Father, daughter showing ceramic works
A nationally known ceramics artist and his daughter will show their ceramic teapots through Aug. 16 at the Cinema Gallery, 120 W. Main St., U.
"The Teapot Mystique" will feature works by Don Frith, a retired University of Illinois art professor who now lives in Santa Maria, Calif., and Eugenia Frith Meltzer of Alfred, N.Y.
In a review of the work, ceramics artist Don Pilcher of Champaign wrote, "This array of pots and lids and spouts and handles all come together to make droll, cunning, whimsical, sincere, beautiful and quizzical expressions. 'Mystique' is right; there is no sufficient one-line summary."
Together, Frith and his daughter have more than 80 years of studio practice. Frith's pieces tend toward the abstract, while his daughter's are more representative.
At age 90, Frith continues to work in his studio. Frith-Meltzer also is a violinist; she began exhibiting her ceramics pieces in 1990.
Frith has a BFA in art education and a master's degree in ceramics from the University of Denver. He taught at public schools in California from 1949 to '52, when he was invited to teach and set up a craft option at the UI's School of Art + Design.
After 37 years of teaching and chairing the UI craft program, Frith retired and returned to California to become a full-time designer craftsman. He has received many honors in the crafts and ceramics world. His book, "Moldmaking for Ceramics," became the definitive reference worldwide after it was released in 1985.
His work is represented in many museums and collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the St. Louis Museum of Art and the Museum of The American Crafts Council in New York.
Frith Meltzer, 64, has a bachelor's degree from the UI, a master's in art history and museology from the University of Minnesota and a master's in music and violin performance from the University of Wisconsin. She also has studied ceramics.
In her artist's statement, she said she inherited from her father a sense of humor and of detail.
"For my Dad, it is perfecting his craftsmanship. For me, it is more about the narrative," she said.
She also said her ceramics objects are meant to be enjoyed.
"Yes, they are functional, but more, they are expressive and capture moments in our lives and fantasies that make us think."
Viewing hours for "The Teapot Mystique" are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays.