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Gallery Exhibitions

Jeanine Pennell: Stepping Off the Page: Stories in Clay

An exhibition of work by artist Jeanine Pennell

Artist Statement:
I began this year journeying away from the studio. I left behind my bags of clay and my work tools. Bringing with me only a sketchbook and watercolors. It was the first time since the pandemic that I was away from clay.

I was in search of a new creative process. All of my early sculptures were created in short spurts of time, capturing the fleeting magic of a creative idea, much like gesture drawing. But this process did not serve when I began to push the boundaries. As the sculptures grew and I was creating without a clear end in mind, I found myself stuck. Clay figures draped in plastic shrouds collected in the corners of my studio.

During this time away I turned the process around. I began drawing small intuitive drawings. The sketches were quick, with no purpose or expectation. Capturing the essence of ideas that would float up. Later I would return to color them in and to excavate the meaning behind the art. What did the masks mean? The sharp teeth…faces and more faces? What did it all mean?

I then developed the ideas from my sketchbook in 3-D or clay by creating small maquettes. Once the sculptures were completed early mornings found me sitting with the art to write what I saw. The stories came out. Slowly at first, but with practice more steadily.

This collection is a record of that journey. In the main gallery is a collection of the largest, finished sculptures. As you descend to the lower gallery you will encounter the beginning of the journey. On display are the original drawings, maquettes and early sculptures as well as the stories behind the art.

Opening Reception September 30, 2022   7 PM – 9 PM | Ice House Gallery