Ron Meyers ceramics on display at Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art in Demorest
A reception for Athens-area artist Ron Meyers turned into a street party as the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art overflowed with fans of the renowned potter and painter Sept. 19.
A collection of Meyers' works, titled "A Potter's Menagerie," is on view now through Sept. 30, 2013. Also on Sept. 19, the museum hosted a screening of a new documentary titled "Ron Meyers and the Usual Suspects," produced by George McCauley and Athens filmmaker Matt DeGennaro.
Tthe Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art is located at 567 Georgia Street in Demorest, and admission is free. The museum is open from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For more information, contact MSMA director Daniel White at 706-778-8500 ext. 1011 or
Born into working class roots in Buffalo, N.Y., Meyers developed an early love and a desire to be a cartoonist. This desire informed his clay work later on, but along the way he received a Master of Science degree in art education from Buffalo State University (SUNY-Buffalo) in 1961 and an MFA from The School for American Craftsmen, Rochester Institute of Technology in 1967.
"The forms Meyers makes on the wheel are truthfully canvases to draw and paint on, filling the surface of the form with a world of people and animals ranging from rats to fish," said MSMA Director Daniel White. "It is not precise and does not look struggled over. Instead of the nobler animals of the art world, he gives center stage to those who would otherwise go unnoticed. In his work one can assume he identifies with these animals, and in being their voice, made them icons of today's studio ceramic surface imagery. His work, however casual it may look at first, transcends its utilitarian roots. The surfaces are incised and painted in a way that has given his work the unusual distinction of defying conventional pottery labels."
White said that Meyers is known for his earthenware red clay pottery but has also ventured into atmospheric realms such as wood fire and salt firing. "Whichever firing process he chooses, his signature style can be noticed immediately. As one who has found his voice in clay, he has stayed on this course for many persistent years, displaying that rare quality of work ethic blended with a fueling desire. That desire was simply, as he would say, to make pots, not to change the world or pursue grand platforms. Surely though as anyone in the ceramics field can tell you, he indeed changed the ceramic landscape in his own way."
Meyers has done countless shows, both solo and group oriented. A popular workshop presenter, he has traveled far and wide to promote ceramics to many generations. In 2008 he was inducted into the Regis Masters Series by the Northern Clay Center of Minneapolis, Minn. This award honors artists who have had a significant impact on the development of ceramics, solidifying his status among the very artists he idolized.
With a career spanning decades, Ron is not only known for his studio work, but also for his legacy as an art educator, serving posts as the ceramics professor at the University of South Carolina (1967-72) and at the University of Georgia, Athens, where he taught ceramics from 1972 until retiring in 1993. Through such long tenures, Meyers has inspired and instructed generations of students, with many venturing on to make their own mark in the art world.
Also on display through Sept. 30 are works by Alabama artist Carrie Hill (1875-1957). Born in Vance, Ala., Hill moved to Birmingham at age 16 and studied in Europe with American impressionist George Elmer Browne. She often painted in the plein-aire technique made popular by impressionists and tonalists of the day.
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