In what has become a Mothers Day tradition for many area families, the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art at State Fair Community College hosted their 7th Annual “Bring Mom to the Daum” community event Sunday afternoon.
Although the day was planned with mom in mind the event featured opportunities for beginning artists and those who appreciate art of all ages.
“We are always trying to think of ways to encourage individuals to visit the Daum,” Tom Piche, director of the Daum Museum said. “There just seems to be a natural association between Mothers’ Day and visiting the museum and it seem s to grow each year we host the event.”
Two hundred fifty patrons attended the event last year and this year this more than 300 people participated in the activities as well as touring the museums galleries.
SFCC music instructor, Danny Brymer provided musical entertainment as the guests enjoyed the day’s activities.
“We have a lot of unique fun activities planned for our guests,” Marcie Teeter, Daum coordinator said. “This year we have a large group mural project and individual craft projects where children can make gifts for their moms.
“I know all of us want to thank the volunteers who have helped with the event today,” Teeter added. “They gave up time with their families today to help make the event possible for others and we appreciate their time and willingness to volunteer.”
Patrons also had the opportunity to watch a wheel thrown ceramic demonstration by Barney Knight.
Knight, who has taught ceramics at SFCC, retired last year as an art instructor in the Sedalia School District 200.
He continues to teach two hours a day at the Middle School but said he thought this would be his final year teaching classes in the Sedalia District.
“I’ve been working in ceramic for 35 years now,” Knight said. “I think it’s time I devote myself to this full time now.
“It’s very relaxing once you master working in clay, but it is still very challenging and demanding,” Knight added. “It is physically demanding a takes a great deal of back and arm strength.”
Thomas Allen, a friend of Knight’s watched as Knight threw his first mug of the day.
“I think the first time I took a pottery class was 16 years ago,” Allen said. “I admired Barney’s work and had started to go to Paul Allen’s pottery sales to pick up some of his work too.
“One day Barney told me I should try to do it (throw pottery) myself and so I took a class,” Allen said. “I still do it on a regular basis and keep working at it because it is a lot of fun to do.”
Knight said that was one of the reasons he felt he was asked to be at the museum Sunday.
“Vicki, (Weaver curator of education at the Daum) asked me if I would be willing to come today and do the demonstrations,” Knight said. “I think she was hoping that we could spark an interest in others and maybe get them to take a class.”
Weaver agreed that was one of her thoughts in asking Knight, but another factor was the entertaining aspect of his presentation.
“I really think people are interested in the quality of the two aspects of wheel throwing,” Weaver said. “To watch the clay being worked in a potters hands is fascinating for others to see.”
Knight said that for him clay had a memory and a uniqueness about it that was fascinating for him to explore as well.
“I usually start with a few mugs or smaller pieces and see what is happening that day,” Knight said. “If I’m feeling the clay, and it’s working I may be able to do as many as twenty pieces per day.
“The clay at times is almost dancing on the wheel and has a life to it,” Knight added. “When I am finished with a piece I want it to have those individual, human qualities and have uniqueness to it.”
While each piece that Knight throws is unique, they all bear one mark that is a tribute to Knight’s mother.
“I sign all of my work with the name ‘Mountjoy,’” Knight said. “It’s my middle name and my mother’s maiden name.
“I always liked the name and started signing my work that way years ago,” Knight added. “It just seemed right.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext 1484