Friday, February 3, 2012

14 Weeks and Counting con't

Back in 1987, Catherine Wygant had predicted that by 1994 Ceramic Showcase would exceed all previous year's sales and would grow more than anyone would believe.  Well, she was so right!  Ceramic Showcase sales exceeded expectations and the show had grown to include 200 members in booths plus another 60 members participating in 'Gallery Only'.  Again, the OPA and Ceramic Showcase were at a crossroads.  The organization was getting lost amidst the success of the show.  New members were in conflict with the points systems, older members did not want the show to grow any bigger and the core values of the OPA were becoming lost because members were only joining to participate in the Show.

Out of turmoil and conflict came change.  Both within Ceramic Showcase as well as the OPA.  A Group Booth was added to accommodate those members that had not yet accumulated enough points to be able to have a booth, the Steering Committee was expanded to not only make more jobs available to also to help organize such a large show and the points system was revamped to make sure that those that volunteered for a position within the organization were rewarded for their contributions.  Within the OPA a new round of goal setting was begun.  The OPA President was sent to NCECA, investments were made in computer equipment, subsidizing inexpensive workshops for members, establishing an OPA phone number and the start of our Clay in Education program which sends members into the community to teach.

Through it all, the organization and Ceramic Showcase flourished.  Which leads us to the Best of Show 1994, Jim Koudelka.

Best of Show 1994
Jim Koudelka
I asked Jim for his thoughts and this is what he had to say:

"My work is ultimately a reflection of my creative response to materials and processes, images and ideas.

I have an interest and involvement with a vessel format that is influenced by architectural, mechanical and industrial images.  The pieces I create display the actual or implied function of containers or devices extracted from primitive to contemporary times.  My intent is to interpret and display the essence and qualities of these images through my art work and create a dialogue to the viewer through it.

Process and materials also play an important role in the development of my work.  I allow the ceramic, glass and or metal materials and their processes to maintain a voice in the choices of design, physical construction, surfacing and final viewing of the pieces."

Jim Koudelka recieved his M.F.A. from Indiana University. He is a  Professor in Ceramics at the Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, Oregon where he has taught for the past fifteen years. Jim has been an Artist in
Residence at The Archie Bray Foundation , Helena, MT, and the Bullseye Glass Connection, Portland OR. He has maintained an involvement throughout his career in both functional and  sculptural work. His work has exhibited in numerous national and regional shows receiving honors and awards. 

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