Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Every year, Lincoln Arts Gallery of Lincoln hosts FEATS OF CLAY, a vast show of wonderous talent on display at the Historic Gladding McBean Terra Cotta Factory. The following description comes directly from their website which you can visit at www.lincolnarts.org/featsofclay.htm
The competition has become one of the most important shows in the nation. A winning entry - or even a piece displayed in the hotly contested (over 1,000 entries are received yearly) show - is an impressive addition to any artists' resume.

Reserve a tour, hop aboard an antique fire truck waiting at the plant gate, and
begin a journey back in time. Dodging busy forklifts stacking row upon row of
huge, distinctively colored pipes, the transport stops at the center of a
city-block-long "shed." Inside, hazy shadows pierced by rays of filtered light
beckon. Once across the threshold, the sensual roar of 2000-degree fires confined
in towering kilns is pervasive.

The thrilling sounds and massive scale are awesome. A step inside the nearest
giant structure, a 35-foot diameter "beehive" kiln, one of 22 operating in the
building, draws gasps. Tomb-like, the kiln's walls are encrusted with ancient
residue from salt firings in pink, gold, rust and mauve. The softly-lit contemporary
art is posed as though waiting for archaeological discovery.

There seems barely time to assimilate t
he art, the process, the place. A walk
past many kilns in various stages of
firing, through the cool finishing floor
where workers are hand-sanding and
glazing each building block, leads to
the architectural design studio. There,
artisans model with their hands the
powerful rams' heads, graceful acanthus,
and fantastic gargoyles which
will be installed on buildings around the
world, hundreds of feet above pedestrians' heads.

Don't miss it! Feats of Clay 2009 runs through May 31, Tuesdays through Sundays, 9am to 12:30. Tours on the hour and half hour. $12. Info from Lincoln Arts Gallery, 916 645-9713, 916 645-3945. Y'all come.

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