Anders Ruhwald curates new exhibit at Pewabic

By: Maria Allard | Advertiser Times | Published January 22, 2016

 “The Way of the White Clouds,” detail by artist Nicole Cherubini, will be among the many pieces featured in “This is the Living Vessel: Person. This is What Matters. This is Our Universe” at Pewabic in Detroit
Jan. 22-March 28.

“The Way of the White Clouds,” detail by artist Nicole Cherubini, will be among the many pieces featured in “This is the Living Vessel: Person. This is What Matters. This is Our Universe” at Pewabic in Detroit Jan. 22-March 28.

Photo provided by Pewabic

DETROIT — Artist Anders Ruhwald’s work has been displayed in France, Sweden, Denmark, Taiwan and the United States.

Ruhwald, the artist-in-residence and head of the ceramics department at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, is curating a new exhibition at Pewabic.

“This is the Living Vessel: Person. This is What Matters. This is Our Universe” will be at Pewabic Jan. 22-March 28. Pewabic, located at 10125 E. Jefferson Ave., is a ceramic studio housed in a Tudor Revival building that architect William Buck Stratton designed. According to the Pewabic website at www.pewabic.org, the hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.

“This is the Living Vessel: Person. This is What Matters. This is Our Universe” will feature the works of Jeremy Brooks, Kathy Butterly, Nicole Cherubini, Marie T. Hermann, Howard Kottler, Matthew Bennett Laurents and Roberto Lugo. 

According to organizers, the show is a combined effort between Cranbrook and Pewabic with special speakers and programs being held at both places. Ruhwald, a 2015 recipient of a Knight Arts Detroit award, said he is pleased to display the works of respected contemporary artists from across the country.

“I am very excited to have such a strong roster of artists in this exhibition. The show is really about an age-old theme, the ceramic vessel as a vehicle of self-expression,” he said in a prepared statement. “With this particular group of objects, the show exposes a resurgence of this theme in contemporary art and ceramics through the prism of our ongoing debate of race, gender and identity.”

Ruhwald was born in Denmark and graduated from the Royal College of Art in London in 2005. He has lectured and taught at universities and colleges around Europe and North America since 2006, serving as associate professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago prior to becoming artist-in-residence and head of the ceramics department at Cranbrook.

Hermann, an instructor at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit who has a studio in Pontiac, also looks forward to the show.

“I think it’s just a really great group of artists,” she said.  

Like Ruhwald, Hermann was born in Denmark and graduated from the Royal College of Art in London. The ceramic artist finds the ordinary to be “very interesting” and her creations often use as their inspiration plates and cups that people use in everyday life.

“I often work with these objects as a still life,” said Hermann, whose pieces aren’t meant to be used, but rather are created as art. “In a way, I’m trying to highlight it and capture a moment in time before washing (a cup or plate) off and putting it back in the cupboards.”

Hermann was 10 years old when ceramics first intrigued her. As a school assignment, she and her classmates visited a company “to go and see how people worked.” She began spending a lot of time there on her own and developed a talent for the arts. Hermann likes working with clay because it reacts immediately to the touch.

“There is an immediate response to the material that fascinates me,” said Hermann, who has exhibited her work in Hong Kong, Paris, Norway, Denmark, Germany and England. 

Hermann often works on a piece for a couple of months before it is done.

“I arrange objects next to each other. I change it and I change it again,” she said. “I add something and take something off.”

She lived in London prior to moving to Detroit.

“I wanted to go to a place where there was a bit more space,” she said. “I like Detroit. There is a lot of experimenting that makes it very vibrant. I like the community. I like the culture. I think there is a lot going on. There is space to do what you like.” 

“This is the Living Vessel: Person. This is What Matters. This is Our Universe” will offer a number of programs.

The lecture “Radical Glazes, Monumental Forms, Ghetto Pots: Mary Chase Perry Stratton, Maija Grotell, and Roberto Lugo” will take place at 1 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Cranbrook Art Museum, deSalle Auditorium, 39221 Woodward Ave.

The workshop “Drawing from Experience: the Art of the Steal with Roberto Lugo, Pewabic Education Studios” will take place from noon to 3 p.m. Feb. 7 at Pewabic. 

“Conversations with Curator Anders Ruhwald” will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 14 at Pewabic.

For further information, visit www.pewabic.org.