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james watkins workshop and show!

updated tue 30 oct 01


Chris Stanley on mon 29 oct 01


Today's Date: October 29, 2001

Release End Date: December 23, 2001

For Information Regarding
This Press Release, Contact:
Michael Austin, Ellen NoŽl Art Museum, 4909 E. University Blvd., Odessa, TX
(915) 550-9696
Release Follows:

Ellen NoŽl Art Museum Announces a NEW Exhibition:
A Meditation of Fire: Ceramics by James Watkins

Opening November 9, 2001 and running through December 23, 2001 this exhibit
features the remarkable ceramic work of artist James Watkins. James Watkins'
powerful ceramic forms reflect a sense of place in his West Texas home of

This internationally known ceramic artist with his unique double walled
caldrons and massive platters merges ideas from his youth growing up in
Alabama with his current surroundings in West Texas. Watkins' masterful
works encompass varied ceramic techniques. James Watkins' will conduct a
gallery talk at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 9, 2001 with a reception to

In conjunction with the James Watkins exhibit at the Ellen NoŽl Art Museum,
the Nancy Fyfe Cardozier Art Gallery at the University of Texas Permian
Basin will be showing "Fueling the Fire: Works by Ceramic Artists Who
Inspired James Watkins." Artists participating are David MacDonald, George
Timmock, Jackie Rice, James Tanner, John Goodheart, Ken Ferguson, Magdalene
Odundo, Martha Jackson-Jarvis, Syd Carpenter, Willis Bing Davis, Winnie
Owens/Hart, Yvonne Tucker, Paul Molesky, and Karl Martz. A reception is
planned for James Watkins at the Nancy Fyfe Cardozier Art Gallery at 5:00
p.m. on November 9, 2001. A workshop is planned for November 9, 2001 through
the Ellen Noel Art Museum. Please call for more information.

The Ellen NoŽl Art Museum is located at 4909 E. University Blvd. in Odessa,
Texas, and is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and
Sundays from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is FREE.

Call (915) 550-9696 for more information.

"My work is influenced by layers of remembered images. These images come
from memories of my mother and grandmother making soap and washing clothes
in black cast-iron caldrons - and memories of scaling the scorched canyon
walls of Rattlesnake Canyon in the Pecos wilderness to see ancient
pictographs. There is the memory of holding a twelfth-century Song dynasty
tea bowl in my hands in the basement of the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas
City, under the tutelage of Ken Ferguson. There are memories of reading
about the Senoi people of Malaysia who trained themselves to become
conscious while dreaming in order to bring back images and information to
the wakened state. And memories of the ineffable beauty of the sun setting
behind the great Shinto Torii on the island of Miyajima, Japan. There are
the internal visions of the high and low intervals in the one, two, three,
four rhythm time of John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme". And I remember my
daughter's response at age five to a platter that I pulled from the kiln,
"Um. Yummy, Dad".
"In my current work, I am actively participating in the rite of remembering,
and using this rite as a creative mechanism. The forms challenge me to
explore the perfect balance and depth of visual texture that I remember from
the Song tea bowl. As I mentally listen to Coltrane's energized rhythms,
the studio becomes a place of improvisation. All of my memories become
players - improvising vivid internal images of form, line and movement."
James Watkins