The exhibition is the ﬁrst museum retrospective exhibition of the ceramicists 35-year career as an artist and teacher. Known for his biomorphic forms and dedication to an exploration of the vessel, Gustin has also developed a following as one of the most respected artists specializing in the Anagama woodﬁring tradition. This exhibition was curated by Sherry Leedy, of Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, in Kansas City, MO. She began working with Fuller Craft Museum
on this exhibition over three years ago and helped with the original grant to the Windgate Foundation that made the exhibition possible. There are examples of almost every series of work made, with pieces from numerous public and private collections throughout the country, as well as Gustins own archives.
"I figured out early on that you have to make work. If you make the work then the work will lead you. I trust that. The reality is that I am incredibly fortunate, and I know it. To be able to work full time in a studio is a gift, and with that comes a certain responsibility. I feel that responsibility was one that my parents gave me. You know 'Use it. Do it.'" --Chris Gustin
Chris Gustin, born in 1952, has been recognized for his excellence and innovation in ceramics with many awards in his 35-year career, including two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships in 1978 and 1986. However, this highly anticipated exhibition, Chris Gustin: Masterworks in Clay, is his first solo museum exhibition. With key examples of his work from the late 1970s to the present, the exhibition includes etchings and monoprints that have not been shown before. The museum also has a collection of his tea bowls in the Keith Gallery. Presented chronologically, the full range of his lifes work is being shown together, revealing the evolution of over time, his commitment and exploration of the ceramic vessel, and his conceptual and technical expertise.
Chris Gustin came onto the ceramic scene in the mid-1970s as a graduate of the prestigious ceramics department at Kansas City Art Institute, under the mentoring of Ken Ferguson, Victor Babu, and George Timock. It was a time of tremendous creative fervor and Gustin and his contemporaries including Kurt Weiser, Akio Takimore, Stan Welsh, and Arnie Zimmerman set the standard that formed the contemporary ceramic movement. Chris Gustins impact and influence as a teacher has been equally important. Gustin taught for over 23 years at Boston University, the Swain School of Design, and the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, where he is now Professor Emeritus. In 2000, he left teaching to devote his full energies to his ceramic work.