By: Kyle Munoz
If you visit the Constance Gallery in the Helene Center, a new exhibit by Emily Potts can be viewed. Potts titles the exhibit “Teardrop” after spending time experimenting with teardrop shapes on ceramic pieces and carrying the theme to other mediums. Potts shared, “everything can cry,” explaining why throughout the gallery guests can find hidden and not so hidden teardrops incorporated into most of her work. Before beginning her work on “Teardrop,” Potts had focused on pipes and pipelines, seeing them as another way to view or reference the human body. She has incorporated some of these previous works focused on pipes into the exhibit by altering some of them slightly, making the connection from pipes to drops of water and teardrops.
When asked about her works, she explained that “Teardrop” is an honest expression of herself and while it made her feel vulnerable to display it, she was glad to get to do it at a place like Graceland. when discussing about making art as a professor she explained, “it is important to be active as a professor because that’s part of the world of higher education.” Potts explained how she was glad to be able to give students an ability to understand more of her background and expertise as an artist and give them a more honest view of her. Recently, Potts has begun to create pieces of jewelry and this exhibit also allowed Potts to display her ability as an artist to others. She used many mediums other than sculpted ceramics and jewelry such as fibers, metalworking, drawings, Photoshop collages, paper making, woodworking, and foundry work such as casting bronze, which allows her to inspire her students. One unique piece in her exhibit is an original tapestry named Debt Doubt Drop which can be found on the west wall of the exhibit which is another showcase of Potts artistic ability by including words in her pieces.
Another aspect of Potts exhibit was as puppet on display which she could only best describe as “the hungry boy.” The Hungry Boy is a puppet Potts had found in a backroom in the Helene center which she found to be unique and weird but a good inspiration for trying to create art using other mediums. Potts created charcoal drawings and a silver and brass on bronze casting of the puppet. One of the pieces Potts is most proud of is a Stirling Silver Angle trumpet flower she recently created for this exhibit.
When asked about her experience at Graceland, Potts explained that she enjoys working at Graceland and all the opportunities the Helene Center facilities offer students. More so, she looks forward to and wishes to find more ways to let students utilize the facilities Graceland offers to their full potential. Potts is eager to continue to work with Graceland students in the future and help to shape them into better artists.
Teardrop is on display in the Constance gallery until March 24.
Emily Potts is a visiting artist lecturer and the gallery coordinator for Graceland University. She graduated last spring from the University of North Texas with a Master of Fine Arts(MFA) with an emphasis on Sculpting. More of her work can be found at the two websites below: