Art Show Features Works By Pottery Students

L-R, instructor Jane Truesdale; Betsy Russell; Vivian Swanson, Honorable Mention; Janet Archambault, Honorable Mention; Sue Marion; Kate Stello, Best In Show; Mary Cross; Marlene Gaspersohn; Rose Beyer; and Barbara Valcenburg. There was a tie between Swanson and Stello for the People’s Choice award.

Sunset River Marketplace art gallery in Calabash, N.C. is featuring works by instructor Jane Truesdale’s pottery class in a show that opened Nov. 1 and runs through Dec. 4. The exhibit includes a range of hand built and wheel thrown clay pieces by Ann Kwarta, Mary Cross, Janet Archambault, Kate Stello, Kathie Wolk, Marlene Gaspersohn, Patricia Hanson, Rose Beyer, Debbie Asbill, Vivian Swanson and Betsy Russell.

Awards were announced at a reception held at the gallery on Saturday, Nov. 6. Gallery owner Ginny Lassiter presented the following honors: Best in Show, Giraffe Vase by Kate Stello; Honorable Mention, Vivian Swanson; and Honorable Mention, Janet Archambault. Votes by gallery visitors for a People’s Choice award resulted in a tie between Kate Stello and Vivian Swanson.

Truesdale said, “I thought it was really important that the students who are in my class and do such fine work should have a show. The pieces they’ve submitted are just wonderful.” Gallery owner Ginny Lassiter, who also enjoys working in clay when her schedule allows, agrees. “The pieces in the show are so creative. Visitors to the gallery are delighted with the exhibition.”

Ann Kwarta’s Whimsical Church was inspired by the architecture and warmth of old churches. Sunset Beach, N.C. artist Janet Archambault was a painter before relocating to Sunset Beach, N.C. She wanted to try something new and says the gallery inspired her to try pottery, “Jane is a great teacher who fosters exploration and creativity. The first time I felt the clay move through my hands at the wheel, I was hooked!”

Mary Cross had been a long time knitter, which she attributes, in part, to growing up in Vermont. Creating hand built pottery for about a year, she especially enjoys the new view she now has of everyday items. Debbie Asbill admits that she took her first pottery class out of sheer boredom, but has discovered that her new passion leave her little time for anything else.

Clay artist Marlene Gaspersohn first studied pottery in Rockingham, N.C. and later in Detroit. Access to pottery classes and the studio at Sunset River has renewed her interest in the medium. Rose Beyer moved to Calabash ten years ago and began pottery as a hobby in 2008. Her favorite pieces are weed pockets, including her Grape Weed Pocket in the show.

Vivian Swanson says she dreams in clay; it speaks to her, and she loves to experiment. Betsy Russell creates unique high-style jewelry made of hand-crafted clay pieces, beads and copper.

This ensemble show is a prime example of how art enriches a community.

Sunset River Marketplace is located at 10283 Beach Drive SW in Calabash, N.C. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 910-575-5999 or visit