The Daum Museum of Contemporary Art hosted an event Monday for a group of collectors from the world of ceramic arts from across America and Europe.
Those in attendance Monday, traveled to Kansas City for the 50th Anniversary of the National Council on Education in Ceramic Arts, but prior to the start of that event on Wednesday, the collectors scheduled a trip to the Daum to explore the ceramic sculpture collection housed at the museum.
“The Daum provides one of the best overviews of trends being explored in ceramics since World War II, especially in the area of ceramic sculpture,” Thomas Piche, museum director and curator of the Daum said late last week. “We have always focused on ceramic sculptures as opposed to functional pieces which we have not gone into.
“Dr. Daum’s focus was always in abstraction and large scale sculptural forms that were not meant to be used but rather to be looked at and admired by the observer,” he added. “These pieces have a different history and the artists who created them have a different way of thinking and working that is reflected in their art.”
Leslie Ferrin was one of the organizers of the event.
“Leslie is from the Berkshires who has and continues to represent ceramic artists from across the United States,” Piche said. “She sells and nurtures artists and many of those who came did so to look at our collection and learn from her.
“She is a mover and a shaker in the world of ceramics and she is always somewhere,” Piche added.
Piche went on to add that the Daum had acquired through purchase some works in their collection from Ferrin and it was her recommendation that had led to the collectors coming to Sedalia on Monday.
“The collectors here today are a special group who travel together each year to various events and showings.” Ferrin said. “Only two of the participants who attended this event have been two the Daum prior to today so this is a unique opportunity for them.
“The collection of ceramics at the Daum is fantastic,” Ferrin added. “It is the quality of the entire collection that sets it apart.
Joshua Green, executive director for NCECA agreed with Ferrin’s assessment of the Daum’s collection and the visitors who came.
“The tour group today represents a critical population in the area of ceramic sculpture,” Green said. “The field is changing a lot and we are seeing a lot of young artists who are not taking the tradition route in their career.
“This morning provided an insider’s view for those in attendance from both a curator’s and instructor’s perspective,” Green added. “The Daum is an unusual cultural gem that is an additional experience for those who will attend the NCECA conference; we are very pleased to get the people here.”
Green added that organizers of NCEA’s Conference were expecting one of the largest attendances for the event.
“Pre-conference registration is over 4,800.” Green said. “We feel we will handily be over 5,000 and will be close to our largest attendance which is at 5,200 because we are still accepting registrations.”
Monday’s presentation at the Daum is leading to an open house the museum will host on Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m., which will feature a gallery talk by ceramic artist, Christopher Russell whose exhibit “After the Golden Age,” is currently shown at the Daum.
“American Craft Magazine just published a piece on Russell, who is a well-kept secret, and his work and so this has provided us with a good opportunity to show case not only his work but our permanent collection as well,” Piche said.
Russell will speak at 3 p.m. on Saturday and the event is free and open to the public.
“This will be an excellent networking event for us,” Piche added. “Although Sedalia is a small community, artists do tend to know about us and the treasures that we have at the Daum.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484