Back to All Events

Talking Heads: Figuration From Northern CA Ceramicists


  • Museum of Northern California Art 900 Esplanade Chico, CA 95926 USA (map)

Talking Heads: Figuration From Northern California Ceramicists

November 15-December 16, 2018

Chico, CA -   Northern California’s history of functional ceramics goes as far back as the beginning of the Twentieth Century. But by the 1960s, Robert Arneson’s work creating humorous and sometimes personal figurative ceramic sculptures — often unrefined and blatant, possessing the idea of a functionless sculpture for sculpture’s sake — pushed clay from primarily a functional craft into its own prestigious art form. Viola Frey joined Arneson in crafting massive figurative ceramic works with a Pop Culture perspective.

NIAD, a progressive art studio promoting meaningful independent living by artists with disabilities, returns to monca with “Talking Heads: Figuration From Northern California Ceramicists” featuring 14 Bay Area artists (some former students of Arneson and Frey).  In this exhibition they use ceramics as a means of social expression, humor and political context while also creating dialogue with a focus on figuration. Independent curator Susan Alexander has chosen objects that engage the viewer through subject matter, color and idiosyncrasy.

Included in “Talking Heads” are ceramic objects, paintings and drawings from Jeremy Burleson, Deatra Colbert, Julio Del Rio, James Ham, Raven Harper, Peter Harris, Joe Kowalcyck, Karen May, Jeff Nebeker, Tiffany Schmierer, Piper Snow, Jonathan Valdivias, Jonathan Velazquez and Billy White.

Susan Alexander is an independent curator working in the Bay Area. She has a specific focus on Art Brut and Outsider Art. Susan was a pivotal co-curator for the symposium on Outsider Art “Altered States, Alternate Worlds” with Creative Growth and the Oakland Museum of California and curated “Color Magicians” at College of Marin. Since 2012, Alexander has maintained an online gallery.

“Talking Heads” is an expanded version of an exhibition originally shown at NIAD Art Center in September 2018.

“Talking Heads” exhibition is at monca, Thursday–Sunday, November 15 – December 16, 11am-5pm.  Admission is $5. Students and Children are free.


Earlier Event: November 9
10th Annual Coming Out for Art