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UPCOMING EXHIBITION: Fluxional Clay: Ceramics at the Crossroads

Peekskill Clay Studios is excited to announce its first juried gallery show. Fluxional Clay will showcase examples of contemporary ceramic work that push the boundaries of the conventional. Works have been chosen for their innovative use of found materials, digital processes and/or multimedia approaches. The show will open as part of AIM 18, a regional initiative that spotlights arts, industry and media in Peekskill.

Notable artists in the exhibition include Susan Tunick, a New York artist selected for the show. Tunick is known for numerous public art installations including several tile works for the NYC subway system. An expert on architectural terra-cotta, Tunick has published many articles and books on the topic. Also included is Bre Pettis, co-founder of MakerBot and current owner of Bre & Co, an innovative Brooklyn based company. Pettis, along with partners Val Shamma, Franny Lilliston and Sebastian Misiurek designed an elegant line of 3-D printed ceramic forms which will be on view. The show will also feature works by Natalia Arbelaez, a rising star in the field of contemporary clay. A first generation Columbian-American, Arbelaez’s sculptural work grapples with questions of identity and the human condition. Other artists in the show include Debra Freidkin, Sarah Coble, Tina Piracci, and Liz Luna-Gagnon.

The jurors for the show are Lise Prown, independent artist and former curator for Westchester Community College Center for the Media Arts; Adam Chau, independent artist and Program Director for the Clay Art Center and Jessica Dubin, independent artist and Director of the Peekskill Clay Studios.

Fluxional Clay: Ceramics at the Crossroads opens on Saturday, March 24th with a reception from 1-3 pm. It will be on view through April 21. The gallery is open Saturdays and by appointment.


An award-winning artist, Debra has widely exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the tri-state area. Her work is held in private collections; and a series of her sculptures have recently been acquired by the Yuko Nii permanent collection at the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center in Brooklyn, NY. 

Debra Friedkin’s narrative mixed media collages, sculptures and metal assemblages incorporate found objects and often depict provocative themes. Her work ranges from whimsical to darkly humorous, informed by sleek modernism, pulp science fiction and spiritual symbolism. 

For the past 10 years I’ve worked with the figure in three-dimensional scenarios suggesting mythic stories emerging from a dreamlike stream of consciousness. I decided to keep the figures small in size to be able to evoke a sense of monumentality, to pull the mind’s eye into these “small worlds”. The portraits and installations are lifesize and appear to confront the viewer as well as to engage the space.
As I’ve always done in making my art I rely on the processes in clay work to facilitate the development of ideas. The repetitve actions of forming and the mysteries of firing clay help me find a way into more complex narratives. The object or “sculpture” is a result or by product of these investigations and actions. This new work reaffirms my deep affinity to clay and its history as well as developing rich new connections to the history of painting, sculpture and architecture.

A strong interest in color, texture and form has led me to explore the use of clay in combination with other materials including, asphalt, wood, glass and antique tile bands. My training in painting and ceramics is interwoven into the wall reliefs which I have made over the past 20 years. These pieces have been influenced by a number of sources but perhaps the most dominant one has been architecture. As the President of the Friends of Terra Cotta, a preservation organization devoted to protecting historic architectural ceramics, I have examined, photographed, researched and written about clay in architecture for over 25 years.

How are we shaped by our surroundings? As a multicultural individual I often try to bend and blend with the culture around me. Growing up with more than one culture can sometimes leave a vacant sense of home or belonging. El Barrio de Siempre explores my identity as a Peruvian American in search of a place I can belong to, a place where not fitting in is embraced, even while contradictions such as organic vs. geometric shapes, terracotta vs. porcelain, Western vs. non-Western can occur.

Tina Piracci currently serves as the Gallery Director at the Centre Gallery in Tampa, Florida. She obtained her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from the University of South Florida with a concentration in sculpture and extended media. Additionally, she holds three minors including: Visualization & Design, Entrepreneurship, and Electrical Engineering & Digital Fabrication. She also studied at Cite Universitaire in Paris, France and University College London in 2015. Each of her projects is an experiment as she strives to merge art with technology.
Link to video of process: http://www.tinapiracci.com/tournette.html

Bre & Co. was started to explore the overlap of artistic craftsmanship and advanced manufacturing. The work our team created on the Lutum Ceramic 3-D printer is a perfect example of this. Designed in CAD and finished with traditional glazing in a kiln.
The Folded Bud Vase is designed in CAD before being printed on a Lutum ceramic 3D printer. The designed form intentionally goes beyond the printer’s capabilities, and challenges the structural integrity of the final print. As the printer builds up layers of clay, the overhangs are pulled down by gravity. The form of the vase is inspired by pieces by George Ohr, an artist potter active at the turn of the century. His pieces often featured pinched and squashed shapes, although he used a traditional potter’s wheel rather than the 3D modelling and printing technology we work with at Bre. & Co.

Natalia Arbelaez is a first generation Colombian American, born and raised in Miami, Florida. She received her B.F.A. from Florida International University and her M.F.A. with a concentration in ceramics and sculpture from The Ohio State University, where she received an Enrichment Fellowship. Natalia has participated in several residencies, such as, Art South; Homestead, Florida, Belden Brick Factory; Sugarcreek, Ohio, and at the Clay Art Center; Port Chester, New York as a Barbra Rittenburg Fellow. She was awarded the Inaugural Artaxis Fellowship that funded a residency to the Watershed Center for the Ceramics Arts in Newcastle, Maine. Her work has been exhibited nationally, in museums, galleries, and included in various collections. She currently lives and works in New York where she is an Adjunct Professor at the College of New Rochelle.  

Adam Chau is a ceramic designer who also manages educational programming at Clay Art Center in Port Chester, NY. After receiving a degree in studio ceramics, he decided to pursue more industrial ways of production while keeping traditional craft paradigms; His most recent project, Digital Calligraphy, investigates the hybridization of handcraft and digital technology. He has shown at the Salone di Mobile at Rossana Orlandi in Milan, Italy and the NADA art fair in New York City. Publications on his research into ceramic technology include Ceramics Monthly, Studio Potter, and Ceramics Technical. He has presented at NCECA as a demonstrator and presenter at the FabLab.

The recent artwork by Lise Prown explores the intersection of technology, interactivity and everyday actions and objects. Often creating transient artworks and technology based installations that use the language of popular culture to examine expectations of signification in the modern world. The goal of her work is to reach as broad a cross section of viewers as possible while creating artwork that is content rich and artistically engaging.