Feature Articles

November 2013

NC State University in Raleigh, NC, Features Works by Siglinda Scarpa

North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, will present AND WITH THIS SHELL, THE SEA: The Ceramic Art of Siglinda Scarpa, on view at NCSU’s Historic Chancellor’s Residence, (the future site of the Gregg Museum) from Nov. 21 through Jan. 31, 2014. A reception will be held on Nov. 21, beginning at 6pm.

North Carolinians are justifiably proud of their state’s famous ceramics heritage and often point toward sturdy folkwares from Seagrove, the Catawba Valley and other rural locales as artisanal indicators of strong craft traditions and deep ties to the land. But with the exception of Native American pottery, most of it actually has roots originating elsewhere, ranging from the villages of Germany, Africa, Japan and China to the porcelain factories of England’s Stoke-on-Trent.

The Mediterranean should be included among such sources as well. North Carolina potter Siglinda Scarpa was born in northwestern Italy at the outset of World War II, and was still in her mid-teens when she left school to be apprenticed to a master ceramicist. This turned out to be a pivotal moment in a life that would later lead to studios in Rome and New York, and eventually to Pittsboro, NC, where she founded her own small art pottery studio and has been making her clay art and sheltering abandoned cats ever since.

This winter, to mark Siglinda’s lifetime of generous creativity, the Gregg will be presenting a special exhibition that will suggest the full range of her work, from extremely fragile and airy porcelain sculptures that call to mind delicate undersea corals or passing clouds, to very robust and practical cookwares that make cooking a kind of performance art itself. Whether as thin and translucent as kitten ears or adorned with ornamental vines and leaves, all of her work reveals an intense and exuberant response to the world of nature surrounding her, all the while celebrating the joy of being alive.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings or call Zoe Starling, Curator of Education, at 919/513-7244.

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