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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Regents Professor Elmer Taylor: A Retrospective

Regents Professor Elmer Taylor: A Retrospective
Welcome to My World, 1972-2012

October 9 - November 10, 2012
Gallery Hours - Tuesday, Friday & Saturday 12-5pm, Wednesday & Thursday 9:30-8pm

Opening Reception: October 13th from 5-9 pm
University of North Texas Art Gallery
1201 W Mulberry, Denton TX 76203

The University of North Texas Regents Professorship recognizes professors who have performed outstanding teaching, research and service to the profession and who have achieved a high level of national and international recognition. The College of Visual Arts and Design Regents Professors are Harlan Butt, the late Rob Erdle (Emeritus), Vernon Fischer (Emeritus), and Elmer Taylor, all of who came to UNT in the early 1970s. CVAD has honored Regents Professors Harlan Butt and Rob Erdle (posthumous) with a solo exhibition that celebrates the artist’s career achievements and is proud to carry on the tradition with this solo exhibition by Elmer Taylor.

Th e UNT Ceramics Program began in earnest in 1950 with the arrival of Georgia Gough and under the leadership of Cora Stafford, chair of the art department from 1928-1964. Gough, a student at UNT in the 1940s and an internationally known craft artist, returned to Denton to build a robust program from a single hand-building clay course. By her retirement in 1975, the ceramics studio had grown to include new faculty member Elmer Taylor in 1974, followed by Jerry Austin in 1982, who have in turn guided this student-centered program into the new century.

In his 38th year at UNT, Elmer Taylor shares in this exhibition four decades of pottery and other elements that tell the story of form. The show concentrates on selected ceramic works from 2010-2012 that meet Taylor’s exacting standards in melding the inherent qualities of clay and glaze with the craftsman’s skill. Historical pieces chronicle influences on and references for Taylor’s practice, including collected pottery, 1940s-era handmade Japanese furniture, photographs and memorabilia.

Taylor’s influences, from the neon in his hometown city of Los Angeles to his experience pheasant hunting in Nebraska and his love of writing with a fountain pen, are intimately reflected in his pots, revealing both his personality and experiences. Early, during his apprenticeship in England with master potter Michael Leach, Taylor learned to set a standard to meet each day in the studio—a practice he has imparted to thousands of students at UNT and continues to demonstrate today.
Tracee W Robertson
UNT Art Galleries Director