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Ceramicist Veronica Watkins will exhibit her art at Cottey College, February 17 through March 4, in the P.E.O. Foundation Art Gallery.

Ceramic trays crafted by artist Veronica Watkins

Watkins noted that she has a fascination with formal exploration and utilitarian objects. “The wonder of pottery is that it has the potential to become the user’s companion each day. It is taken into the home and into the hand of the user—a very personal space. The fired clay object is a record of a series of moments, movements and decisions potentially permanently captured. There is a tactile, experiential connection between the maker and the user through the object.”

The pandemic with its resulting isolation and social distancing affected her approach to her craft. “As I continued to make work during the pandemic the ideas of community and intimacy facilitated by pottery and the handmade became even more precious and weighty to me. So many of us, isolated, were craving those interactions we once took for granted, something real, a touch, a face-to-face exchange and instead settling for virtual or distant something or another. Most of us were cooped up at home, to some degree, with our stuff. I thought about how thankful I was to choose from my handmade cup collection each day and serve special meals to my family in/on pots. I slowed down from my ‘normal’ routine, which caused me to notice the light, shadows, colors and edges of my surroundings just a little more than usual. I thought more about language and words that express the qualities that I try to imbue in my work, seeing that the pieces facilitate generosity and offerings as part of valued personal exchange.”

Watkins grew up in the Kansas City, Missouri, area. She received a BFA from Northwest Missouri State University in 1996; she went on to receive an MFA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 2000. She resides on a 100-acre cattle ranch in Maryville, Missouri, where she takes care of her family and maintains a studio practice. She is the assistant professor of ceramics at Northwest Missouri State University.

The art gallery is located inside the Haidee and Allen Wild Center for the Arts on the northeast corner of Austin and Tower streets in Nevada, Missouri.

The exhibit is available for viewing by appointment. Please contact Kris Korb at kkorb@cottey.edu or 417-667-8181, ext. 2186, to see the exhibit.

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