skilled artistry, and the work is not relegated to just metal.

"In this show, you will find a ring featuring black walnut bark (Lisa Hamilton), necklaces made with bioplastic (Beth Browne), and gutter foam juxtaposed with chalcedony in a wearable neck piece (Tracy Welling)," Tidball said. "Along with the creative use of a wide range of materials, other pieces are expertly crafted using the careful, precise methods which are common in the practice of metalsmithing. If you have ever seen a jeweler painstakingly saw tiny details into a piece of brass, carefully solder two pieces of silver together, or meticulously hammer the perfect setting for a precious gem, you will be impressed by this show. Metalsmiths are notoriously scrupulous in their practice, both in technique and thought, and this show does an excellent job of featuring the beauty of metalsmithing in both craft and idea."

Ceramic cups in the show highlight a range of techniques and aesthetic, Tidball said.

"While some cups are more traditionally crafted using wheel thrown forms which are fired in wood or atmospheric kilns, others are more contemporary in style, utilizing methods such as slip casting and decals," she said. "Some artists take their inspiration from nature and their environment, while others design their cups based on aesthetics from unexpected sources such as Star Wars (Eric Heerspink) or drag (Connor Czora). The beauty of ceramics is it's malleability and capability as a 3d medium to express an incredibly wide range of ideas, emotions, and designs using historical and contemporary contexts. This show is an excellent example of the large scope of work that is being created by ceramic artists today."

Tidball closed by saying that art is more important now than ever during this difficult time of intense isolation in the COVID-19 Pandemic.

"Both making and viewing art is healing to the body and soul, and the EAC is committed to fulfilling their mission, even when they can't share their work with the community in person," Tidball added.

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