Saturday marked the opening of the exhibition “Pick of the Kiln: The Work of Michael Simon," which runs through Sept. 8 at the Georgia Museum of Art.
The exhibition features 79 pieces of pottery by Simon, an internationally known and revered local artist who uses a salt kiln to fire his work. This creates a varying surface and does not require separate glazing process.
The exhibition illustrates the changes in Simon’s work over time as well as his shifting interests as an artist. In the mid-1980s, Simon began keeping one pot from every kiln he fired in order to document how his work evolved and changed subtly. The selected pots make up the exhibition.
The pieces in the exhibition were selected by Caroline Maddox, the museum’s director of development and the curator of the exhibition, in collaboration with Simon.
Dale Couch, curator of decorative arts at the museum, said the exhibition shows a leading ceramic artist’s view of his own work as it develops over time. “It simultaneously reveals the chronology of his work and the creative consciousness of the artist. These are brilliant examples of modern craft,” he said.
Born and reared in Minnesota, Simone has lived in the Athens area for many years. He attended the University of Minnesota, where he studied under nationally acclaimed potter Warren MacKenzie. Simon moved to Georgia in 1970. He lived at Happy Valley, a pottery commune outside of Athens established by a friend and former classmate at Minnesota. He received a master of fine arts degree in ceramics from the University of Georgia in 1981.
A reception for the exhibition will be held Aug. 25 with a group discussion at 1:30 p.m. in the museum’s M. Smith Griffith Auditorium. Potter Mark Shapiro will moderate the discussion.