We are excited to welcome back abstract artist Bob Bersson and ceramic artist Bobbie Greer to the Wilson Downtown Gallery for October and November. Come enjoy enamel spray paintings by Bob for his show entitled “Inspired by Nature” and take in Bobbie’s “Expressions in Clay” earth-toned ceramic pieces. Join us for our First Friday events October 1st and November 5th from 5-8pm for light refreshments and a chance to chat with the artists! The Gallery is also open Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm.
Bob Bersson "Inspired by Nature"
About the Artist
I grew up in Brooklyn and the rural-suburban town of Spring Valley 20 miles north of New York City. I did my undergraduate and masters degrees at Brandeis University and the State University of New York at New Paltz respectively; then on to a Ph.D at the University of Maryland. I was a professor of art and art history at James Madison University from 1980 and 2003. Thereafter I continued to teach a variety of courses in the JMU Honors College and, most recently, in the JMU Lifelong Learning Program right up to the present. Over the years, my big three in creative terms have been art, music, and writing, and I look forward to continuing my lifelong journey in each of these. (Check out our new book, Better with Age: Creativity, Discovery & Surprise available at the nearby OASIS Gallery or through Amazon.com.)
Composing with natural forms on paper, the enamel spray paintings that you see before you intermarry realism and abstraction, a photo-like clarity and atmospheric mystery. Along with mystery, these nature-based paintings are about beauty. Collaborating with nature, I build from and compose with the wide-ranging forms she presents to me. Over the course of a year, the works naturally change with the seasons, the light, color, shapes, and spirit of the days and months. I hope you enjoy the show!
Selected Recent Shows
September 2021 James Madison University Faculty Show
July/August 2021 One-Person Show, Ox-Eye Vineyards Gallery, Staunton, VA
March/April 2021 One-Person Show, James Madison University Arboretum, Harrisonburg, VA
January/February 2021 One-Person Show, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA
December 2020/January 2021 One-Person Show, Shenandoah Coffee, Harrisonburg, VA
Bobbie Greer "Expressions in Clay"
About the Artist
Bobbie Greer is an artist and educator who has exhibited in the Mid-Atlantic region for three decades, currently operating a private ceramic studio, Expressions in Clay, in Luray, Virginia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin and spent her junior year at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. After earning a Masters of Education degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, she studied ceramics in the MFA Graduate Program at Antioch University, Columbia, Maryland. Her accomplishments in the arts include serving on the Educational Advisory Committee for the John F. Kennedy Center Programs for Children and Youth and as a Supervisor of Instruction for Calvert County Public Schools in Maryland. She taught in the Humanities Division of Anne Arundel Community College and at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis. As an arts advocate, she served as president and member of the Board of the Maryland Federation of Art.
What attracts me to working with clay is its tactile quality and long tradition. A clay vessel can last for thousands of years, revealing the mysteries of people and how they lived, or it can shatter in an instant. This supple material can be pinched, poked, rolled, braided, and squeezed. It is strong yet fragile, and therein lies its challenge. In designing my hand-built stoneware pieces, I attempt to dance along a line between the sculptural and functional. I enjoy distorting and manipulating the clay to create interesting silhouettes in space. I then enhance the forms by applying rich glazes that pool and drip, creating highlights integral to the shape. In addition to aesthetic concerns, I pay careful attention to function in the design process. I take particular delight in envisioning my clayware as part of a pleasurable daily ritual, such as drinking coffee or tea, or as a focal point for a special occasion.
Description of Technique
I work mainly with stoneware clay fired in oxidation to about 2200 degrees F. Each piece is fired at least twice, once in a bisque firing and again to melt the glazes for a final finish. My ware is both wheel-thrown and hand-built, using a combination of slabs and coils. Glazes are hand mixed with raw chemicals and applied by dripping, pouring, or brushing. All glazes are lead free, and with reasonable handling, pieces are safe for use in the microwave and dishwasher.