‘Interim’ at SHY RABBIT features work of Patrick Shia Crabb

“Interim” continues at SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts through Saturday, March 7, featuring a selection of finely crafted work by nine SHY RABBIT emerging, established, or nationally-recognized gallery artists.

Featured artists are: Randy Au, California; D. Michael Coffee, Colorado; Patrick Shia Crabb, California; Ron Fundingsland, Colorado; Karl Isberg, Colorado; Shaun Martin, Colorado; Al Olson, Colorado; Jeff Pender, North Carolina; and Brad Schwieger, Ohio.

This remarkable group exhibition includes high quality sculptural and functional ceramics, fine aquatint etchings, beautifully hued abstract paintings, sophisticated black and white silver prints, creative mixed media works, and elegant monoprints.

“Interim” features four complex pieces by nationally recognized ceramic artist, Patrick Shia Crabb. The selections on display are a part of his very popular “Shard” series, and include two decorative Shard Plates, a sculptural Shard Bottle, and a creatively abstracted Shard T-pot.

Crabb’s unique process is of particular interest, as he purposefully breaks functional pieces after the initial firing in order to apply a vast array of decorative and colorful and/or sophisticated and muted glazes, which he then re-fires and skillfully reassembles into familiar forms.

“My clay vessel forms over the past 25 years have always been deeply rooted in ancient artifacts and their historical cultural backgrounds, such as prehistory Japanese Jomon wares, primitive African sculptures, Southwest American Indian art, and pre-Columbian ceremonial figurines,” states Crabb. 

“This growing interest has evolved slowly from vessel making to architectural constructions. 

“The Shard Plates series were derived from my fascination of the American Southwest with its Native American culture,” Crabb continues. “Pottery shards can be easily found along hiking trails, providing fascinating details of artistry. These wonderful patterns are now part of the images of each shard on the plates.

“The plates are intentionally broken, designed, fired, and finally reassembled with glue — somewhat like a pattern on a cloth quilt. To provide a contemporary quality to its surface, as well as an ancient artifact quality, I combined the bright colors with its fragmented surfaces to hopefully achieve this imagery,” Crabb concludes.

As far as the technical aspects are concerned, all shards are glazed with a unique pattern and color combination, and then set aside for specific firing formats, such as electric kiln, raku, sawdust, low-temperature, and/or sawdust.

Crabb was born in Shanghai, China, in 1947, and received his BFA from the University of Massachusetts in 1970, after serving in the military as a captain in the U.S. Air Force from 1970-1974. He continued his education after his military service, and received his MFA from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1976.

He currently heads the ceramics department at Santa Ana College in California, where he has served as professor since 1976. He also taught concurrently as an adjunct professor of ceramics at Utah State University in 1983, and at California State University, Fullerton in 1980.

Crabb’s extensive travels include trips to China, Hong Kong, New Mexico and Tibet, among others. He has taught and lectured extensively, including a workshop at Anderson Ranch for the Arts, Snowmass Village, Colo. He was also the recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Travel Grant/Award from the Queen Elizabeth II Fine Arts Council, Wellington, New Zealand.

His work has been included in over 55 solo/duo exhibitions, 280 group juried/invitational exhibitions, and 22 international exhibitions, and resides in over 60 prestigious public collections throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Ceramics, Castelli, Italy, and the Czech Republic Ceramic Design Institute.

SHY RABBIT gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment.

SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts is located at 333 Bastille Drive, two blocks north of U.S. 160, off of North Pagosa Boulevard  The 4,000 square-foot arts facility houses a ceramic studio and fine art gallery, two mixed-media workshops, and two large exhibition spaces.

For more information on SHY RABBIT, visit www.shyrabbit.com or call 731-2766. For more information on exhibitions, visit www.shyrabbit.com/Exhibits.html.

Photo courtesy SHY RABBIT
“Interim” continues at SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts through March 7, featuring the work of nationally-recognized ceramic artist, Patrick Shia Crabb, among others. Crabb’s abstracted “Shard T-Pot” measures 13x5x7.