P O W E L L, W y o. - Elaine DeBuhr's "Ceramic Still Lifes" opens in Northwest Gallery Tuesday, Feb. 19, with a 7:30 p.m. artist's reception. The gallery is located in the Cabre Building on the Northwest College campus in Powell.
"People often call my pots 'quiet,'" DeBuhr says. She thinks it's because "I give less emphasis to the decorative surface to allow people to see my interaction with the clay. I try to create forms that have personality but the parts must come together to make the whole: the profile, volume, balance, scale, and proportion. I don't want to steal attention from the form."
Many of her vessels reference historical pots. "What sparked me this year was an exhibit I attended in Minneapolis of recovered pots from Pompeii," DeBuhr said. "You could still see the potters' hand marks on 2,000 year old grain storage jars. That was a very powerful thing for me. I felt a connection to the potters of Pompeii in both their elegant solutions and their struggle with issues of form, perhaps attaching handles or spouts, as I do today."
DeBuhr's work in this exhibit focuses on functional vessels such as bowls, plates, bottles, and large jars, some with slight alterations that leave the imprint of her touch.
"I have designed pieces that are meant to be together, bowls and plates that stack, and groupings of bottles - thus the idea of 'still life' came to mind, like a composition of forms." In addition, to using traditional stoneware glazes, some of her work in this show was recently fired in a wood kiln at the Red Lodge Clay Center.
DeBuhr is an art instructor at Northwest College. She holds a masters degree and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa in Iowa City and a bachelor's from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.
"Still Life" is displayed through Friday, March 7. Northwest Gallery is open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays. Admission is free.