By Barbara Falconer Newhall
Here are some more fabulous inventions made of clay by three artists featured in the show, “Local Treasures: Bay Area Ceramics,” at the Berkeley Art Center through Nov. 18.
If you live in the Bay Area, don’t miss it. It’s a small but rich exhibition, and the Berkeley Art Center is a pleasant place to be on a fall afternoon.
You’ll find that the gallery space — and all the people in it — is dominated by three massive human figures created by Wanxin Zhang, an immigrant to the San Francisco Bay Area from China.
Inspired by the Terra Cotta Warriors of the Qin evacuations in China, the imposing figures are commentaries on contemporary life.
On the day I visited, Clayton Bailey‘s animal figures were a favorite of many visitors, especially his “Fire Breathing Demon Dog,” which will oblige you with a howl if you put your hand in its mouth and press on its tonsils.
As for Ted Fullwood’s “Yolk,” I’m not sure what I think. It reminds me of a song my big brother used to sing in my ear, hoping to gross me out: “Great, green gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts . . . ” Is Fullwood hoping for icky here? I guess.
Other artists in the show are Viola Frey, Jon Gariepy, Mary Law, Annabeth Rosen, Nancy Selvin, Richard Shaw, Sandy Simon and John Toki.
“Local Treasures: Bay Area Ceramics,” Sept. 22 – Nov. 18, 2012, Berkeley Art Center, 1275 Walnut Street, Berkeley, CA, 94709, (510) 644-6893.