The Penland Gallery and Visitors Center presents its seventh Focus exhibition of the year, a new body of work in ceramics by Jerilyn Virden. This show is on view in the Focus Gallery from Friday, October 5th through Sunday, October 28th.
“Using the vernacular of the vessel and working within a narrow range of forms, I use the power of subtlety to create intimate spaces. Each form employs a language that reveals its intentions. My interest lies in the slight shifts within the arc of a bowl that determine the nature of the containment.
“Looking to primitive objects that have a contemporary relevance, I pare down forms and exaggerate isolated elements accentuating their sense of generosity and strength. Hollow construction allows for exaggeration of features, contributing a visual weight that floats above the table. A bowl that curls back on itself may seem shy and protective, while the force of a gentle upward turn of its lip invites a more active investigation of the object.
“Formed through repeated scraping and pinching, building up and finally excavating the appropriate curve, each piece retains the history of its making. Layers of glaze soften these individual marks, bringing more clarity to the form. The surface becomes a way to manipulate scale, moving from intimacy to expansion, in the way one understands a landscape by knowing both the small stone at one’s feet and the bulk of the mountain far away.”
Jerilyn Virden is a studio artist who lives in the village of Greensboro, Vermont. She creates hollow ceramic sculptural forms as well as utilitarian pottery. Before relocating to the Northeast Kingdom, she was a studio artist in Mitchell County, North Carolina for 10 years. She was a resident artist at Penland School of Crafts from 2001-2004, and received a North Carolina Arts Fellowship Grant in 2006. Jerilyn earned her MFA from Southern Methodist University in 2001. Before attending graduate school she completed a two-year assistantship at the studio of Silvie Granatelli, in Floyd, Virginia. Her work has been exhibited at the Mint Museum of Craft and Design and she has work in the permanent collection of the Asheville Art Museum and NCECA.
Penland’s Focus Gallery is a space primarily dedicated to single-artist exhibitions. Focusing on individual artists over the course of the year, it presents a larger selection of their work to gallery visitors and patrons.