Selections: The Archive and Paul S. Briggs Knot Stories: The Showcase Exhibition

Opening Reception: February 23, 2023 5:00 pm

February 23 - July 30, 2023

Selections: The Archive is a view into the permanent collection of the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum focused on recent acquisitions in context with other major works. The Alfred Ceramic Art Museum at Alfred University houses nearly 8,000 ceramic objects ranging from small pottery shards recovered from ancient civilizations to modern and contemporary ceramic art. The primary mission of the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum is to collect, preserve, conserve, research, interpret and exhibit ceramic art for aesthetic and educational purposes. This exhibition along with Knot Stories by Paul S. Briggs reveals art of the current moment with windows into the flow of history.

Recent acquisitions include the magnificent Head with Colored Paper by Gertraud Möhwald, the seminal Racing Ghost Jar by Jim Melchert, Caged Birds by Paul S. Briggs and Patti Warashina's After the Catch. Also new to the museum's collection are extraordinary works by Judith Salomon, Linda Cordell, Nancy Carman, Lidya Buzio, Mary Frank, and Anne Currier. Boat-Genoa-Ohio by Jack Earl is on view along with two pieces by the legendary Fred Bauer. A major piece by Howard Kottler is on view that many will recognize. Closer to the influential history of Alfred ceramics, on view is a new to the museum ceramic vessel by Ted Randall and two examples of the wonderful drawings by William Parry that were a recent gift to the museum from his daughters, Amanda Parry Oglesbee, Wyn Parry Frechette and Megan Parry Brill.

Knot Stories: The Showcase Exhibition features the work of Paul S. Briggs. Knot Stories is an exhibition of ceramic sculpture inspired by Black Poetry which transmutes stories of suffering into songs of perseverance. Briggs writes this about his work: "I was compelled to make the works represented in this exhibition by the suffering, injustice and violence in our country over of the last few years. I was inspired by Black Poetry which transmutes stories of suffering into songs of perseverance and also by the efforts to mitigate the impact of mass incarceration on Black lives. All of these pieces employ knots as symbols of unearned suffering and yet as climbing holds to personal liberty and social justice, for 'justice is what love looks like in the public sphere.' Cornell West."

Born in Beacon, NY, Briggs grew up in the Hudson Valley region of upstate New York. He has studied educational theory and policy, art education, theology, sculpture, and ceramics. Along the way he graduated from Alfred University with an M.S.ED degree in 1995 with concentration in ceramic art. He holds an MFA and a PhD as well. Currently Briggs is an Assistant Professor at the Mass College of Art, Boston.

Museum director Wayne Higby comments that Paul S. Briggs arrived in one of his ceramic classes 29 years ago. "He was of a philosophical mind, and we had many long conversations. We stayed in touch to this day. Today, Briggs is one of a group of stellar, contemporary ceramic artists doing highly personal and momentous work. The Museum is honored to have the opportunity to exhibit his sculpture."

Showcase Exhibitions are sponsored by a generous funding gift provided by D. Philip Baker and David R. Bender.

List of Artists in the Exhibition:
Tony Baker, Fred Bauer, Charles Fergus Binns, Paul S. Briggs, Lidya Buzio, Nancy Carman, Margeaux Claude, Linda Cordell, Anne Currier, Val Cushing, Jack Earl, Ruth Easterbrook, Lucas Easton, Ken Ferguson, Kelcy Chase Folsom, Mary Frank, Nick Geankoplis, Lyla Goldstein, Lea Griggs, Chris Gustin, Jackie Head, Tony Hepburn, Liet Heringa and Maarten van Kalsbeek, Will Hinton, Satoru Hoshino, Chunmao Huang, Howard Kottler, Jean-Pierre Larocque, YehRim Lee, Hongwei Li, Corwyn Lund, Jim Melchert, Gertraud Möhwald, Fannie Nampeyo, Jolie Ngo, William Parry, Pravoslaz Rada, Ted Randall, Stanley Rosen, Judith Salomon, Erin Smith, Tom Spleth, Irma Starr, George Timock, Kaneshige Toyo, Robert Turner, Joan Tweedy, Peter Voulkos, Patti Warashina, Nick Weddell, George Wesp, Brian Westrick, Russel Wright, Malcolm Wright, Kelsey Zwarka.