Still celebrating its relocation and expansion last October, the venerable Craft Alliance continues to delight devotees of visual art with “Pattie Chalmers: Every Thing and More.”
That solo exhibition, which resides in the nonprofit’s Staenberg Gallery, runs till March 20, including an artist talk on its final day at 11 a.m.
Chalmers, both an accomplished ceramist and a professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, serves as head of undergraduate studies in the university’s School of Art and Design.
Regarding “Every Thing and More” – whose title alludes to what a Craft Alliance press release dubs “objectness” – she briefly mulls a viewer’s potential reaction, aesthetic or otherwise, to the works on display.
“When I think about what others might ‘take away’ from my exhibition, it might be a heightened awareness of how we are all linked to memories through objects and images,” she says, “and that the work they see in the exhibition serves to remind us of common connects, that although the specific objects may be different, we are all linked, in that we use objects as conduits for memory.
“The objects might be different, but the experience of recollection and ‘momento-izing’ of a thing is something that connects us all.”
Chalmers also briefly explains what first inspired her to become a ceramist.
“As a fine arts student at the University of Manitoba, I was required to take a full year of a 3D studio,” she says. “I chose ceramics over sculpture and was introduced to the humbling and addictive medium of clay.
“The ceramics studio at the U of Manitoba had a great community, and even though I completed my degree in printmaking, I was seduced back into taking more classes by the ceramic trifecta of shape, form and surface.”
Reflecting on the coronavirus-related difference a year can make for spaces like Craft Alliance, Mark Witzling, the nonprofit’s executive director, reports enthusiastic attendance during the first few weeks of Chalmers’ exhibition.
“It was wonderful to have so many people come to the opening day of the ‘Every Thing and More’ exhibition,” he says. “The timed-entry reservations allowed us to maintain safety in the gallery, and I think many enjoyed the chance to get out and experience the joy of this craft exhibition.
“One guest commented that this was the best exhibition he has seen, so it was great to know the art sparked some joy during this period of stress for everyone.”
Craft Alliance, 5080 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-725-1177, craftalliance.org
Pattie Chalmers, pattiechalmers.com