May 31 – June 24, 2017 | Barb Campbell and Javier Cervantes

  • Conversation from the Corrine Artist Talk, Wednesday, June 7, 12 noon – 1 pm
  • Reception, Friday, June 2, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Local potters Barbara Campbell and Javier Cervantes have close ties with Mexico. Each winter they spend time near Oaxaca. This exhibit shows work from a very special collaboration with a potter Juan Ramon Ruiz.

 The tiny pueblo, Cruz Blanca has a tradition of gorgeous wood fired pottery, mostly in the form of bowls for drinking hot chocolate, coffee, tea and soup. Cruz Blanca resident Juan Ramon Acevedo Ruiz was the only child in his family to follow the path of his father as a traditional potter. Campbell and Cervantes have been good friends with Ruiz for many years, and spent time working on this project with him.

About 15 years ago potters in the pueblo stopped firing their wood kilns due to the hazards of lead in their glazes.  At the same time Juan Ramon’s father died in a tragic accident. As a result the Ruiz family kiln sat full of pots for years. Barbara and Javier helped unload the kiln, unearthing and cleaning hundreds of perfect bowls in four sizes ready to be decorated and finish-fired. After cleaning, the bowls were stored in the unused family workshop. After several years, Barbara and Javier asked Juan if he was willing to have artists come and paint on the bowls or re-purpose them into other-nonfunctional-formats. He agreed.

Using bowls Juan Ramon’s father made 15 years ago, Javier Cervantes has created a mural from 38 of the bowls. Barbara Campbell painted individual bowls, and created three sculptural figures inspired by this collaborative project. 

The Arts Center is honored to show the results of this cross-cultural project.