Mixed Media Ceramic artist Laura De Angelis
Summer workshops are in full swing at Santa Fe Clay, attracting New Mexicans and visitors alike to weeklong courses where they explore different techniques and aesthetic ideas in ceramics with artists from around the country. Each week, an artist presents a free slide lecture that is open to the public; figurative ceramicist Laura De Angelis talks about the ancient and mysterious connection between humans and animals at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 5. The topic is an extension of her workshop, in which she and her students looked at this physical and psychological connection through storytelling, personal mythologies, and archetypal imagery.
De Angelis’ work revels in vivid expression — on the faces of women, deer, birds, and other wildlife — and portrays an emotional range that often appears to be a sly mix of boredom and freedom, sometimes with an edge of terror or absurdity. Her 2012 piece Even the Mighty Will Fall — included in her Pearl Diving exhibition at Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art in Kansas City — is of a red stag’s head presented as a trophy on a pedestal made of playing cards. The stag cries tears of pearl. De Angelis has said that the stag “serves as a metaphor for exploration of our deepest and most private conscious and unconscious wants and desires.” In
Scarcity (2012), a woman wearing a modest bathing suit, who looks like nothing could surprise her, holds a fish with a long, dangerous mouth filled with pearls instead of spiny, needlelike teeth. The artist currently lives on a working farm in northern Virginia, where she has a ceramics studio and also raises goats; previously she taught at the Kansas City Art Institute. Upcoming slide lectures are by Kevin Rohde on July 12, Alanna DeRocchi on July 19, and Curt LaCross on July 26. Santa Fe Clay is at 545 Camino de la Familia. Call 505-984-1122 or visit www .santafeclay.com.
Laura De Angelis: Scarcity, 2012, ceramic, encaustic, freshwater pearls, and bottlenose gar jawbone