Herb Weaver will have his works of ceramic sculpture on display at the Curtis R. Harley Art Gallery, located on the first floor of the Humanities and Performing Arts Center at the University of South Carolina Upstate
, from August 24 September 21, 2012. An artist lecture and reception will be held September 13 at 4:30 p.m. in the gallery.
Raised in a Mennonite community in Harrisonburg, Va., Weaver earned degrees from Eastern Mennonite University (B.S. Art Education) and James Madison University (M.F.A. Ceramics), and taught on the secondary school level before accepting college positions in Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and currently in Georgia at Georgia Gwinnett College. While concentrating his creative efforts in the area of ceramic sculpture, his artwork contains thematic elements of profound whim and visual pun.
Humor plays an important role in my art. I like to think that my artistic style is unique and self-derived, however, I am sure many influences converge to create my own particular form of expression. I try not to commit to either realism or abstraction --- lurking somewhere between surrealism and distorted reality, says Weaver. He adds that the juxtaposition of two or more relatively familiar objects can create unique relationships, coaxing the eye and mind to unfold all the possible riddles that lie in the artwork.
Weaver admits that it is difficult to define the influences that have impacted his artwork. He credits his ceramic teacher Masako Miyata as being the most influential, passing on a deeper understanding of the Japanese tradition in both lifestyle and creation of art forms. Also important was his conservative upbringing in the Mennonite community in Appalachia, which stresses responsibility, a self-sufficient attitude, and a common-sense mentality. His background enabled him to learn various skills and trades - carpentry, plumbing, electricity, masonry that are reflected in his work as well.