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Press Release for Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Noted Ceramic Artist Bede Clarke Exhibition at MOCA UNF Gallery

Media Contact: Joanna Norris
Director of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida Gallery at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural resource of UNF, and the Department of Art and Design at UNF, presents “Bede Clarke: Barbara Ritzman Devereux Visiting Artist Exhibition.”

Curated by Stephen Heywood, UNF associate professor of ceramics, and Trevor Dunn, UNF assistant professor of ceramics, the exhibition will be on view in the UNF Gallery at MOCA from Tuesday, Jan. 28, to Sunday, March 9. A free reception and artist lecture will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, at MOCA, located at 333 N. Laura St.

Clarke will also conduct a workshop, which is free and open to the public, in the UNF Ceramics Lab from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, and Wednesday, Jan. 29, in the Fine Arts Center, Building 45, Room 1504.

The scope of Clarke’s broad-ranging work within ceramics highlights his mastery of the medium. He seeks to communicate diverse concepts through the use of various approaches, and his works utilize many different forming techniques, while being complimented by a variety of surface developments. Clarke’s pieces engage viewers and users on a subconscious level by inviting a personal narrative to develop in response to his abstracted compositions.

His prolific studio practice leads him to many different firing techniques. Known internationally for his wood-fired ceramic works, Clarke is equally engaged in his paintings on terracotta and paper. Utilitarian vessels, sculptural objects, wall platters and large-scale painted terra cotta tile murals express his diverse conceptual ideas.

“I want to reach a point where I can’t distinguish between a portrait, an eye, a bird and the figure “8,” a strong black line or the recorded touch of hand on clay. All this stuff is the product of the same thing—an internal dialogue—one’s desire and waking dreams going out to meet the clay,” said Clarke about his pieces intended for the wall. “I want to get to the core of this matter, so I want to find simple, direct methods of working that allow compassion, as well as humanity to be heard over the technical virtuosity of a clever hand and a trained eye.”

The Barbara Ritzman Devereux Artist Workshop at UNF is designed to supplement traditional academic and applied art instruction by providing students the opportunity to work with distinguished artists representing a broad range of visual media. The aim of the workshops is to place students in an atmosphere where experimentation, production and constructive discussion is encouraged and guided by accomplished artists representing diverse aesthetic practices and philosophies.

For more information, contact Amara McMann, coordinator of UNF galleries, at (904) 620-2534 or at

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.