On July 6, the Crossroads Art Center in Baker City, Oregon proudly hosted a First Friday open art show featuring the Missoula Art Museum’s traveling exhibition of contemporary ceramics “Persistence in Clay: Contemporary Ceramics in Montana”.
The Crossroads Art Center is the only professional art gallery in the Pacific Northwest and the West Coast that will host the show from July 6 to August 31. This is a great honor for both the art center and the small community of Baker City.
In addition, the exhibit will help celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Archie Bray Foundation, which is a non-profit agency in Helena, Montana. It is dedicated to people who are seriously and sincerely interested in any of the branches of the ceramic arts and provides an environment that stimulates creative work.
The traveling exhibit itself features the best ceramic art from nineteen artists who live in the state of Montana. The artists are Dean Adams, Adrian Arleo, Steve Braun, Josh DeWeese, Hannah Fisher, Shanna Fliegel, Julia Galloway, Robert Harrison, Trey Hill, David Hiltner, Steve Lee, Beth Lo, Richard Notkin, David Regan, Alison Reintjes, David Smith, Sarah Jaeger, Tara Wilson and Rosie Wynkoop.
Each artist represents a different style and approach to the beautiful world of ceramics, including their commitment to promoting the professional legacy and reputation of clay ceramics in Montana.
To prepare for the arrival of the traveling exhibit, the staff and volunteers at the Crossroads Art Center worked extensively with the director and staff of the Missoula Art Museum (MAM), which also participated in setting up the physical display of the exhibit.
In addition to receiving assistance from the MAM, the Crossroads Art Center also received sponsorship and support from businesses located in Baker City and outside of the community. These businesses include the Ford Family Foundation, the Oregon Cultural Trust, the Leo Adler Foundation, the Baker County Cultural Coalition, Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative, the Oregon Arts Commission, and the Oregon Community Foundation, Clarke and Clarke Insurance and Triple C Redi-Mix.
There were also several tables, which provided free food for visitors on the first floor of the Crossroads Art Center. The local caterers were Zephyr Bakery and Sweet Wife Baking. Wine was also sold by the glass by Earth and Vine. Outside in the main courtyard, Baker City musician Leon Brown provided live entertainment by playing an acoustic guitar.
During the months of July and August, three featured ceramic arts from Montana will each host a separate lecture and ceramic workshop at the Crossroads Art Center, which the public can attend. The artists are Sarah Jaeger, Julia Galloway and Tara Wilson.
On the evening of July 14, Sarah Jaeger will give a free lecture about her work as an artist. On July 14-15, Jaeger will also host a ceramic workshop at the Crossroads Art Center called “Making the Everyday Special: Approaches to Form and Surface of Utilitarian Pots”.
On the evening of August 10, Julia Galloway will give a free lecture about her work and share the process of what inspires her as an artist. She will also talk about contemporary pottery in Montana and the Montana Clay Movement.
On August 11, Galloway will host an all-day ceramics workshop at the Crossroads Art Center and demonstrate her unique throwing techniques while sharing her vast knowledge of building unique clay vessels.
On the evening of August 24, Tara Wilson will give a free lecture about her inspirations and work as an artist. On August 25, Wilson will host an all-day ceramics workshop at the Crossroads art Center and demonstrate her building techniques with clay. This will include wheel throwing and hand building methods to produce asymmetrical vessels.
There will also be two local ceramic artists in Baker City who will host a separate lecture and ceramic workshop at the Crossroads Art Center in July and August, which the public can attend. The artists are Mary Sue Rightmire and Terri Axness.
With the Summer months starting to heat up, both in the world of ceramic arts and with humid outdoor temperatures, it seems apparent that Baker City is the best place for visitors to indulge in their love for the arts and the natural landscape beauty of Eastern Oregon.