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Spiva Center for the Arts Joplin MO

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July 29- Sept 24

A Bell(e)s Ball: Porcelain Figures by Linda Ganstrom

My celebratory series of Bell(e)s expands upon my earlier work dealing with Extraordinary Characters, the Butterfly Effect and Chaos Theory.  The Bell(e)s research began with my curiosity about the popularity of European design elements in contemporary life: in graphic design, on wallpaper, on textile design, in fashion, art and ceramics.  Scrollwork and chandeliers seemed to be everywhere.  I pondered about how a heritage of design is internalized.  Always fascinated by how the past lives in the present, I began to read, research, explore and travel: unearthing the humanity behind these extraordinary women of remarkable influence.  Sculpted from porcelain paper clay, my contemporary sculptures are hybrids of various types of figurative forms: statues, religious icons, effigy sculptures, mannequins, figurines, pandoras and dolls.  Sculpted over press-molded elements created from life cast molds, then painted with fleshy tones, these sculptures mine the uncanny valley between art and life.

Even as a child, Linda Ganstrom found joy in teaching and creating art.  As a young adult, she was attracted to the discipline and self-expression offered by art. The figure has been her primary method of expression from childhood and she continues to be fascinated and drawn to figurative forms.  Her work with the figure has gone through many evolutions and continues to engage and challenge. She believes both art and education have the power to radically change an individual and thus the future.  Education transforms the mind, an individual’s outlook on life and helps develop skills necessary to affect the future of that individual, their community, our national society and the global village.  Art education, ceramics in particular, offers opportunities to learn valuable life lessons and skills. Art, in a beautiful way, expresses the thoughts, concerns and hopes of our world.  Consequences are real in ceramics as work is tested by fire, illustrating that actions have consequences and that an individual can learn as much through their mistakes as through their successes.  Ceramics is also fun; it is a pleasurable activity that delights and can amaze.  Art is work with a playful attitude, what a great approach to life and learning. Education changes the world one individual at a time.  Great art can move many.  The discipline Ganstrom uses to engage the world is ceramics, but its fundamental truths pertain to all life.  As an artist and teacher, she transforms the potential of a pliable, flexible material into a durable, beautiful and useful product.

Working in ceramics for the nearly four decades, Linda Ganstrom explores issues relating her personal experiences to big picture questions primarily through figurative ceramics.  Earning three degrees from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, where she is currently a Professor of Art and Design teaching ceramics; making, curating, writing, workshops and travel intrigue and connect Linda to the world.

My celebratory series of Bell(e)s expands upon my earlier work dealing with Extraordinary Characters, the Butterfly Effect and Chaos Theory.  The Bell(e)s research began with my curiosity about the popularity of European design elements in contemporary life: in graphic design, on wallpaper, on textile design, in fashion, art and ceramics.  Scrollwork and chandeliers seemed to be everywhere.  I pondered about how a heritage of design is internalized.  Always fascinated by how the past lives in the present, I began to read, research, explore and travel: unearthing the humanity behind these extraordinary women of remarkable influence.  Sculpted from porcelain paper clay, my contemporary sculptures are hybrids of various types of figurative forms: statues, religious icons, effigy sculptures, mannequins, figurines, pandoras and dolls.  Sculpted over press-molded elements created from life cast molds, then painted with fleshy tones, these sculptures mine the uncanny valley between art and life.

Even as a child, Linda Ganstrom found joy in teaching and creating art.  As a young adult, she was attracted to the discipline and self-expression offered by art. The figure has been her primary method of expression from childhood and she continues to be fascinated and drawn to figurative forms.  Her work with the figure has gone through many evolutions and continues to engage and challenge. She believes both art and education have the power to radically change an individual and thus the future.  Education transforms the mind, an individual’s outlook on life and helps develop skills necessary to affect the future of that individual, their community, our national society and the global village.  Art education, ceramics in particular, offers opportunities to learn valuable life lessons and skills. Art, in a beautiful way, expresses the thoughts, concerns and hopes of our world.  Consequences are real in ceramics as work is tested by fire, illustrating that actions have consequences and that an individual can learn as much through their mistakes as through their successes.  Ceramics is also fun; it is a pleasurable activity that delights and can amaze.  Art is work with a playful attitude, what a great approach to life and learning. Education changes the world one individual at a time.  Great art can move many.  The discipline Ganstrom uses to engage the world is ceramics, but its fundamental truths pertain to all life.  As an artist and teacher, she transforms the potential of a pliable, flexible material into a durable, beautiful and useful product.

Working in ceramics for the nearly four decades, Linda Ganstrom explores issues relating her personal experiences to big picture questions primarily through figurative ceramics.  Earning three degrees from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, where she is currently a Professor of Art and Design teaching ceramics; making, curating, writing, workshops and travel intrigue and connect Linda to the world.

 

“Celebrate the creative experience – be a community catalyst.”