Feature Articles

July 2013

The NC Arboretum in Asheville, NC, Features Works by Matt Jones

The North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, NC, is presenting Twenty-first Century Clay: The Pottery Art of Matt Jones, featuring works by Matt Jones of Jones Pottery in Leicester, NC, on view in the Baker Exhibit Center through Sept. 22, 2013.

Pottery as a craft and art form was traditionally associated with its function in the preparation and storage of food, but in most cultures a secondary decorative language was built alongside the function. In our area, decorative pottery began to supplant the utilitarian wares in the mid twentieth century. These decorative wares were made mostly to delight the senses of the growing middle class who could afford industrially produced and preserved food.”

Decorative pots are for display, though some function as vases when there are fresh flowers available. A third type of pottery has emerged in North Carolina that Matt Jones calls “contemplative” pottery. As we have looked at pottery in museum contexts and created collections throughout the state, we have become comfortable looking at pots as art objects, and potters have sought to make contemporary pots that can stand as such.

Jones grew up in Charleston, SC, and didn’t discover pottery until his third year of college. After graduating with honors in art from Earlham College, Jones went on to apprentice with Todd Piker in Cornwall Bridge, CT, and Mark Hewitt in Pittsboro, NC. After three years of apprenticeship, he and his wife moved to Leicester’s Big Sandy Mush valley in 1998, where he built the workshop and kilns

Jones’ work has been recognized throughout the state as bridging traditional and contemporary styles, and he is frequently asked to lecture and exhibit pots in a variety of venues.

The central mission of The North Carolina Arboretum, an affiliate institution of the 17-campus University of North Carolina system, is to cultivate connections between people and plants.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call 828/665-2492 or visit (www.ncarboretum.org).


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