Legacy: Ceramics by Gerald Eskin, a Benefit for the Gerald Eskin Ceramics Art Initiative
Iowa Artisans Gallery presents Legacy: Ceramics by Gerald Eskin, a Benefit for the Gerald Eskin Ceramics Art Initiative at the University of Iowa. Proceeds from the exhibit will benefit the Gerald Eskin Ceramics Art Initiative, an endowed fund to be used by the University of Iowa Foundation to support programming and exhibitions offered by the University of Iowa Museum of Art in areas related to the field of ceramics. The exhibit includes wheel-thrown functional pieces used for daily living, plus large-scale, dramatic hand-built wall platters and sculpture showcasing Eskin’s real love of sculptural form.
The exhibition runs August 22 – September 28. On Friday, September 5, Iowa Artisans Gallery and the University of Iowa Museum of Art will jointly host an exhibition reception and UIMA First Friday at the Gallery. The event is free and open to the public.
Gerald Eskin, or Gerry, as most knew him, always thought “big.” Many of his ceramic pieces are robust and massive, built from hundreds of pounds of clay, but his functional works serve the purpose for which they are intended: serving food in the settings of daily-life. Although Gerry was interested in art early in his career, first as a photographer, he taught marketing and marketing research at Stanford University and the University of Iowa. Significantly, he co-founded and directed Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), in 1977, one of the world’s leading providers of marketing information and software. He retired from IRI in 1995, allowing him to pursue his artistic interests in ceramics and photography fulltime.
Eskin collected both ancient and contemporary ceramics from around the world. Along the way, he became fascinated by Middle Eastern sarcophagi, an interest which found its way into his sculptural work. Each of these large sculptural pieces was constructed from several hundred pounds of clay; Eskin used hand building slab or coil techniques, textured them with fingers or tools, then fired them in his gas or anagama wood kilns after allowing them to dry for several months.
Eskin later served as an adjunct professor of studio art and art history at the University of Iowa, as well as chairman of the advisory board of the National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). He served as a board member of the Museum of Arts and Design and the University of Iowa Art Museum Advisory Board. He helped develop the ceramics collection at UIMA. His work has been exhibited at SOFA in Chicago and is included in major collections like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He maintained studios in Iowa City, Iowa and Aspen, Colorado. Gerry Eskin still had many ideas fueling his creativity when he passed away in 2011, leaving his wife Sandie, sons and daughter Benjamin, Josh and Leah, and their families.
Sandie says of Gerry, "his whole life was teaching, mentoring, showing us all the way. In academics, sailing, clay, photography, life, -he was constantly leading. Ceramics education is representative of the many ways he taught in life and his legacy."
Iowa Artisans Gallery was established by artists in 1984. features work by American artists and specializes in Midwestern artists. 2014 is the Gallery’s 30th Anniversary!
Daily hours are Monday through Friday 10am-6pm; Saturday 10am-5:30pm and Sunday 12-4pm. Starting May 1 through the summer, the Gallery will be open from 10-7pm on Thursdays. For more information, please contact the Gallery at 319-351-8686.