New alt_space Exhibition in January December 14 2018
At This Point
On View: January 5 - February 9, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 5, 4-7 PM
Live Jazz Set Featuring Thomas Brewer on Vocals: Thursday, January 10, 5-7 PM
Artists Talk: Friday, January 11, 11 AM
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Thomas Brewer has been exhibiting his richly textured, earth-tone vases, vessels, and functional ceramic forms at Arts on Douglas for over 10 years. For this alt_space exhibition, Brewer has chosen to explore new content and sculptural approaches in his work, with an emphasis on hand building methods.
While the work in this exhibition touches on many personal, cultural and political themes, Brewer chose not to emphasize a single, overarching message. As the title suggests, At this Point is a cumulation of Brewer’s most recent explorations in the medium. He explains, “By choosing to hand-build most of the objects in this exhibition, I have had the opportunity to work out some lingering ideas and explore new themes that are not as easily expressed in my wheel-thrown work, which is often more utilitarian in nature.”
Brewer draws inspiration for this new work from many sources. On one hand, his work takes on qualities reminiscent of ancient idols or relics, a reminder of the long history of this medium as a form of expression. This can be seen in his collection of "Polychrome People" that consist of glazed figures with carved features and decorated busts. Conversely, some of his pieces also explore more contemporary themes, such as questions surrounding overcrowding, population growth and consumerism, as can be seen in his Stacked-Up series. Brewer explains that he was also inspired by woodcarvings seen during a recent trip to Iceland. He states, “I began creating Taflas, or tablets, as a way of getting clay to respond in a similar way.” His pieces, Entry Points 1 & 2 are examples of these tablets and while, on the surface, they represent architectural forms, they also serve to explore larger metaphors and spiritual questions that surround life’s passages.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Thomas Brewer received a B.A. in Art Education and Ceramics from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (1973). After graduating he worked as a studio potter for nine years and began teaching art in 1982. He completed an M.A. in Art from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (1985) and then a Ph.D. in Art Education from Florida State University (1989). He taught K-Post Graduate art and art education for 35 years and was the Coordinator of Art Education at UCF from 1996 to December 2015. He served in three similar university positions before relocating in Orlando. Brewer was also awarded a 2013-14 J. William Fulbright Teaching/Research Fellowship to Iceland. His research and scholarship in Visual Arts Education has focused on student learning, curriculum and instruction, assessment, and education policy.
Tom Brewer has exhibited throughout the United States and abroad, with recent solo exhibitions at at Mjólkurbúðinni Listagilinu, Akureyri, Iceland, 2016 (with Gils Artist Residency) and William Carey University, Hattiesburg, MS, 2015. His studio work has been included in exhibitions throughout the Southeast and National exhibitions include: American Crafts Council Spotlight Exhibitions; Ohr Rising: Gulf States Competition; in 2008 A Twist on Tradition: National Juried Exhibition and Jersey Shore Clay National, Platters and Pourers National; Red Heat: Contemporary Works in Clay 2010; and Functional/Dysfunctional National Juried Ceramics Competition 2013.
Brewer has had a studio and residence in New Smyrna Beach since 2000 and has been represented by Arts on Douglas since 2006.