The Art Gallery at UNH

N.H. Potters Guild Takes Clay 'Off the Table' at UNH

By Michelle Gregoire
UNH News Bureau

December 19, 2000

DURHAM, N.H. The beauty, versatility and strength of clay will be on display in "Off the Table: The Biennial Exhibition of the New Hampshire Potters Guild," an exhibition at The Art Gallery at the University of New Hampshire.

Opening Saturday, Jan. 27, and running through Thursday, March 8, the exhibition features the work of more than 50 potters who have accepted the challenge to present their work in a new context. Ceramic works that could be seen as functional objects for serving food and drink will be taken off the dinner table and displayed in unconventional ways.

The New Hampshire Potters Guild is composed of more than 150 professional potters, part-time potters, ceramics students and teachers. It was founded in the 1940s by David Campbell, then-director of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.

One of the show's organizers, Karen Orsillo, says, "One may have been working in clay for two years or 30 years and we come together in one show. Clay is what brings us together, feeds our souls and nourishes our hearts."

"Recently, the Potters Guild sponsored two Empty Bowl Dinners to raise money for the needy. For the last one, guild members made 2,000 bowls to be given away at a soup dinner and raised over $4,000 for a Manchester soup kitchen. So, we get together to do well, but we also end up doing good," says Durham potter Jane Kaufmann.

The opening reception for "Off the Table: The Biennial Exhibition of the New Hampshire Potters Guild,"will be held Thursday, Jan. 25, from 5 to 7 p.m. Running simultaneously is the exhibition "Innovation/Imagination: 50 Years of Polaroid Photography 1947-1997." Both exhibitions are sponsored in part by the Friends of The Art Gallery and admission is free.

The ArtBreak series, held Wednesdays at noon, offers related programs, including a discussion with exhibiting potters Jan. 31, and a demonstration of wheel-throwing techniques Feb. 28.

The Art Gallery in the Paul Creative Arts Center is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, and 1 to 5 p.m. on the weekends. It is closed Fridays and during university holidays. For more information, call 862-3712 or e-mail

School and group tours can be scheduled by calling 862-3713.

CALENDAR: The Art Gallery, UNH. 862-3712.

EXHIBITION: "Off the Table: The Biennial Exhibition of the New Hampshire Potters Guild," Jan. 27-March 8.

EXHIBITION: "Innovation/Imagination: 50 Years of Polaroid Photography 1947-1997," Jan. 27 - April 18.

PREVIEW RECEPTION: Thursday, Jan. 25, 5-7 p.m.

ARTBREAK SERIES: Wednesdays, noon to 1 p.m., Paul Creative Arts Center.

Jan 31: Discussion with exhibiting artists Jane Kaufmann, Don Williams and Elizabeth Fletcher, N.H. Potters Guild. Room A219.

Feb. 7: Slide lecture by Ellen Carey, exhibiting Polaroid photographer, Room A219.

Feb. 14: Concert celebrating love on Valentine's Day. Phil Hilfiker, saxophone. The Art Gallery.

Feb. 21: Drama: Scenes from "The Memorandum," directed by David Kaye, assistant professor of theatre and dance. The Art Gallery.

Feb. 28: Pottery demonstration: Wheel-throwing techniques demonstrated by exhibiting artist Tim Christensen. Room A219.

March 7: Slide lecture: "Shoals & Tidewater: Thaxter's Island Garden to Tysons' River Garden" by Nancy Wetzel, landscape gardener. Room A219.

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