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70 world artists create simplicity in new Todd Gal...

70 world artists create simplicity in new Todd Gallery exhibit

An international art exhibit combining the centuries-old art of the tea ceremony and an ongoing effort to protect the environment will briefly visit MTSU’s Todd Art Gallery through Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Chawan poster webSeventy artists from around the world, including MTSU ceramics professor Marisa Recchia, will present their handcrafted Chawan, a bowl used in traditional Eastern tea ceremonies, in the MTSU Arts Showcase event in the Todd Gallery.

“Chawan, USA” will be on display during the gallery’s regular hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The gallery is closed on weekends and state and university holidays, and the exhibit is free and open to the public.

A searchable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking2015-16. Off-campus visitors to the exhibit should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php.

The International Chawan Expo Project began in 2005 to encourage artists that enjoy Chawan to share their work.

“I thought it was time to start a project with the most simple and useful object, with little commercial value: a tea bowl,” said artist and exhibit founder Lou Smedts of Mörsdorf, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany.

MTSU Arts logo“Nobody was waiting for a tea bowl exhibition in the museums, the ceramists I contacted told me. So I went to the museums to convince them that tea bowls are unique art objects. And, surprisingly, the directors listened and opened their doors.”

Another of the project’s goals is to raise awareness of recycling and environmentally friendly ways of working and firing ceramics. Japanese master potter Masakazu Kusakabe, who guided the 2012 construction at MTSU of one of his signature eco-friendly and efficient smokeless kilns, is returning to participate in the Todd Gallery Chawan exhibit’s activities.

The special U.S. exhibit at MTSU comes on the heels of the 10th anniversary “Project Jubilee Expo 2015” in Vichte, Belgium, which closed Nov. 1 and drew more than 300 artists from around the world.

Recchia, who also serves as interim chair of the university’s Department of Art, has been contributing to Chawan exhibits in recent years and played a key role in bringing this special display to MTSU.

“My involvement with the Chawan Expo began three years ago, when I participated in the expo in Taiwan,” Recchia said, noting that the MTSU exhibit is only the second held in the United States.

Chawan color logo web“What an honor it is to have all these Chawan makers from around the world exhibiting their wares here. A Chawan may be a simple object, but there is so much more to a Chawan than meets the eye. A Chawan tea bowl has a long history connected to the reverence for nature, tea and ceremony. I hope all that view these Chawan enjoy the honesty of form and celebrate the international community that brings us all together through the making of a simple Chawan.”

MTSU graphic design students also have been involved through instructor Sheri Selph’s Portfolio II class, which designed posters and a social media campaign for the Chawan display. A catalog also will be printed to promote this artistic opportunity for the MTSU campus and its surrounding community.

For more information about MTSU Arts events on campus, visit www.mtsuarts.com.

For more information about the Todd Art Gallery, including parking and directions, contact director Eric Snyder at 615-898-5653 or eric.snyder@mtsu.edu or visit www.mtsu.edu/art.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

London-based Richard Heeley is one of the 70 international artists featured in the "Chawan, USA" exhibit that opens Nov. 30 at MTSU's Todd Art Gallery. This Chawan, or tea bowl, created by Heeley incorporates cobalt compounds found in China since the seventh century A.D. for its rich blue colors. (Photo courtesy of Richard Heeley)

London-based Richard Heeley is one of the 70 international artists featured in the “Chawan, USA” exhibit underway through Dec. 8 at MTSU’s Todd Art Gallery. This Chawan, or tea bowl, created by Heeley incorporates cobalt compounds used in China since the seventh century A.D. for its rich blue colors. (Photo courtesy of Richard Heeley)

Alvin Tan Teck Heng, who began collecting tea more than 30 years ago and now creates the bowls used in tea ceremonies, is one of the 70 international artists featured in the "Chawan, USA" exhibit that opens Nov. 30 at MTSU's Todd Art Gallery. This beautifully simple ceramic Chawan is among hundreds of pieces of art created by the Singapore native. (Photo courtesy of Alvin Tan Teck Heng)

Alvin Tan Teck Heng, who began collecting tea more than 30 years ago and now creates the bowls used in tea ceremonies, is one of the 70 international artists featured in the “Chawan, USA” exhibit underway through Dec. 8 at MTSU’s Todd Art Gallery. This simple ceramic Chawan, or tea bowl, is among hundreds of pieces of art created by the Singapore native. (Photo courtesy of Alvin Tan Teck Heng)

This Chawan, or tea bowl, created by Thai artist Amornthep Mahamart is one of the 70 international artists featured in the "Chawan, USA" exhibit that opens Nov. 30 at MTSU's Todd Art Gallery. (Photo courtesy of Amornthep Mahamart)

This Chawan, or tea bowl, created by Thai artist Amornthep Mahamart is one of the works by 70 international artists featured in the “Chawan, USA” exhibit underway through Dec. 8 at MTSU’s Todd Art Gallery. (Photo courtesy of Amornthep Mahamart)


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