Closed for 19 months, JCC’s Janice Charach gallery reopens with a ceramic exhibition


artwork by jeff ham

The theme of the exhibition: What can you find on a plate, a question that can be answered in several creative ways.

Aclose to being closed for 19 months old and briefly open to visits by appointment in October and November 2020, JCC’s Janice Charach Gallery is finally reopening its doors to the public in earnest. Since 1990, the gallery has housed Jewish artists and exhibitions and beyond.

The 5,000 square foot gallery at the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit in West Bloomfield is celebrating the reopening with a new exhibit, “delecTable.”

From October 24 until December 9, the All-Ceramic Jury Tableware exhibit will feature the work of 40 Michigan artists.

“The Blessing of the Curse” by Chrys Bonnay Lewis

The theme of the exhibition: What can you find on a plate, a question that can be answered in several creative ways.

“This exhibition will showcase Michigan’s best ceramic works,” explains gallery director Kelly Kaatz. It’s a bigger show than ever, she says, as local artists haven’t had a chance to showcase their work for almost two years due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Partnering with the Michigan Ceramic Arts Association to present the exhibit, the Janice Charach Gallery’s “delecTable” exhibit will feature a blend of traditional ceramic art and ceramic art that pushes the boundaries of the standard. Some works, explains Kaatz, will be turned on the lathe, while others will be giant sculptural pieces in porcelain, some in neon colors.

“Woman’s Tray” by Beth Ogden

All exhibits will be for sale. “Probably half of the artists do art fairs and show their work all over Michigan and the Midwest,” says Kaatz. “But some of the artists on the show haven’t done much in the past couple of years, so this show really pushed them to create a whole new body of work.”

There are also two Jewish artists in the exhibit: Alice Ham, a ceramicist known for her colorful and modern work, and Carole Berhorst, a seasoned ceramicist who specializes in functional pottery.

To launch the exhibition, the Janice Charach Gallery will organize an opening reception on October 24, free to the public. Most of the artists participating in the exhibition, who are also small business owners, will be in attendance, giving guests a chance to support local creators.

“Platter of Praise” by David Velez Felix

After the reception, the gallery will be open from Sunday to Tuesday, or by appointment. “delecTable” will feature around 350 pieces of pottery, including a table set up in the middle of the gallery space decorated with 34 place settings made by the participating artists – something never done before.

The Janice Charach Gallery is also revamping its gallery boutique, transforming it into a space to showcase a select group of local artists who will tour with each new exhibition.

Three Michigan Ceramic Arts Association show organizers, Peter Fritz, Mary Fritz, and Jim Adair, are working on setting up the show.
Three Michigan Ceramic Arts Association show organizers, Peter Fritz, Mary Fritz, and Jim Adair, are working on setting up the show.

After more than a year and a half of closure, Kaatz says the gallery is finally comfortable enough to put on shows in a safe and socially distanced manner.

“We had this pencil exhibition since probably February,” says Kaatz, who explains that the gallery worked to bring it to life for almost eight months. “We decided around March or April to go ahead, and we felt we could do it in a safe way.”

Details

“delectable”

  • Janice Charach Gallery at the JCC
  • Vernissage: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sunday October 24
  • To free
“Graffiti” by Kris Cravens


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