christa assad

September 8, 2010

FERRIN GALLERY solo show: Vestigial Tales

Filed under: events, exhibitions, general, images, workshops — christaassad @ 11:07 pm


Location: Ferrin Gallery              

437 North Street                           

Pittsfield, MA 01201                                    413-442-1622

CHRISTA ASSAD: Vestigial Tales

Solo show of sculptural objects

Exhibition: September 16 – October 16

Reception: Saturday, September 25 from 4-6pm

Meet the Artist and Preview: 3rd Thursday, September 16, 6-8:00

SOFA CHICAGO: SOLO November 5 – 8, 2010


11 – 5:00 Wednesday – Saturday and by appointment

FERRIN GALLERY, Pittsfield, MAChrista Assad’s solo exhibition, Vestigial Tales, opens at Ferrin Gallery with preview on Thursday, September 16 and public reception on Saturday, September 25th.

Vestigial Tales, a series of sculptural forms based on objects and architecture is Assad’s first solo at the gallery.  Designed and produced in her San Francisco studio, Assad’s work pays homage to American industry in transition. Assad explains, “Whether architectural, biological, or mechanical in origin, vestigial objects and their history of use both perplex and attract me.”

The origin of this show began when Assad visited Pittsfield, MA during the summer of 2009.  Inspired by the rapidly changing city, she sought out a single object to interpret for her upcoming solo show.  Her search produced image from the Smithsonian’s archives of a transformer manufactured by General Electric in Pittsfield.  Seeking additional information, she discovered how it symbolized the transitions taking place in the region and by extension, the world.  The image of the large transformer from the 50′s became became the starting point for her show of sculptural forms based on vestigial buildings and objects.

For Assad, an artist whose first career aspirations were aerospace engineering, the “transformer” is symbolic of the transition taking place from creativity in industry to creative industries.  The electrical transformer was invented in Pittsfield by William Stanley and produced by General Electric.  These objects literally “transformed” high voltage current to low voltage thus delivering useable electricity.  Except for the plastics division which is owned by SABIC, the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, the GE plant is now closed and in the process of being disassembled.  The city and the region are still recovering from the loss of GE, other manufacturing companies and the aftereffects of their closing on local employment and the environment.  With Pittsfield and the Berkshires transitioning into a broader based economy – specifically, the creative economy, the concept for Assad’s show also represents a transformation in her own career.  Starting her studies in aerospace engineering, she soon realized her capacity for three-dimensional design was coupled with an equal interest in building and transitioned into the more physical realm of making art.  She has spent the last 20 years working in the studio primarily as a utilitarian potter; her solo show, Vestigial Tales is the first to explore conceptually based ceramic sculpture.

Assad’s original Transformer Teapot, produced in spring 2010 and exhibited by Ferrin Gallery in “ReObjectification” was acquired by The Kamm Teapot Foundation.

A resident of San Francisco, California, Assad is a teacher, traveler and full-time ceramicist.  With a MFA from Indiana University, Assad’s work is in the permanent collections of The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, The Ceramic Research Center at Arizona State University Museum, and The Penn State Fulbright Scholar Collection, and numerous private collections.

In conjunction with Assad’s show at Ferrin Gallery, her visit includes a full schedule of research, talks, workshops and demonstrations taking place at Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA; IS183 Art School, Stockbridge, MA; Simon’s Rock College, Great Barrington, MA and the Harvard Ceramics, Allston, MA.

September 16, Thursday, 6-8:00 p.m.
Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA
Meet the Artist, Preview “Vestigial Tales” 3rd Thursday

September 18 – 19 Saturday – Sunday, Weekend Workshop
Ceramics Program, Office of the Arts at Harvard, Allston, MA
Saturday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, 6:30 pm slide presentation
Sunday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Contact: 617-495-8680;

September 22 , Wednesday
Slide Presentation: 6:00 pm
Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Great Barrington, MA
Clark Auditorium, Fisher Science and Academic Center
Info: Ceramic Department, Ben Krupka, 413-528-7413;

September 24 – 25; Friday – Saturday
IS183 Art School, Stockbridge, MA
Dinner: Friday, September 24, 7:00 pm
Demo: Saturday, September 25, 10:00 am-12:00 pm
at IS183 Art School, Stockbridge, MA
RSVP: 413.298.5252;

September 25; Saturday
Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA
Vestigial Tales: Solo Show
Reception: 4 – 6:00 pm

Photo Caption: (left) Wood Burner Teapot (Vancouver, British Columbia), 2010, 8 x 10 x 8”; (right)Woodburner Teapot II (Nubieber, California), 2010, 9.5 x 9 x 7”; stoneware, oxides, glaze
Photo: Tom Story

Photo Caption: Lemon Grenade, 2010, 9.5 x 8.5 x 6”, stoneware, oxides, glaze.

Photo: Tom Story

Photo Caption: Transformer Teapot, 2010, 14 x 11.5 x 4.25”, stoneware, oxides, glaze.

Photo: Tom Story

Portrait: Christa Assad
Photo: Robert Schlatter

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  1. Looks like a great show, nice photos of you and your work.

    Comment by Linda Starr — September 9, 2010 @ 5:04 pm

  2. Hi Christa,
    I know your work from the “Searching For Beauty” book that I reviewed a year or so ago on my blog. This show looks really, really beautiful. Congratulations. That portrait of you is one of the nicest potters portraits I’ve ever seen! Hope it is a big success.

    Comment by shannon garson — October 6, 2010 @ 11:01 pm

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