March 25 – July 8, 2012
This unusual show, traveling in North America from Israel, makes its only west coast stop in Bellingham. Presenting an outstanding selection of Israeli studio ceramics, From the Melting Pot into the Fire: Contemporary Ceramics in Israel explores modern life in Israel. Demonstrating that ceramic art extends far beyond bowls and vases, the contributing artists use an ancient craft to provide new insights into contemporary life and art in Israel that are not represented in the daily dose of news from the Middle East.
Ranging from the satirical to the sublime, 37 examples of ceramic sculpture from 42 artists address issues of identity within an immigrant society. To illuminate the varied concerns of the artworks included in the exhibition, the 42 participating artists were invited to write the captions that appear with their objects in the gallery — captions that are typically written by an exhibition’s curator. These personal statements lend an intimate dimension to the show that gives visitors a variety of perspectives on the issues that shape life in contemporary Israel.
The exhibition was organized by the Ceramic Artists Association of Israel (CAAI) in conjunction with the Mint Museum of Craft + Design in Charlotte, North Carolina. The CAAI is a nongovernmental, non-profit professional organization that supports ceramic artists in Israel. Funding to bring this exhibition to North America was provided by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is accompanied by a fully illustrated, 56-page catalogue.