Friendship exhibit focuses on natural materials

April 05, 2007|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Local pottery and basketry artists will play with form and function at the "Reflections on Friendship" exhibit at The Arts Centre.

The exhibit opens Tuesday, April 10, and runs through June 1.

The show features pottery by Pam and Ren Parziale and baskets by Anne Bowers. Their work, organizers said, will portray a theme of friendship.

The artists said being asked to create sculptural, more conceptual pieces was a welcome break from the functional pieces they usually make.

"I really needed an occasion to get these creative ideas out of my head," said Bowers, who works from her home studio in Middleway, W.Va.


Bowers said she's been producing functional baskets for the past 25 years. But for this show, "I'm creating some rather interesting pieces."

By interesting, she means baskets made from natural materials such as antlers, wood, home-spun yarn and leather. One, she said, has a typical base, but palm leaves are woven around it so that they look like fish tails. It also appears as though a fish is leaping from the basket, Bowers said.

Ren and Pam Parziale said being asked to create sculptural pieces was a welcome break from the utilitarian pots they typically produce in large numbers at their Kearneysville, W.Va., home studio.

"We've been thinking about making things that are one-of-a-kind," Pam Parziale said. "Things that bring people together, like a tea set or a wine jug with cups.

Ren Parziale said they planned to showcase between six and 12 pieces. They will also be selling some of their pottery, which will cost anywhere from $100 to $300, Ren Parziale said.

He said that while they aren't doing "ordinary bowls and cups" for this show, all of the pieces they're displaying in this exhibit are functional.

"I'm not capable of making teapots with a twisted spout - genetically I can't do it," Ren Parziale joked. "If you make a mug, it shouldn't (cause your beverage to) dribble down your chin - it should be usable and it should also be beautiful."

If you go ...

WHAT: "Reflections on Friendship" art exhibit

WHEN: Tuesday, April 10, through Friday, June 1. Opening reception 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 15.

WHERE: The Arts Centre, 300 W. King St., Martinsburg, W.Va.

COST: Free

MORE: Call The Arts Centre, 301-263-0224 for more information, or go to

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