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McKnight artists featured in ceramics exhibition

Five artists who have received McKnight Fellowships and Residencies for Ceramic Artists are featured in a new exhibition at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center gallery now through Saturday, March 17.

Linda Christianson makes wood-fired functional pots. She was one of the first two McKnight award winners, in 1997, and since then she has continued to make the cups, plates, baking dishes, and other utilitarian ware that have earned her a worldwide reputation. Work by Heather Bren is represented by "W and Frankenglob" a narrative work whose luscious and oozy surfaces suggest refined marbling as well as raw abstract expressionist dripping a la Jackson Pollock. Jonas Arcikauskas' stoneware "Big Flute for a Bedroom" is a five-foot-high sculpture of a female figure. Arcikauskas, originally from Lithuania, writes that under Soviet domination " ... to choose to be an artist was the only opportunity to be a truthful person." Alexandra Hibbitt creates physical models, often out of plaster with hand carving, then makes molds and slipcasts and puts together clay forms. She scans them using a 3-D scanner, and creates new forms from the scanned versions, "unwrapping them on her computer into complex two-dimensional images. The fifth artist, Ryan Matthew Mitchell, takes his mixed media art to the extreme, combining porcelain, stoneware, concrete, and rebar, along with some urethane that may or may not be regarded as the frosting on the cake.

This wide ranging exhibition of some of the most innovative and imaginative artists working in ceramics in Minnesota today will pique the sensibilities of visitors to this unique exhibit made possible through the generous financial support of the McKnight Foundation.

Admission to the gallery is free to all and gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.