Renowned ceramic artist Beth Katleman to visit campus
Beth Katleman, a ceramic artist whose work has been praised by The New York Times, The Art Economist, American Ceramics, The New Art Examiner and Sculpture Magazine, will visit Centre’s campus on Tuesday, April 12, for an image lecture. The event will take place in the ceramics studio of the Jones Visual Arts Center and will begin at 11:30 a.m.
Katleman’s new piece of wall art, “Folly,” has received numerous rave reviews and was shown at the Jane Hartsook Gallery in Greenwich Village in February before traveling to the Paris art fair with Todd Merrill Contemporary. The piece was also featured on the back cover of the March issue of The Art Economist.
“My sculptures and installations combine Rococo decoration with icons from popular culture,” the artist says. “I comb the flea markets in search of 1950’s squeaky toys, corporate mascots, miniature buildings, cartoon characters and dolls. Often the second and third generation knock-offs catch my eye, especially those that seem to pine for a grander existence. I cast these trinkets in clay, reinventing them and lavishing them with attention.”
The New York Times described “Folly” as a piece that “looks like the wallpaper in an English country estate, pastoral and graphic, except that the three-dimensional landscapes cast spooky shadows and, as your eye adjusts, you find all of Ms. Katleman’s favorite kitschy objects rendered as precisely as Lladro figurines.”
Judith Pointer Jia, associate professor of art at Centre who invited the artist to campus, met Katleman at an artist’s residency at Watershed, a ceramic art center in Maine, in 1997. “She is an interesting person with a sharp wit,” Jia says. “In her artwork, there’s a fantastic layering and juxtaposing of period styles, specifically 20th-century American kitsch meets 18th-century Rococo. Her work to me is ironic but not sarcastic; there’s a lightheartedness to it veiling the criticisms of our culture.”
Originally from Park Forest, Illinois, Katleman earned a B.A. in English from Stanford University, an M.B.A. in Arts Management from UCLA and an M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art.