American Folk Art and Framing celebrates a longstanding pottery tradition April 4–24 with The Annual Face Jug Show, now in its fifth year. An opening reception will be held Friday, April 7, from 5–8 p.m. in conjunction with the Downtown Asheville First Friday Gallery Walk. The show opens online Tuesday, April 4, at 11 a.m. and in the gallery on Thursday, April 6.
Early face jugs with grotesque features were often created to keep children away from the moonshine inside. “Nowadays face jugs don’t seem to scare children like they did in the past,” says gallery owner Betsey- Rose Weiss, “but potters are pushing creative boundaries within the context of these rich regional traditions, keeping us interested.”
Among the renowned potters featured in this year’s show are Steve Abee, Marvin Bailey, Mike Ball, Chad Brown, Brown’s Pottery, Walter Fleming, Michael Gates, Wayne Hewell, Fred Johnston and Stacy Lambert. They hail from the Catawba Valley, eastern and western NC, South Carolina and Georgia.
The kiln Michael Gates uses dates back six generations within his family. “Although he uses all the traditions in building his pots,” Weiss says, “his world travels and modern sensibilities bring his jugs into the realm of contemporary, more intriguing narrative than grotesque.”
Walter Fleming is Catawba Valley’s oldest working potter with “signature faces” that recall the days of the 1970s and ‘80s when B. B. Craig mentored and inspired potters—Fleming included—of the region.
The jugs of Mike Ball, Weiss says, “feature beautiful cobalt glass drips, textured surfaces and wildly expressive and sometimes grotesque features.”
This show, she adds, “presents an opportunity to experience nuances of our region’s pottery traditions and quirks.” American Folk Art and Framing is located at 64 Biltmore Avenue in Asheville.
To learn more, visit amerifolk.com or call 828.281.2134. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.