Current Exhibition

This Is Us featuring Orchard Valley Ceramic Arts Guild

This Is Us will open on September 28th, 2018 and close on October 27th, 2018.

Come join us for the reception of the exhibit on Friday, September 28th from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

The exhibition will feature a wide range of ceramic, sculptural, and other three dimensional artworks; showcasing all types of artistic visions and creative processes. Exhibiting artists include Thomas and Kathy Arakawa, Joseph Battiato, Megan George, Gina Hausmann, Ann Hurley, Victoriya Ivanova, Sally Jackson, Celma Kirkwood, Matthaus Lam, Janet Malan, Sheila Miller, Lee Middleman, Geri Peterson, Snezana Postic, Miki Shim Rutter, Shigemi Sanders, Jan Schachter, Marina Smelik, Ken Takara, Susan Van Valkenburg, Monica Waldman, Janet Wolf, and Chi Wong.

Founders of the Orchard Valley Ceramic Arts Guild established the guild in an attempt to realize their vision of having a fully equipped art studio where potters could gather and work together. The founders and members that later joined were able to achieve this dream. Now, the Orchard Valley Ceramics Arts Guild has over one hundred members, organizes bi-monthly meetings, and holds public workshops and art sales. OVCAG has been able to create a supporting environment for young and professional artists while sharing and engaging the public with their passion for the craft of ceramic art-making.

For more information about the Orchard Valley Ceramic Art Guild, visit their website at

Featured Artists:
Flowers Tea Set by Marina Smelik

Inspired by her childhood growing up by the coast of the Pacific Ocean, Marina Smelik condenses her influences to reflect the wonderment and surprises of the natural world with stone-carving and ceramics. Smelik is not limited to just 3D art-making as she has vibrant capturing of landscapes in pastel that is a part of her portfolio. It is the focus of the tactile condition of materials such as stone and clay that have attracted her. For Smelik, the materials are beautiful in their original form, making her find and explore how best to manipulate the piece to still show but also reflect natural qualities. She will be featuring a few pieces from her stoneware pottery series.

Left Image: Tea Set with Rootbekia Flowers by Marina Smelik

Taking the same inspirations but with a different approach, Lee Middleman creates textures in his ceramics instead of making it take organic forms. In many of his works, there is a similar visual quality of heavy, repeating textures embellishing his vessels. To Middleman, these patterns reflect the characteristics of nature. His processes and thesis for his artworks are inspired by his world travels and interactions with different creative minds, having samplings of ceramic workshops outside of the USA in Japan, Ireland, Korea, and more. Although different from his specialty in textured vessels, he will be featuring Many Rings and other ceramic works in This Is Us at the Olive Hyde Art Gallery.

Right Image: Winter Rings by Lee Middleman

Many Rings by Lee Middleman
Vertical Herds - Giraffes by Susan Van Valkenburg

Susan Van Valkenburg will be showing the whimsical side of 3D art-making by featuring her ceramic animal amalgamations. The jars present common herd animals as one unit instead of separate individuals, creating fun and attractive visuals while also being strangely thought-provoking. Three variations of the Vertical Herd series will be exhibited, featuring giraffes, zebras, and penguins.

Left Image: Vertical Herd - Giraffes by Susan Van Valkenburg