Society for Contemporary Craft

Through November 1
Various times

Society for Contemporary Craft is set to unveil the winners of its celebrated Transformation series. A signature program of the Strip District-based venue, Transformation was established in 1997 as a biennial juried exhibition that focuses on a rotating traditional craft media, such as glass, wood, metal, clay and found materials. Showcasing an international selection of artists recognized for redefining their medium and creating work that is both challenging and thought-provoking, Transformation also encourages viewers to rethink the very notion of “craft.”

On view through November 1st, Transformation 9—the latest iteration of the series—is focused on clay, a time-honored medium that has been shaped, decorated and collected for thousands of years. In the hands of contemporary artists, the enduring material is used in innovative, and sometimes surprising, techniques, forms and functions. The 31 artists represented in Transformation 9 hail from 18 different states, as well as from Canada, and range from emerging artists to seminal figures in ceramics in their 20s to their mid-50s. Works featured include porcelain, red earthenware, stoneware, reclaimed ceramics and more, and represent a wide range of working methods, such as heel throwing, slip casting, hand-building and life casting.

For each installment of Transformation, jurors award the prestigious Elizabeth R. Raphael Founder’s Prize to a participating artist whose work “best displays the tenets of excellence and innovation.” Named in honor of Contemporary Craft’s founder, the award includes a $5,000 cash prize. This year’s jurors are: Joshua Green, executive director of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts; Jae Won Lee, a Korean American ceramic artist and associate professor at Michigan State; Alexandra Raphael, a London-based enamel artist; Catherine Raphael, a metalsmith and storyteller from Pittsburgh; Janet McCall, executive director at SCC; and Kate Lydon, SCC’s director of exhibitions

The Transformation 9 winner and Honorable Mention recipients will be announced at a free opening reception on Friday, April 25th from 5:30 to 8 p.m. A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition, and educational programs and hands-on art activities will be offered to engage visitors of all ages with the creative process of participating artists.

Lauren Gallaspy, Giving Up the Ghost, 2014. Photo by Lauren Gallaspy.

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...