Artist reception and solstice celebration at gallery
Summer — it’s been a long time coming, but now that the calendar makes it official, a celebration is in order!
Ripple River Gallery will host a summer solstice celebration and reception for clay artist Deb LeAir on Saturday, June 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. The public is invited to meet the artist, partake in summertime refreshments and enjoy The Silver City Millers, folk/old-time musicians Jeff Rolfzen and Sara Cagley, who play banjo, guitar, harmonica, mandolin and do a little clogging. There is no charge for the event.
The exhibit of LeAir’s carved clay wall sculptures, tiles and vessels opens Wednesday, June 19 at the gallery near Bay Lake and continues through July 14.
From terra cotta clay, Deb LeAir forms her pieces on a potters wheel or with a slab roller. She carves plant forms and designs, applies color and glazes to create her distinctive ceramic tiles and vessels. LeAir’s highly-pigmented matte surfaces, deep carving and strong line have an organic vitality that reflects her attachment to the environment.
LeAir, who lives and works in St. Paul, took her first ceramics course in high school in the ‘70s, received her BFA in ceramics from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and her MFA in ceramics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
She has been a full-time artist since 1996, exhibiting and selling her work at art festivals and galleries across the country. Her work has also been published in magazines, books and newspapers.
Natural forms and places are the inspiration for LeAir’s designs. After high school she worked for six years as a white water rafting guide in Utah, forming a deep and abiding relationship with the river and its environs. Later she built a small house deep in the woods of west central Wisconsin. “Plant forms became a part of my visual vocabulary,” she said.
Living in the city has influenced LeAir’s recent work. From a strict representation of organic forms, her carving has moved more in the direction of abstraction.
Ripple River Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays (other times by chance or appointment). The gallery is located 5 miles south of Deerwood on Highway 6, then 3 miles east of Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge on County Road 14 to Partridge Avenue; or south of Aitkin on Highway 169 to Bennettville, then 3.2 miles west on County Road 11 to Partridge Avenue.
For more information call (218) 678-2575 or e-mail ripplerivergallery @gmail.com.