Artist John Zimmerman prefers to use clay in his works for physical and conceptual reasons.
Visitors to the Bob Owens Art Gallery at the University of North Georgia Dahlonega campus can see and hear his reasoning during Zimmerman’s artist talk at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, in Hoag Auditorium. A reception will follow in the Bob Owens Art Gallery at 82 College Circle.
“What I want the work to be is formidable, mysterious and raw ... a reflection of my research, intellect and drive to make,” Zimmerman said. “To attain this presence, I construct contemporary objects and add to them texture and glazing patterns representative of geologic strata. This contrast creates connections that span billions of years and brings attention to humanities’ common heritage, uncommon development and shared future.”
Zimmerman explained clays’ versatility and tactile qualities allow the utilization and construction of any texture or form on a physical level. He said a variety of processes are brought to bear in each work including coil building, slab building, wheel throwing, solid sculpting and the use of molds.
“Conceptually, clay exists within a geologic time scale that represents billions of years of connected history, as it is literally the broken down remnants of the earth’s crust,” he said. “This reality allows me to make connections between the deep past (geologic strata) and present day (contemporary objects) in a way that makes the use of clay not only logical but vital.”
Zimmerman received his bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and his master’s degree from San Jose State University in California. His work has been exhibited nationally in more than 60 solo, group, juried and invitational exhibitions.
He has taught ceramics at the University of Louisville and Florida Atlantic University and is an associate professor of fine art and director of the Ingham Chapman Gallery at the University of New Mexico-Gallup.
He recently participated in a variety of artist residencies, including a summer residency at the Clay Studio of Missoula, Mont., in 2011, a year-long residency at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft in Texas in 2012, a summer residency at the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana in 2013 and as an invited artist at the Fule International Museum of Ceramic Art in Fuping, China in 2014.
For more information, visit ung.edu/art-galleries/dahlonega/index.php.