Spirit to Clay: Works by Tina Curry on Exhibit at TN Arts Gallery

In the Weeds, 2018, stoneware clay, glaze fired 14” x 9”

October 5—November 30, 2018

From Krishna Adams, Director of Visual Arts, Craft, Media and Design –

Recognized primarily for her hand-built, clay animal sculptures (especially equine), Curry creates her own distinctive style through using alternative firing techniques such as horsehair, saggar, raku, and pit and barrel firing. For 25 years she has worked with clay and for the past 19 years, she has shared her knowledge by participating as a mentor with the Community School of the Arts Side by Side program.

“Being able to create a sculptural piece with my hands is truly a spiritual process. Part of me will always live in that piece no matter where it finds a home. That is why I continue to create and share my love of art.

My first experience with clay was at the insistence of a close friend who was looking for a new hobby. I took a beginning pottery class at the Oak Ridge Art Center just for fun. Now, 25 years later working with clay has become part of my daily existence. I fell in love with the challenge of creating three-dimensional sculptures from images I would sketch in my mind and after a 34-year career in graphic design at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, I retired in January of 2018 to pursue my craft full-time.

There is a fascination with trying to express nonverbal emotion through clay, especially with human portraits. Many of my animal sculptures take on more of a whimsical or humorous spirit, whereas my equine and abstract nomadic forms present a calmer, fluid presence. My equine sculptures were born from memories of my lifelong love of horses, beginning with my very first pony at age six and throughout much of my adult life. What better firing technique to use but actual horsehair to burn intricate patterns in the clay body? All of my sculptures are hand-built, so each has its own personality and any imperfections just add character. I utilize alternative clay firing techniques such as horsehair, saggar, naked raku, pit and barrel firing for finishing my pieces.” — Tina Curry

Exhibitions include Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts Wine and Art Event, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts Meet the Artist, Art in the Airport, Black History Month at the Art and Culture Alliance of Knoxville, and the East Tennessee Women’s Fund Luncheon.

Meet the Artist: Thursday, October 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Tennessee Arts Commission Gallery.