Pottery show under way through Dec. 4

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Sunset River Marketplace art gallery in Calabash is featuring works by instructor Jane Truesdale’s pottery class in a show that opened Nov. 1 and runs through Dec. 4.

The exhibit includes a range of hand-built and wheel-thrown clay pieces by Ann Kwarta, Mary Cross, Janet Archambault, Kate Stello, Kathie Wolk, Marlene Gaspersohn, Patricia Hanson, Barbara Valcenburg, Rose Beyer, Debbie Asbill, Vivian Swanson and Betsy Russell.

Awards were announced at a reception at the gallery on Saturday, Nov. 6. Gallery owner Ginny Lassiter presented the following honors: Best in Show, Stello; Honorable Mention, Swanson and  Archambault. Votes by gallery visitors for a People’s Choice award resulted in a tie between Stello and  Swanson.

“I thought it was really important that the students who are in my class and do such fine work should have a show,” Truesdale said. “The pieces they’ve submitted are just wonderful.”

Lassiter, who also enjoys working in clay when her schedule allows, agrees. 

“The pieces in the show are so creative. Visitors to the gallery are delighted with the exhibition.”

Kwarta’s “Whimsical Church” was inspired by the architecture and warmth of old churches. Archambault was a painter before relocating to Sunset Beach. She wanted to try something new and says the gallery inspired her to try pottery. 

“Jane is a great teacher who fosters exploration and creativity. The first time I felt the clay move through my hands at the wheel, I was hooked,” she said.

Cross had been a long-time knitter, which she attributes, in part, to growing up in Vermont. Creating hand-built pottery for about a year, she especially enjoys the new view she now has of everyday items. 

Asbill admits she took her first pottery class out of boredom, but has discovered her new passion leaves her little time for anything else.

Clay artist Gaspersohn first studied pottery in Rockingham and later in Detroit, Mi. Access to pottery classes and the studio at Sunset River has renewed her interest in the medium. Rose Beyer moved to Calabash 10 years ago and began pottery as a hobby in 2008. Her favorite pieces are weed pockets, including her Grape Weed Pocket in the show.

Swanson says she dreams in clay; it speaks to her, and she loves to experiment. Russell creates unique high-style jewelry made of handcrafted clay pieces, beads and copper. 

This ensemble show is a prime example of how art enriches a community. Sunset River Marketplace is at 10283 Beach Drive SW in Calabash. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 575-5999 or visit www.sunsetrivermarketplace.com.