Ceramics by artist Jessica Wilson

Jessica Wilson strives to show “human layers” with her art through her glazing palette.

Pellissippi State Community College’s art gallery shifts its focus from fabric to sculpture as the Arts at Pellissippi State presents Hunter Stamps and Jessica Wilson: Ceramics. 

The works of these two artists will be on display through April 1 in the Bagwell Center for Media Art Gallery on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville. The gallery is free and open to the public 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. 

“Like good art, I feel that worthwhile exhibitions should present a conversation, so in keeping with the mission of the Bagwell Gallery to exhibit regional artists, I combed the internet for someone who would excite a dialog with Mr. Stamps’ work,” said Professor Herb Rieth, who encountered Stamps’ muscular work at an exhibition in Asheville, North Carolina, three years ago.  “Jessica Wilson’s ceramic conversations on beauty/decay and surface made an obvious counterpoint to Hunter Stamps’ bold and structural essays, while both artists also addressed the immediate connection between ceramics and the body.” 

Hunter Stamps is an artist and associate professor of Ceramic Sculpture at the University of Kentucky. He received his Master of Fine Arts from Indiana University in Bloomington and creates mixed media sculptures incorporating ceramics, fabricated metal, molds, encaustics, rubbers and resins. Stamps’ work has been exhibited in more than 100 juried, invitational and solo exhibitions in galleries across the nation as well as in China, Germany, Austria, Croatia and Spain. His work also has been published in Ceramics Art and Perception, Ceramics Monthly and other scholarly journals. 

Abstract clay piece by Hunter Stamps

Artist Hunter Stamps‘ abstract work “investigates how the mind collects and organizes fragmented images from memory in order to continuously recreate a sense of history and self,” he says.

“This body of work investigates how the mind collects and organizes fragmented images from memory in order to continuously recreate a sense of history and self,” Stamps said in an artist statement. “The work manipulates, abstracts and conceptualizes the body’s material and psychological reality. The intent of my work is to seduce and engage the viewer with temporal surfaces and organic formal abstractions that trigger meditation on the mutability of the mind and body.” 

Jessica Wilson is an assistant professor of Ceramics at Tennessee Tech University. She earned her Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design and has served as a studio technician at The Penland School for Crafts, The Brambleton Center, The Long Beach Island Foundation of Arts and Main Line Arts Center. Wilson completed residencies at both Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts and St. Petersburg Clay Company and has had her work included in more than 50 exhibits across the nation. 

“Human beings are composed of many layers, created by life experiences,” Wilson said in an artist statement. “I strive to show these ‘human layers’ through my glazing palette. The use of heavy, cracking slip conveys a guarded layer, covering an area that was once beautiful or adorned. The two contrasting elements allow the viewer to question whether the piece is being covered or revealed, if layers are being accumulated or shed.” 

The Arts at Pellissippi State includes visual arts exhibits as well as theatre and music performances, all of which are open to the public. For a complete list of this semester’s events, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts.