Work by Jeff Ham
Work by Jeff Ham

The theme of the exhibit: What can be found on a plate, a question that can be answered in many creative ways.

After being closed for 19 months, and briefly open for appointment-only visits in October and November of 2020, JCC’s Janice Charach Gallery is finally reopening its doors to the public for good. Since 1990, the gallery has been a home for 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.”

Beginning Oct. 24 and remaining on display through Dec. 9, the all-ceramic juried tableware show will feature the works of 40 Michigan-based artists.

“Curse Blessing” by Chrys Bonnay Lewis
“Curse Blessing” by Chrys Bonnay Lewis

The theme of the exhibit: What can be found on a plate, a question that can be answered in many creative ways.

“This show will showcase the best ceramic work in Michigan,” explains gallery director Kelly Kaatz. It’s a show more important than ever, she says, as local artists haven’t had a chance to showcase their work in nearly two years because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Partnering with the Michigan Ceramic Arts Association to put on the show, Janice Charach Gallery’s “delecTable” exhibit will include a mix of traditional ceramic art and ceramic art that pushes the boundaries of the norm. Some works, Kaatz explains, will be wheel-thrown, while others will be giant sculptural pieces made of porcelain, some of them neon colors.

 “Woman Platter” by Beth Ogden
“Woman Platter” by Beth Ogden

Every item in the exhibit will be for sale. “Probably half of the artists do art fairs and show their work all around Michigan and the Midwest,” Kaatz says. “But some of the artists in the show haven’t made much in the last couple of years, so this show really pushed them to create a new body of work.”

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

To launch the exhibit, Janice Charach Gallery will host an opening reception on Oct. 24 that’s free to the public. Most of the artists participating in the exhibit, who are also small business owners, will be in attendance, giving guests a chance to support local creatives.

“Praise Platter” by David Velez Felix
“Praise Platter” by David Velez Felix

Following the reception, the gallery will be open Sunday through Tuesday, or by appointment. “delecTable” will feature about 350 pieces of pottery, including a table set up in the middle of the gallery space decorated with 34 place settings made by participating artists — something previously never done.

Janice Charach Gallery is also revamping its gallery shop, turning it into a space to feature a select group of local artists that will rotate out with every new exhibition.

Three organizers of the show from the Michigan Ceramic Arts Association, Peter Fritz, Mary Fritz and Jim Adair, work on getting the show set up.
Three organizers of the show from the Michigan Ceramic Arts Association, Peter Fritz, Mary Fritz and Jim Adair, work on getting the show set up.

After more than a year-and-a-half of being closed, Kaatz says the gallery is finally comfortable enough to operate shows in a COVID-safe and socially distanced way.

“We had this exhibition penciled in since probably February,” Kaatz says, who explains that the gallery was working on bringing it to life for nearly eight months. “We decided around March or April to just move forward with it, and we felt that we could do it in a safe way.”

Details

“delecTable”

  • Janice Charach Gallery at the JCC
  • Opening reception: 1-4 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 24
  • Free
“Graffiti” by Kris Cravens
“Graffiti” by Kris Cravens

 

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