Encounter: Pat Hickman & David Soo

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Encounter features new individual and collaborative works from both Hickman and Soo.  Introduced by the OUTSIDE IN the artists soon discovered a shared sensibility and an appreciation of what each was trying to achieve in their own work. This mutual understanding resulted in an unexpected conjoining of their materials-clay and animal membrane.  Reception 10/11/2015; 2-5PM, (artist walk through at 3pm) with closing talk on Sunday 11/15/2015; 3pm.

Artist Statements for Encounter:

Pat Hickman: My individual body of work grew out of an open studio residency at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, ME. The gift of time and focus there allowed me to confront the recent death of my 98 year old mother and visually reflect on this loss. Haystack encourages artists to move between studios and media new to us. In the Fab Lab, I used the laser cutter and in the graphic studio, explored embossing and printmaking with woodblocks carved using a digitized program, based on images of my mother’s last hand writing. New tools, new ways of working for me with welcome surprises. This new work spoke to me of my years of living in Hawaii, with proximity to Japan and aesthetic influences which crossed the Pacific. (Website)

David Soo: I manipulate clay atypically.  With all my work, I try to be respectful of the voice of the clay, examining the ways it behaves when either thrown or manipulated. Does it stretch, sag or tear?  I am interested in texture; rough, smooth or sharp and sensitive to how a sculpture touches its surface, as well as, its lines and negative space or the interaction with the air around it.  I paint the contours and surfaces of my sculptures with flame, accumulated ash and salt in the molten moving atmosphere of an ancient Japanese Anagama wood fired kiln. I find the natural ash glaze creates an Abstract Expressionist finish that corresponds to and accentuates my sculpture.  (Website)

 Artist CV:

Pat Hickman is Professor Emerita of the Art Department, University of Hawaii, where she taught for sixteen years. Her studio is now at the Garnerville Arts and Industrial Center, NY and she lives nearby on the Lower Hudson River. Hickman’s work is in major collections, including the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, the Oakland Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, and the Hawaii State Art Museum, among others. In Hawaii, Hickman’s commission, Nets of Makali‘i-Nets of the Pleiades, stands as monumental entrance gates for the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.  Hickman twice received NEA Individual Artist’s Grants. In 2005, she was elected a Fellow of the American Craft Council, and she served as President of the Textile Society of America (2008-2010). Hickman curated two traveling exhibits: Innerskins/Outerskins: Gut and Fishskin (1987) and Baskets: Redefining Volume and Meaning (1993).

David Soo began working in clay in 1971 at age 9, and was introduced to Anagama wood firing in 1989. Education in a Summerhill-style school produced an inherent non-conformity in the way he views the creative process. This perspective, paired with influences from his Asian and European heritage, has developed David’s work into a synthesis of Abstract Expressionist Art and pottery. The co-builder of his Anagama kiln, David has had the opportunity to study with respected artists such as Peter Voulkos, James Makins, Lester Polakov, and Peter Leventhal. He has exhibited in museums and received a New Jersey Council for the Arts Fellowship for outstanding excellence in ceramic art.

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