“Fahrenheit 2024,”an exhibition currently on view at the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona is a revival of the museum’s previous “Fahrenheit 2018” show.
Kathy King, director of the ceramics program at Harvard, selected the participants for this show.
“I was looking at people within our field who were either speaking or working technically with this material in a new way that was promising to expand our field,” King said.
Featuring 100 pieces, the show is a space for creativity in a variety of forms, including traditional and experimental boundary-pushing ceramic styles.
Typically in ceramics, artists work with clay and stoneware. But the “Fahrenheit 2024” exhibition also features beading, electronics, porcelain, 3D printing and more.
The show’s production involved many moving parts, artists and others.
“The variety shows how ceramics come in many different forms, in terms of craftsmanship,” said Pam Aliaga, AMOCA’s exhibitions manager, who worked on this show.
Kind selected the exhibition’s “Best of Show,” awarded to Canadian artist Carly Slade for her piece “Berta,” a ceramic sculpture constructed using a remote-controlled pickup truck and other found objects. The truck’s paint job appears worn and rusted, with the contents in the trunk overflowing with random items. The piece symbolized the American experience, representing both a sense of home and the experience of homelessness.
“It was talking about almost creating a souvenir for Americans, and our sense of place, our sense of home, or our sense of homelessness,” King said. “I found that really interesting as a subject matter to look at. That really struck me as being timely.”
For winning this title, Slade was awarded a solo exhibition in the Igal & Diane Silber Vault Gallery at AMOCA expected in 2025-26.
Every piece contained innovation, precision and depth.
Pamela Belding, a featured artist and animator in this show, delved deeply into the experiences of others in her piece “Memento Mori,” which portrayed a mouse-like creature whose expression is muted and knowing, while over the creature’s shoulder looks a skeleton that latches on in a way that is parasitic.
In remembrance of Bessie Mae Kelley, an early American animator, her story and her creation of Milton Mouse of Aesop’s Fables, Belding produced this piece with the intention of spreading the message that all things die, according to the description of the piece on her website.
“One of the things that totally inspires me is the many people written out of history– and the silencing of so many voices who should’ve been heard,” Belding said.
In her artist statement, Belding explained how her sculptures frequently take on a burlesque impression inspired by animation and cartoons. Additionally, she takes pride in infusing lost history within her pieces, providing viewers across cultural, gender and socioeconomic identities an opportunity to feel represented and seen.
The common misconception that abstract art is arbitrary finds no place in the “Fahrenheit 2024” exhibition.
Zimra Beiner, an artist in the show, creates with complexity in mind. His piece, “Double Walled Holder,” resembles a vase. Made from stoneware, the composition of the walls is bulky and evoked the image of a stack of chains. Drenched in a milky-brown glaze, the piece appeared wet and in motion.
“I tend to be attracted to things that are visceral and feel like there is a kind of urgency and intensity to it,” Beiner said “I think a part of the piece is that there is a lot going on. The glaze is very goopy and sort of disgusting. It has this weird attraction and repulsion thing that I hope makes you feel something strong.”
According to Beiner’s artist statement, taking external things that represent his internal experience and blurring the line between art and life is a significant aspect of his method.
The show is on view through September 8 at AMOCA at 399 N. Garey Ave. in Pomona, where viewers can also purchase works of ceramic art. For gallery hours and more, visit amoca.org.
Thatiana Gibbs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.