Featuring work by the Kenai Potters Guild, Thursday’s “Clay on Display” art show opening provided both newcomers and experienced ceramic artists an opportunity to connect to and appreciate the hard work of local potters.
Held at the Kenai Fine Art Center, located in Old Town Kenai, the month-long exhibit is a reminder that the art scene is flourishing in Kenai, KFAC vice president Marion Nelson said.
“It’s getting better,” Nelson said. “It’s truly getting better.”
Debbie Adamson, KFAC president, mingled with interested artists and art collectors during the show, which featured dozens of carefully formed creations.
As the days shorten and grow colder, pottery and ceramic work provide people with a great indoor activity, Adamson said.
“Winter’s almost here, and sometimes you’ve got to get out of the house,” she said. “People will get (seasonal affective disorder), but that’s why you’ve got to get out and come here.”
Adamson said since moving to the Kenai Peninsula in 1975, she has been in and out of the local art scene. Today, the scene is thriving, beginning with the youth from local middle and high schools, she said.
“It’s fantastic,” Adamson said about the products created by young artists. “We’ve had such a fun time … everyone is their own style of artist.”
The art crowd has already received some expert teaching, and will be getting more soon. Adamson and Nelson said they were able to call on some outside help in Alanna DeRocchi — a clay and ceramic art specialist who currently teaches at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
DeRocchi, an Illinois native who received a Master of Fine Arts from the Alfred School of Art and Design in New York.
One of her works, which she created during a pair of classes she taught in September at the Fine Art Center, sat front and center at Thursday’s show.
As she delivered her techniques to the class, she sculpted a large rabbit out of clay. Approximately 3 feet long, the stylized clay rabbit was one of several creative ceramic pieces raffled at Thursday’s event.
Adamson said the exhibit helped raise funds for the KFAC, with about 40 percent of the funds raised going back to the original artist. Many of the pieces on display were listed at prices upward of $100.
Adamson said DeRocchi will be returning to Kenai soon for another pair of group sessions teaching her techniques.
“They can see a lot of different techniques and styles from people,” Adamson said.