So why clay work instead of painting? One answer might come down to a comparison of teachers and approaches to teaching. All Susan remembers from her college freshman painting class was the teacher asking vaguely “what are you trying to say with your work?” Her response: “Um, I’m eighteen and I don’t know how to paint?”
Her pottery teacher pretty much just said shut up, sit down, make this shape, use this tool and do it this way. This was comforting to Susan: give her a problem, tell her how to solve it, and give her another…Instead of “self-indulgent” expression on a canvas, a well-crafted, functional pot always had an excuse to exist.
See Susan McGilvrey’s Retrospective Exhibition, curated by UNL professor emerita Gail Kendall, which opens September 6 and continues through October 26 at the LUX Center for the Arts located at 2601 N. 48th Street, Lincoln, NE 68504.