ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE: Internationally recognized for his functional yet highly decorated pottery, Ron Meyers is inarguably one of the most influential ceramicists in town. Typically utilitarian in nature, his iconic red earthenware pieces employ a pictorial approach combining color slip painting and sgraffito drawing, guided by the spontaneity and material properties of the clay. Meyers is a professor emeritus at the UGA Lamar Dodd School of Art, where he taught for 20 years, and has had his hands in clay for over three decades.
Meyers is also the subject of a 2013 documentary, Ron Meyers and the Usual Suspects, which was created by former student and longtime friend George McCauley with assistance from World’s Smallest Airport director Matt DeGennaro. The film takes its name from the artist’s “usual suspects,” the rabbits, cats, pigs, fish, birds, frogs and other animal motifs painted onto his creations with loose brushstrokes in a distinctly expressionistic style.
Athenians will have a rare opportunity to observe the inner workings of Meyers during Artists in Residence, local public radio station WUGA’s monthly fundraising series of afternoon open houses at the homes of Athens most established artists. On Saturday, Oct. 10 from 3–5 p.m., visitors can roam around Meyers’ ceramics-filled home and the large studio and kilns out back to explore his personal collection as well as works still in progress. Ted Saupe, art professor and ceramics area chair at UGA’s Lamar Dodd School of Art, will discuss Meyers’ career and body of work around 3:30 p.m. To learn more about the artist ahead of time, turn the dial to 91.7 or 97.9 FM or listen in at wuga.org for a live, in-studio interview with Meyers on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 2:45 p.m.
Saturday’s event is this year’s final installment of the series, which will return in 2016. Tickets are $10 for Friends of WUGA and $15 for non-members, and reservations can be made by contacting 706-542-9842 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MORE MEYERS: If you miss the Artists in Residence open house, mark your calendar for “Roads, Rivers, and Red Clay: Ceramics by Ron Meyers” coming next week to The Circle Gallery in the College of Environment and Design, located in the Jackson Street Building on UGA’s North Campus. The exhibition will highlight new works created in Meyers’ 80th year, and he intends to donate 30 percent of all sales towards the gallery. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, Oct. 15 from 4:30–6 p.m., and the show will remain on view through Friday, Dec. 18.
MAKING MASTERS: Anyone already looking forward to the Georgia Museum of Art’s annual “Master of Fine Arts Degree Candidates Exhibition,” which will showcase artwork by exiting Lamar Dodd School of Art graduate students next spring, should take notice of “Making Masters VII,” currently on view at the Madison Museum of Fine Art. Conceived to celebrate Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day, this annual juried exhibition is dedicated to displaying works by second-year MFA students at UGA.
Ranging from photographs, metalwork, paintings, drawings and prints, the exhibit highlights the progress of six current students: Thomas Bosse, Julia Megan Burchett, Arron Foster, Ariel Lockshaw, Amanda Scheutzow and Stephanie Sutton. A reception with the artists will be held Saturday, Oct. 10 from 4–6 p.m., and the exhibition will remain on view through Saturday, Oct. 17.
UP CLOSE: While in Madison, be sure to swing through downtown along Washington and Jefferson Streets for “Up Close,” a public art project organized as a collaboration between the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art’s Creative Teens Earning Green outreach program and the Morgan County Alternative Education Program’s Crossroads School. On view through October, “Up Close” is a series of 16 3-feet-by-5-feet black-and-white portraits of middle and high school students wheatpasted onto the sides of buildings. The series is part of the Inside Out Project, a global platform for translating stories of personal identity into public works of art. Established by anonymous artist JR after he was awarded a prize at the TED Conference in 2011, the Inside Out Project has exhibited and archived portraits of nearly 200,000 people from over 100 countries and territories so far.
AAAC GRANTS: Art Rocks Athens was recently announced as the recipient of the Athens Area Art Council’s $500 summer grant. Centered at the crossroads of art and music, Art Rocks Athens has organized tremendous exhibitions recognizing the contributions of visual artists active during the pivotal years of 1975–‘85 that led up to Athens blooming into a musical mecca. Each exhibition takes on a different focus—paintings, photography, film, musical artifacts, graphic arts and more—and the nonprofit shows no signs of slowing down.
Applications for the AAAC’s final grant of the year will be accepted through Tuesday, Dec. 15, and all local artists, organizations and events aligned with the mission of “connecting arts to the community” are eligible to apply. Visit athensarts.org for details.