Missoula Current

An exhibit featuring the ceramic work of artists-in-residence at the Archie Bray Foundation opens this week at the Gallery of Visual Arts at the University of Montana.

Gallery Director Cathryn Mallory said the exhibit includes the sculptural and functional ceramic work of nine artists, who explore a number of concepts and materials in their pieces.

Among them, Hannah Cameron and Ling Kim explore narrative, surreal animal imagery that expresses the human experience. En Imamura combines drawing, painting and ceramics inspired by life experiences, as well as American and Japanese pop culture.

Others, like Ling Chun, described their work as a “playground for glaze.” Chun creates colorful mixed media that challenge traditional use of materials. The figurative work of Chris Riccardo offers raw, textured surfaces that create an emotive quality.

“The exhibit clearly illustrates the diversity of Archie Bray Foundation artists and how their vast range of experience and aesthetic approaches, cultures and perspectives come together,” said Mallory.

Mallory said the forms used by Nicholas Danielson and Noah Riedel reference architectural and industrial design. Steven Young Lee, who currently serves as Archie Bray’s resident director, challenges preconception of style, form and symbolism in his sculptural work.

Located in Helena, the Archie Bray Foundation serves as a public, nonprofit educational institution founded in 1951 by Archie Bray. The former brickyard is internationally recognized as a gathering place for emerging and established ceramic artists.

“Since its inception, more than 600 artists from around the world have come to work at the Bray,” said Mallory. “The creative environment is a dynamic arts community where resident artists share experiences and explore new ideas.”

The Gallery of Visual Arts will host an opening reception for the exhibition from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2, with many of the featured artists in attendance. The gallery is located on the first floor of the Social Science Building and is free and open to the public.

The exhibition runs through Feb. 23.