ARTbeat...Potter, quilter showing work at gallery
By Shari Friedel
A real treat awaits visitors at Meadowlark Gallery during the month of October. Pottery by Nate Cunningham of Zeandale, Kan., a relative by marriage to Chuck and Bobi Brown of Grant, is the newest display at the gallery on Grant’s main street.
Also being shown later in the month through November are quilts by Mona Baldwin of Paxton.
Cunningham stumbled into the world of ceramics as a 15-year-old high school student in Shawnee Heights High School. He decided he didn’t want to be in the marching band and dropped out. That decision became a turning point for him, as the only elective available at the time was a ceramics course with a teacher that would become a big influence, Jan Van Meter.
“Jan was the very first teacher that approached me as an equal,” said Cunningham. “She showed me that building pottery was a series of mechanical skills that anybody can master.”
After high school he gained expertise and experience at Highland Community College under the direction of David Harris, who, Cunningham said, “can throw better than anyone I have ever seen.”
Cunningham then studied at Kansas State, and was studio assistant to Yoshiro Ikeda, head of the ceramics department.
Currently, he works out of his own studio as part of Zeandale Art Project (ZAP) with owners Judy Love and David Weyerts. He has built his own brick wood-burning kiln which reaches over 2400 degrees and fires pottery in 12 to 24 hours.
An open house to visit with the artist is planned for Sunday, Oct. 9, 12 noon until 2 p.m.
An open house to meet quilter Mona Baldwin will be scheduled during November.
The public is invited to visit Meadowlark Gallery on Friday and Saturday evenings from 6-8 p.m. and browse the arts council’s Facebook page for past shows.
The gallery is operated by the Perkins County Area Arts Council, who meets the second Thursday of each month, 7 p.m. at the gallery. The meetings are open to the public.
As in the past, the arts council has invited members of the community to show off their creativity with their annual painted chair-ity.
Cast-off chairs are being brought back to life by members of the community, who never fail to demonstrate what the imagination is capable of.
The finished products will be available at auction during November, with the gallery closing for the winter December through February.