Artists Transform Humble Product into an Amazing Work of Art
Is it a pipe dream? Or are you really seeing those breath-taking, seven- to eight-foot-tall pipes painted in interestingly alluring designs and scattered about the Rental Car Center?
The Pipe Dreams exhibition display is ongoing at Sky Harborís Rental Car Center and is indeed a reality that visitors may enjoy.
The exhibition came about when a group of artists, an industrial ceramic pipe company, plus a ceramic glaze supply company were brought together in artistic exploration to create large-scale sculptural artwork.
The simple beauty of the massive, functional cylinder proved to be inspirational to six artists invited to work at Building Products Company, a division of Mission Clay Products. Participating artists are: Joe Hawley; Don Reitz; Patrick Siler; John Toki; Agnese Udinotti; and Bryan Vansell.
The Phoenix-based manufacturer of clay sewer pipe may seem an unlikely alliance for artists. But when working with the company, artists were able to explore concepts not possible in their own studios, as well as new ways of working and expressing their ideas.
The industrial setting with specialized equipment and technically knowledgeable factory workers made the logistics of working on a freshly extruded wet clay pipe seven- to eight-feet high and weighing up to a ton a reality.
The challenge of finding glazes that would provide positive results in an industrial-sized beehive kiln was achieved after months of test firing by Leslie Ceramic Supply Company.
The creative dialogue between industry and artists generates an awareness and appreciation for a humble product hidden underground by escalating it to a work of art.
Installation of Pipe Dreams was by Tempe Crane.