Art major forges ‘Identi-TEA’ for national exhibit

sam ervin

A national art exhibit, set to open next month, will feature Sam Ervin, a senior studio art major.

Her piece, “Shades of Autumn,” will be featured in the “Identi-TEA: 16th Biennial Teapot Exhibition,” which will run Jan. 12-March 4 at the Craft Alliance Center of Art and Design’s Delmar Loop Gallery in St. Louis, Mo.

The exhibition draws from different interpretations of teapots, as well as the ways artists express their own identities in creating them. Teapots can be functional or sculptural and each has its own personality, as the artist creating it imparts aspects of their personality to it.

Ervin says she created 20 pieces for submission to the exhibition. She said her submissions focuses on how teapots relate to family.

“It’s about carrying on the tradition of using teapots and sitting down with family,” she says.

It takes approximately two weeks to create a teapot, and Ervin says she may have several in various stages of completion at any given time. The most pieces she has thrown in one day is 23. Each piece will go through two separate firings during the process.

“She’s been working on this body of work since last spring,” says Frank Pishkur, head of the Art Department at Missouri Southern.

Artists were required to submit at least two photos of each piece along with entry forms and fees to be considered for an exhibition. A juror will typically sort through 100 to 200 entries, which they will then narrow down to about 50, depending on the size of the gallery where the exhibit will be held.

Bruce W. Pepich, executive director and curator of collections of the Racine Art Museum and the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, juried the “Identi-TEA” exhibition. Pepich has assembled some of the most significant contemporary craft collections in North America. He is a published author, lecturer and juror.

Earlier this month, Ervin’s works were featured in a senior exhibit at Spiva Art Gallery.