Ceramics -- Two Views
sculptures by Nancy C. Hayes and Ben Westbrock

New Haven Free Public Library Gallery
133 Elm Street (Lower Level) New Haven, CT

Artist Reception: Saturday, February 26, 2011, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Exhibition: February 17 - March 30, 2011

Nancy C. Hayes
Nancy Hayes "Expanding Growth Form"
ceramics, 16" wide x 14" high
Sculptor Nancy Hayes hails from Dartmouth, MA, and received her MFA at the University of Massachusetts there in 1990 in the Artisanry program. She also studied ceramics at the Philadelphia College of the Arts, after receiving her BFA from the Tyler School of Art, at Elkins Park, PA and Rome, Italy. She has won many awards for her ceramics, sculpture, clay, and crafts works.

"When I sculpt in clay I take a journey through the process of building. I go to a place where language is visual and words don't apply," writes Hayes. "It's as if tools I rely on create an elaborate dance when intertwined: technique, composition, design, color, and organic reference. These elements interact in a special place inside myself without labels, where they become pure instinct and the process is driven by a primal need to create

Nancy Hayes "Growth Form"
ceramics, 13" wide x 10" high

"Ultimately the sculptures just happen. I never draw a piece before its conception. I don't imagine it into being -- it comes to life through the physical process of building. Even if I were to try to map out an intent, the sculpture would take on an unanticipated life of its own. When I am creating in the moment, following the direction the piece takes me in. My job is to get out of the way and let the piece evolve."

Nancy Hayes' work is in the collection of the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA. She has been in museum shows at the DeCordova Summer 2000 Exhibition, and in solo shows at Colo Colo Gallery, New Bedford, MA, the Dartmouth Gallery, Dartmouth, and Bromfield Art Gallery, Boston.

Ben Westbrock

Ben Westbrock "The Rocker"
ceramic & acrylic, 2010, 10" wide x 8" high

"I feel I am exploring the edges of my life in a variety of media these days, especially ceramics," writes Ben Westbrock. "I have been doing abstract wall pieces for many years and am now into doing vase-like forms in the round. I either glaze or paint the pieces with acrylics. I prefer painting them since I can develop the color I want. I especially enjoy the comic aspects of many of them, such as 'Dying Pac-Man.' In constructing a piece, I feel it must float and dance, offer some variety and surprise. There must be a distinct life and passion in each piece I do like feeling that I am not truly in control of what I am doing so that my results move beyond what I can see."
Ben Westbrock "Dying Pac-Man"
ceramic & acrylic, 2010, 15" wide x 7" high
Ben Westbrock completed an MFA in Sculpture at Boston University in 1980 and taught the art program at Hamden Hall School in Hamden, CT, from 1980 to 2001. Since then, he has been dividing his time between the East Coast and San Miguel, Mexico, doing clay work and drawing. He has worked on abstract drawings done with paint sticks and large, outdoor wood pieces, and been in shows from Boston to New York City. His art works, both drawing and sculpture, are included in many private collections throughout New England.