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Current Exhibition > Past Exhibitions

Past Exhibitions - 2008 -2010

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Ceramic Sculpture by Ross (Rotay) Peterson
Ross Peterson
When: March 13, 2010 - April 17, 2010

»   GALLERY RECEPTION: Saturday, March 13th (6:00 - 8:00pm)
»  ARTISTS TALK: Saturday, March 20th at 3:00pm
Where: Xiem Gallery

Click here for Direction and Hours
What: For the artist, this show represents considerable divergence from roads already travelled. To his use of clay as an expressive medium, Ross Peterson brings experience in the diverse fields of Construction, Tai Chi and Spoken word Poetry. A consummate raconteur with an unconventional background in art, Ross got started with introductory clay classes at Xiem Clay Center and then proceeded, unaided and unbounded, on his idiosyncratic exploration of form and content.
Artist Statement: The five interconnecting elements of Earth, Metal, Water, Wood and Fire are ever-present. Flowing in a continuous cycle, offering new beginnings at every stage. This ritual is beautifully illustrated in the ceramic process.

Earth as clay, absorbing all life with sincerity and returning it teaming with the new.

Metal as glazes and oxides, bringing forth complexity of structure, offering a shield like the beetle's shell.

Water allowing the earth and metals to flow effortlessly, smoothing the roughness.

Wood the ancient fuel, blossoming above the surface as its roots weave and tangle on the fabric below. It’s breath and ours, an interchanging dance of gasses.

Fire the kiln flame burns hot. To endure the fire and emerge whole is transformation.

I have had chance in this half century to sample the bitter and the sweet, and have come to fall among those who saver both equally.

A Brief History of the Artist
Down to earth 1961
My first cognizant memory is flying into Kaltag Alaska on a small plane, and being greeted by the people of Kaltag in traditional Athabaskan clothing. A vision of sincerity as we descended to earth. My family was blessed with the gift of living amongst people that lived relatively unchanged in their relationship to the earth and stars for thousands of years.

Waking up to the World, 1964
The family moved to New York City and while checking out the new neighborhood, spaced out and dreamy, I was pounded directly on top of my head. I turned around and looked up to see a tall young man holding a book. He was smiling down at me with kind and purposeful eyes. I knew instantly that he was teaching me something, and like all good lessons it hurt. I learned to carry a shield.

Sea of humanity, 1964-76
My family lived in an apartment building that shared the intersection with The Jewish Theological Seminary, Julliard School of Music, Union Theological Seminary and the emergence of the Subway as it passes over 125th street. River Side Church and The International House were just up the street, the center of Harlem on one side and Columbia University on the other. Truly a sea of humanity in which I swam freely.

Returning to the roots, 1965-1975
Each summer on the spur of the moment, the family would pack up the VW bug like a well- stacked kiln, and head cross country, New York City to Fairfield Washington, where my father and favorite artist Eddie Kienholz grew up. My parents purchased land near by in Northern Idaho and we built a log home way out in the woods. The yearly journey to the forest and back each summer, traveling the connecting roads of our country, weaving together the stark contrasts of a nation as it changed throughout the years, lent fuel to social and political awakening.

Finding flames in the desert, 1976
Just before my senior year at Music and Art High school, my family moved to Tempe Arizona. In exchange for compliance in this new venture, I bargained for Tai Chi lessons. I had always been into martial arts in theory, but had found them all a bit ridiculous in their actual form. I had recently found out about Tai Chi, and was relieved that what I was looking for was out there. My father held to our bargain and found a Taoist Monk living in Phoenix, a true master who afforded me a look at the Sun within.

Alchemy and transformation, 1977-2010
My education as an Artist has come from living and working as close to true nature as possible, helping others bring their vision to life, enduring incredible hardships, making lots of mistakes and recognizing the value of all things. I have had the benefit of connecting with artists of all kinds in all walks of life, each adding dimension and richness to the alchemy pot.

I started my own family at the age of twenty one, with my wife Crystal, an accomplished dancer and choreographer. We have three great children who also dance, choreograph and build. Even though the youngest of our clan has left this earth, the magic and possibility of his life unhindered by the common place stirs us to transcend.

  A YEAR OF THE PIG: A Beginner's Journal
When: October 11, 2008 - November 1, 2008
GALLERY RECEPTION: Saturday, October 11th from 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Where: Xiem Gallery

Click here for Direction and Hours
Collection: “A Year of the Pig” will display the entire collection of 365 pigs to show the evolution of the artist's skill and eye. Archer, who had no previous experience in clay, began taking classes at Xiem in August of 2007 and soon thereafter decided to focus on the pig. Xiem Clay Center is proud to have facilitated this exciting body of work and delighted to present it, in its entirety, in Xiem Gallery. A complete novice at its inception, Archer’s focused, yet playful, approach to exploring and mastering the ups and downs of the rich variety of forms and surfaces available to the ceramic artist has resulted in a truly unique collection. Humorous, yet tempered with a wistful sensitivity, Beverly’s 365 pigs exude wit, charm and vitality.

"I have a few 19th century pig banks and I've always found both the form and the glazes appealing. My plan was to use the pig as a framework for whatever I was learning so I could see progress, or lack of it, over a year's time. With the enthusiasm of a beginner, I thought making a pig a day would be fun so I dubbed it ‘The Year of the Pig,’” said Archer. “The reality of making so many has been challenging and instructive. In some cases I had to greatly simplify the form in order to make the ‘quota'. Those turned out to be some of my favorites. I'm thrilled that Xiem offered to show them. It will be the only time they are all displayed together." - Beverly Archer
Artist(s) Bio: Beverly Archer was born in Oak Park, Illinois, and raised in Southern California, Beverly worked in television and film from 1976 until her retirement in 2003. In addition to her pursuit of the ceramic arts, Beverly owns an antique store, American Street, in South Pasadena, California.

For more information on Beverly Archer and her "A Year of the Pig" see
So Cal Potters' website:

  DIG: An Imagined Archeo-logism
When: February 16, 2008 – April 12, 2008
GALLERY RECEPTION: Saturday, February 16th from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
ARTIST’S TALK: Saturday, February 23rd, 1pm
Where: Xiem Gallery

Click here for Direction and Hours
Collection: Xiem Gallery is proud to present the first installation of DIG: An Imagined Archeo-Logism, an exhibition of ceramic sculpture by Sierra Pecheur.

In this body of work the artist seeks to challenge existing belief systems by exploring the possibility of myth as propaganda. Pecheur addresses the stories behind two cultural myths: Medusa--which in Sanskrit means “sovereign female wisdom,” yet somehow evolved into a malicious snake-haired monster in Greek myth, and Icarus & Daedalus--whose relationship is explored in Pecheur’s questioning of cause, effect and accountability. A two-foot version of the Willendorf Venus, the Earth’s guardian of the past 20,000 years, begins the Medusa evolution. With her chest cavity wide open and broken heart exposed, she still stands-- a Medusa accompanied by her guardians: creatures both mythical and real. DIG comprises close to 400 ceramic pieces that include over 350 skulls and bones. The installation represents an archaeological site, but in this case, the excavated clay sculptures are decidedly not congruent with the stories that popular myth promotes. Pecheur’s longstanding query, “What if...?” is answered with intricate clay sculptures which exude the ferocity and whimsy associated with works by Arthur Rackham and Goya. DIG is designed to be an interactive exhibition that encourages attendees to investigate their own belief systems, values and biases. As part of the eight-week exhibition, the artist will host workshops that offer attendees the opportunity to create their own relics and artifacts by making pieces that represent what they’d like to be found 10, 100, even 1000 years into the future. These items will be documented and incorporated into the exhibition.

"I am building these sculptures for an ongoing project. It is an imaginary archeological dig that questions accepted mythology and beliefs.The figures “discovered” in DIG are made of clay, one of the materials that helps place epochs in time. The style is sometimes grotesque,sometimes whimsical. The pieces are colored with pulverized minerals, underglazes with flashes of bright lusters. My work often has a charred, recently ancient, unearthed quality There are no heaps of dirt; the pieces have been cleaned for viewing."
- Sierra Pecheur
Artist(s) Bio: Sierra Pecheur was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Pecheur has been a visual artist since 1963. Until 2003, Pecheur’s body of work focused on the telling of short stories. Pecheur is the recipient of a Los Angeles Cultural Grant (1994-95). She has been invited to create an installation for “Meditation on the Apocalypse”, an exhibition to be curated by Patrick Merrill at CSU, Pomona Nov/Dec 2009. She lives and works in Los Angeles.

For more information on Sierra Pecheur and "DIG: An Imagined Archeo-logism"
visit her website:

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