OLEY — Clay on Main’s next exhibition, “Clay Speaks,” is a ceramics-focused juried show opening on June 16, with the public invited to a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Eighteen artists were selected from applicants drawn from the mid-Atlantic region, and will be joined by five invited artists.

The jurors, Constance McBride and Jeff Dietrich, will also display their work. Liz Wheeler, Clay on Main’s managing director, explains, “Ceramics has so many facets. I wanted to bring together work that’s more on the conceptual and sculptural end of things, rather than functional.

The title comes from the idea that the different pieces should "talk" to each other and hopefully we can all get some inspiration from the conversation!” This year’s show will be the first of many, as the organization plans to make it an annual event.

The artists who entered the juried portion of the exhibit are all eligible for three prizes, with the winners announced at the opening reception on June 16. The prizes are $500, $300 and $200.

The participating artists are Lorraine A’Brunzo, Caroline Battle, Marisa Boyd, Mary Ann Conway, Martie Geiger-Ho, Jasmine Kelly, Dolores Kirschner, Pirjo Jussila L’Esperance, Eric Moore, Karen Palcho, Sarah Petty, Caleb Sacra, Deborah Slahta, Christine Smith-Hoh, Beth Stone, Alizabeth Wenrich, Liz Wheeler and Matthew Wilt. Invited artists are Fadi Acra, Elise Arnold, Ben DeMott, Rhoda Kahler and Raymond Rorke.

“Clay Speaks” provided Clay on Main with an opportunity to upgrade its three-room gallery. Fadi Acra, who has been an advisor on the exhibit, came up with a pedestal design that is uniquely suited to the venue. He was able to complete thirty of them, with help from a team of volunteers and the use of the Goggleworks wood shop. The lighting was also upgraded, improving the gallery’s ability to strategically highlight work.

“This project is bringing a lot of people together,” says Acra. “Clay on Main is a non-profit, so the budget is always tight, but many of us were willing to volunteer our time, and we even got materials donated from the Reading Lowes and Home Depot, as well as a discount on the lumber from Industrial Plywood.”

Clay on Main is a non-profit artists’ cooperative located at 313 Main Street in the historic village of Oley.

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