Opening November 4, a new exhibition in the Focus Gallery of the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway is now available to the public. Shaping Matters showcases six members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and their work until February 6, 2018. With the transition of seasons, the topic of shaping matters hones in on the importance of setting intention in the making process.
Members Shirl and Jim Parmentier have been working in clay together since 1975. The nationally recognized potters build with form at the forefront of every design. “Our style, or our mission with our vessels is first with its form,” says Shirl. “Form and proportion must fit the flow of the vessel. It must start at the base or the foot and continue through the body of the vessel and up through the neck or the top.” Ceramics, like most mediums, often requires thought in design prior to build a piece.
For Chandra Cerchione-Peltier, doll-making’s numerous steps involve exploration along the way of her creative intention. Her first encounter with dolls was through another Guild member, Akira Blount, when she was 15 years old. “Doll art encompassed so many challenging skills: sculpting, painting, wigging, designing props, dress-and-show-making,” she states. “I learned new techniques, like dipping figures in beeswax and fiber arts applications such as beadwork, needle felting and free-motion embroidery.” Each of these elements builds shape to the characters that she builds and will showcase in the exhibit.
The rotating gallery on the Folk Art Center’s second level continues to bring craft of different media that often are one-of-a-kind works. One of the benefits for Guild members is the opportunity to submit both ideas and pieces to the shows.
With each piece, there is often a story of its making, whether a dedication to human expression or succeed the complexities that life brings us. “Creating art helps me overcome anxiety and questions about my human condition. I can lose myself in the creative process, bringing validation to my being on this earth, and I hope, adding beauty to the world,” states member Martine House.
Shaping Matters displays the following makers and their work: Peg Morar in clay, Josh Cote in mixed media, Chandra Cerchione-Peltier in mixed media, Jim and Shirl Parmentier in clay, Nicholas Friedman in clay, and Susan Ellen Jones in fiber.