The Jacksonville Center for the Arts is hosting a unique pottery show of Floyd potters called “Floyd Potters: Generations of Clay.”
The show will feature more than 18 potters, ceramacists, and sculptors, all of whom have been connected in some way to the larger body of Floyd potters. A special memorial display for well-known Floyd potter Tom Phelps will be displayed, coordinated by the late Phelps’ wife, Carol Phelps, and will include pieces by Phelps’ students and others whom he touched through the years.
An opening reception will be held Saturday, February 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. and will provide attendees a chance to meet the artists and discuss their work.
“Floyd potters are a little bit like a big family of interconnected influences,” said Jayn Avery, former board member of The Jacksonville Center for the Arts and local potter who is hosting the show. “We’ve been shaping our work for decades in the hollers and winding backroads of these hills. It is fascinating to see how our work has moved together into a unique culture of pottery over the years, with each potter finding their own individual expression and staying connected to the whole at the same time. It was the growth of the new generation of young potters that inspired me to bring us all together.”
Displays of individual pottery pieces will be accompanied by a special write-up or representation from each artist on their influences and inspirations throughout the years of honing and practicing their skills. It’s no secret that Floyd is a choice destination for young potters seeking apprenticeships, collectors looking for novel pieces, and anyone interested in Floyd’s unique, vivid, earthy, expressive pottery culture. This show will provide the full story on what the culture of Floyd pottery is all about.
“Pottery and Floyd go together,” said Leia Thompson Wood, educational and programming director of the arts center. “The Jacksonville Center for the Arts is proud to provide a venue for the display of the incredible living history of Floyd pottery, ceramics, and sculpture.”
Tom Phelps was a successful local production potter who, along with his wife Carol, son Seth, and others ran an active studio that influenced many local potters. The studio is best known for its ghoul-like charismatic creature faces appearing on mugs, jugs, pitchers, and all manner of items. Phelps passed away in September 2015.
The artists who will be displaying work include: Abbey Reczek, Josh Copus, Ellen Shankin, Sarah McCarthy, Donna Polseno, Rick Hensley, Carol Phelps, Wendy Werstlein, Silvie Granatelli, Ron Sutterer, Seth Guzovsky, Josh Manning, Martha Sullivan, Jayn Avery, Adam Lake, Karl Yost, Hona Knudson, and Ayla Mullen.
The exhibit will be viewable from February 5 through March 26. It is free and open to the public. More information is available via www.jacksonvillecenter.org, or by calling or visiting the center at 220 Parkway Lane South, Floyd, (540) 745-2784.