A real ‘gem’ works slated for view

In her first solo exhibition at Missoula Art Museum at Missoula, Montana, artist Renée Brown is no stranger to the ceramics community, who has been attracted to the natural compositions in gems, minerals, and stones, and into exploring the resulting vision. The Brown exhibition, is on view through June 20, 2015, explores the untouched world, with Brown re-examining stones and minerals that so fascinated her in her youth; therefore, it is no coincidence that the installation feels like a mineral show.

Wulfenite with Cerussite, Stellenite, Botryoidal Plumium,ceramic by Renée Brown.

Wulfenite with Cerussite, Stellenite, Botryoidal Plumium,ceramic by Renée Brown.

     Brown’s work has an immediate impact and is easily accessed. Viewers are engaged on several levels: partly fascinated with the natural curiosity of mineralogy, partly empathizing with the artist’s vision of recreating the shape and forms that are sculptural and expressive.

     She says, “Growing up in Conyers, Georgia, clay was always under my nails. As a young girl, I spent hours playing in the creek bed catching crawfish and feeling the auburn clay squish between my toes. I was a natural rock hound; my science projects were inevitably about the different quartz and granites found in the area. My parents took me to amazing places like Yosemite National Park, the Petrified Forest, and the museums in Washington, D.C.”

     The artist pursued ceramics as a studio potter creating functional work. This exhibition testifies to how far an artist can go in evolving away from function toward sculptural expressive forms. And nothing seems to be further away from function than simply elemental minerals. The irony is that ceramics itself is rooted in mineral extraction. The artworks run full-circle, reincarnating clay and glazes and paints with their origins.

Botryoidal Petrolitite, Microline, ceramic by Renée Brown.

Botryoidal Petrolitite, Microline, ceramic by Renée Brown.

     “I spent my 20s as an interior designer in Atlanta,” Brown says of her growth as an artist, “developing visual skills of combining color, shape, and texture within the built environment. In 2003, I left the design industry to pursue my MFA in ceramics.” Brown received her MFA in ceramics at the University of North Texas. She has completed several artist residencies, including at the Archie Bray Foundation, the Red Lodge Clay Center, and the Clay Studio of Missoula. Today, she maintains a studio in the historic Brunswick Building in downtown Missoula.  

"It is said that if one can remain still within her truth a bird might land on her; viewing her as a benign aspect of nature." -traditional Buddhist proverb

“It is said that if one can remain still within her truth a bird might land on her; viewing her as a benign aspect of nature.” -traditional Buddhist proverb

    For more information, call 406.728.0447 or see www.missoulaartmuseum.org or contact Stephen Glueckert, Senior Exhibitions Curator via email at: stevegl@missoulaartmuseum.org or call his direct line at: 406.728.0447 x226. Editor’s note: There will be an Artist Reception on Friday, March 6 from 5:00-8:00 pm with also an Artist Gallery Talk at 7:00 pm. In addition, Art Guide Training: Friday, March 13 at 3:00 pm and on Saturday, March 14 from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm, Family Art Workshop with Renée Brown. More on the artist at: www.reneebrownceramics.com.




Published by on March 2015. Filed under At the Museums dept, Montana, News (Time related), Palette News Arts Network/PNAN, PaletteBoards Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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