2004 Helen Richter Watson Exhibit at TAMIU Drawing to Close

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 collections.

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 the exhibit.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu