Mixed Me­dia Ce­ramic artist Laura De An­ge­lis

Pasatiempo - - PASATIEMPO - — Jen­nifer Levin

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

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