Helen Richter Watson Exhibit at TAMIU Drawing to Close
An exhibit highlighting the distinctive ceramic art and design of the
late Laredo-born artist Helen Richter Watson is drawing to a close at
Texas A&M International University's Center for the Fine and Performing
Arts' Art Gallery.
Titled "Like the Clay in the Potter's Hand: An Artist's Life Remembered,
Helen Richter Watson 1926-2003," the exhibit will close Thursday,
April 8, 2004.
Watson, whose childhood art works were made of clay dredged from the
banks of the Rio Grande, went on to become a revered artist and educator.
She passed away this past summer.
Her works are both monumental and miniature, but always feature a mastery
of technique, a vibrancy of spirit and an organic sense of familiarity,
despite their scale.
She earned her BA at California's Scripps College and her MFA at Claremont
Graduate School. In addition to serving on the faculty at Chaffey College
and Mount San Antonio College, she was the Chair of the Ceramics Department
at the famed Otis Art Institute from 1958-1979. She exhibited and lectured
nationally and won a prestigious fellowship from the Swedish government
to conduct research there. Her commissioned works dot the country, with
several finding homes in Laredo and area businesses, churches and private
Some 32 selections are included in the exhibit, spanning Watson's phenomenal
career and artistic growth. Among the most striking in scale are the Saguaros
(1974), enormous revisitations of the famed sentinel-like cacti of the
desert. Other pieces are dwarfed in comparison, but offer equally engaging
looks at Watson's command of her medium.
Janet Krueger, TAMIU associate professor of art, co-curated the exhibit
with visiting professor of art, Alma R. Haertlein.
Writing in the Exhibit brochure, Dr. Richard Wright, TAMIU associate
professor of Art History, said that Watson's integrative approach helped
to guarantee her place in American ceramic arts of the 20th Century.
"Overall, it is Watson's complexly integrative approach - whether
blending different aesthetic strategies, media or ceramic technologies
-- that rings true in all her works, regardless of their size, purpose
or period of creation...Helen Watson's place in American ceramic arts
of the 20th Century is secure and her influence has been profound as both
an artist and teacher...," Dr. Wright offers.
The exhibit is open Monday-Friday from 2-6 p.m. For additional information,
contact the TAMIU Department of Fine and Performing Arts at 326.2654.
Larger groups are encouraged to make advance arrangements for viewing
Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests
and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information
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