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‘Disparate Colors’ at SHY RABBIT to feature Patrick Shia Crabb

SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts completes its extensive 2009 exhibition schedule with “Disparate Colors,” Dec. 5, 2009 through Jan. 9, 2010.

This eclectic and vibrantly colorful show is free and open to the public.

“Disparate Colors” features new works by: Juanita Ainsley, mixed media monoprints; Randy Au, ceramics; Debra Blair, paintings and mixed media; D. Michael Coffee, ceramics and monoprints; Denise Coffee, Cozy Head velvet tie-caps; Patrick Shia Crabb, ceramics; Karl Isberg, paintings; and Shaun Martin, mixed media.

When artists work with disparate colors, at random, the joy is often in seeing things come together unexpectedly. For some there are no rules of composition or color themes, but rather just the feel of the moment.

The works on display are markedly distinct in quality or character, but also share an unexpected commonality, each combining fundamentally different and often incongruous colors and elements into compatibility.

“Disparate Colors” features several unique pieces by nationally-recognized ceramist Patrick Shia Crabb, who when asked about his process stated, “The open psyche is at full throttle.”

The works on display are a part of Crabb’s very popular “Shard Marker” series. Crabb’s process is of particular interest, as he incorporates a wide variety of processes into the creation of these pieces.

“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.

  “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.”

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 B.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts in 1970, after serving in the military as a U.S. Air Force Captain from 1970-1974. He continued his education after his military service, and received his M.F.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1976.

Crabb 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 Contemporary Arts: Gallery, Studio and Workshops is located at 333 Bastille Drive, two blocks north of US 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.

The exhibition space is currently open winter hours 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday through Sunday, and by chance daily.

SHY RABBIT presents four to six exhibitions annually. Workshops are also offered regularly in ceramics and printmaking, instructed by professional artist and SHY RABBIT Creative Director, D. Michael Coffee.

For more information on SHY RABBIT, visit or call 731-2766.

For more information on this exhibition, visit