Margie Hughto: A Fired Landscape
October 1, 2011 - January 12, 2012
Internationally renowned ceramic artist Margie Hughto presents her first site-specific museum installation entitled A Fired Landscape, a “clay painting” spanning 50 feet of gallery wall space. Inspired by the artist’s spectacular backyard gardens and natural landscape just steps from her studio, The Fired Landscape installation consists of Setting Sun, a brilliantly colored ceramic wall relief displayed continuously on five angled walls. The visitor encounter is reminiscent of what one experiences when surrounded by the natural environment. Overall, Setting Sun isa ceramic abstraction, but Hughto establishes a connection to the landscape that inspired it by adding impressions of natural objects such as native ferns, marine life and fossils, into the wet clay and then coating the surfaces with brilliant color. The rich palette of burnt oranges and fiery reds evoke the sun’s glowing light and radiating warmth. Tiny pieces of glass embedded in the clay prior to firing add sparkle to the glossy green and blue glazes used to suggest the artist’s lily pond.Margie Hughto is currently a professor of ceramics at Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions since the1970s and she has completed permanent public artworks across the country including a monumental ceramic painting located in a subway stop in Buffalo, NY, and ceramic tile murals for the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) of NYC. The panoramic Trade, Treasure, and Travel, a series of ceramic murals spanning 30-feet designed for the Cortlandt Street MTA subway station, was installed two levels beneath the World Trade Center in 1998. Three years later, it miraculously survived the September 11 terrorist attacks unharmed. With the 10-year anniversary remembered this past September, Hughto’s work of art will be celebrated once again as a symbol of the city’s resilience. In January 2012, visitors to Syracuse’s new Public Transportation Common Center just a few blocks from the Everson, will get the first views of a major public artwork created by Hughto specifically for this location.