Eclectic Sets & Marionettes

New Works by Trent + Kelly Berning 
On view: September 6-27, 2014
Opening reception: Saturday, September 6, 4-7pm

ARTISTS TALK: Friday, September 12, 11am

Eclectic Sets & Marionettes offers a rare glimpse of the individual styles and techniques of a couple who share their life, family, and studio space. The exhibition includes surrealist marionette figures, platters, and miniature wall hangings by Kelly Berning and texture driven vessels and functional sets by Trent Berning. The Berning's will hold an Artists Talk on Friday, September 12, 2014 at 11am.

Kelly Berning playfully explores themes of modern motherhood and the nuclear family in her new series of marionette ceramic figures. Her hollow-eyed figurative sculptures feature a colorful cast of characters imbued with humor and pathos. Some marionette figures adorn colorful striped stockings, polka dot aprons, party hats, pig snouts, or bunny ears, while others are festooned with leg-grabbing or shoulder-hovering children. Kelly's figures convey the concurrent and often conflicting cluster of emotions attached to parenthood. This emotional layering of contrasts captures the joys, challenges, and theatricality of modern motherhood without being sentimental.

Trent Berning's anthropomorphic vessels, rough shard pedestals, and functional objects have the appearance of relics that are traditionally associated with clay. What distinguishes them from their politely crafted predecessors is the manner in which he bestows familiar forms with visual and tactile significance. Pinched, pushed, scored, glazed, painted, or polished, the earthiness of clay is transformed by Trent's keen understanding of the dynamic relationship between artist, viewer, and art object.

The Bernings in the studio

Kelly Berning received her B.F.A. in sculpture from California State University, Chico, CA and M.F.A. in ceramics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has exhibited her work in solo and juried exhibitions across the nation. When she is not teaching, she is taking care of her little ones during the day and working in her Port Orange studio at night with her husband Trent Berning.

Trent Berning is originally from Kansas and has lived in various places throughout the United States including Tennessee and California. He received his M.F.A. in ceramics from the University of Tennessee,Knoxville. He currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Art in Ceramics at Daytona State College. Trent has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions across the nation. His work appears in catalogues and publications including Clay Times. When he is not teaching, he is busy creating in his Port Orange studio and spending time with his family.