Setberry arts on display

Ken and Galen Sedberry works of art will be on display by Toe River Arts at its 269 Oak Avenue location from June 19 to July 24.

SPRUCE PINE — Two Generations showcases the unique art created by artists Ken and Galen Sedberry. The work of this father-and-son duo involves the detailed craft of wood firing.

Galen and Ken have shared physical spaces of studio, kiln, booth space, as well as shared aesthetic space where ideas are translated into pots. This father-and-son team aspires to highlight how these shared spaces deliver work that is both parallel and divergent.

Ken has been working in clay for 31 years and has focused on achieving vibrant colors at stoneware temperatures. With the development of chambered climbing kilns came decorative stoneware and porcelain.

“Much of my work comes out of this tradition,” Ken said.

He uses various resist techniques to contrast glazes in both color and texture. He has been working on a new body of work — animal sculptures, thrown and altered.

“The idea of lifting the images off the pots and into three dimensions has been gestating for a long time. Layering slips and glazes that crackle and move and firing them in a wood kiln has led to an exciting new direction,” Ken added.

Ken earned an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. He has taught at Rhode Island School of Design, Catholic University of America in Washington DC, Penland School of Craft and John C. Campbell Folk School. He opened Sedberry Studios in Bakersville in 1982. Ken’s work is collected all over the world and he has participated in hundreds of invitational and juried exhibits including exhibitions at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, the Contemporary Ceramics Museum in Hokkaido, Japan, the University of Iowa, Blue Spiral in Asheville, the Columbia Museum of Art and Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston.

“Growing up as the son of a potter and using almost exclusively handmade pots for meals, I am keenly aware of the gravity of holding and using handmade objects,” Galen Sedberry said. “Their weight, balance and texture are individual and unique, becoming over time as comforting as holding the hand of someone you love.”

Galen’s training began as a child just through spending time in his father’s studio. Galen graduated from Mitchell High School and earned a BS degree from Appalachian State University in 2012. He began assisting and working with his father in 2016 and has been there ever since, working as a studio assistant and developing and exploring his own style and techniques. Galen says that he is currently investigating the possibilities between deliberate surface decoration and the limitless variables of wood firing.

Galen has been exhibiting his work since 2018 at the Spruce Pine Potters Market, Green Hill Art Center, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Piedmont Craftsmen Gallery, Winston Salem, Cedar Creek Gallery, Taupe Gallery in Wilkesboro and In Tandem Gallery in Bakersville.

Two Generations will open to the public for viewing at Toe River Arts, 269 Oak Avenue, Spruce Pine during normal operating hours, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.

More information can be found by clicking to toeriverarts.org.

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