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Friday, May 6, 2016

April's Sanford Museum Artist of the Month

Friday, April 9, 2010

This month's guest artist at the Cherokee Sanford Museum is Beth Cathcart of Lynn Grove. Cathcart describes her work as functional fine art. The area in which she lives and works inspires her.

Her pottery work is sold under the name Rocking M Pottery, an offshoot of her family's brand.

Cathcart explains the artist process, "I enjoy the whole artist/buyer process ˝ the act of discovery and selection. There is meaning to creating unique artistic pieces. They become part of our lives, an expression of the importance of artful living and our personal tastes."

Beth Cathcart is this month's guest artist at Sanford Museum in Cherokee. Her artwork will be on display at the Museum's East Gallery during the month of April. Photo by Mike Leckband
"Creativity is thoughtful, personal, enriching and an adventure," added Cathcart. Beth received a double art major in education, BFAE, from Wayne State College, with ongoing studies in graphic arts, photography & public relations. After working freelance and for many years at Union Pacific Railroad as a communications artist, Beth returned to her family farm. "We have the facility for both the furniture and pottery as well as raising natural feed beef from the Morris family Hereford line dating back 137 years.

"These ordinary materials have the inherent potential to become extraordinary works. Thoughtfully and personally designed forms made to delight the eye," said Cathcart.

"Many of these fine art pieces are designed to be both functional and decorative as I strive to combine utility and beauty in the objects of everyday life. Often I start out to make one thing and it turns into another. I remain vigilant to inspiration. If an idea comes to mind, I accept it and take action. In this way the pieces remain fresh to the eye, possessing energy and spontaneity," stated Cathcart.

"Interestingly, clay and glaze compounds are commonly found materials. Yet in concert they possess the extraordinary possibility of becoming amazing works. The plastic or malleable natural of clay lends itself to endless variations and results. I don't try to duplicate or repeat, but create. My work is one of a kind," said Cathcart.

"There seems to be a direct relationship between the creative energy that goes into a fine art piece and people's emotional reaction to it. It is a surprise and a 'moment' when that connection happens. It's personal," added Cathcart.

"I'm amazed at the adaptability of these pieces. Maybe it's the multiple colors or the reflective surfaces or the inherent nature of glaze. Pieces seem to fit right into most settings. They reflect the colors and light of the environment and come alive," remarked Cathcart.

"I usually glaze 30 or 40 pots at a time. There is a rhythm to application and a visualization of how the combination of color and surfaces will play out. Matte glazes complement and support seeing or discovering even the slightest variation in texture. And then many pieces have glossy almost juicy accentsÍ helping to creating visual flow, interesting edges and visual surprises. Weight, balance and 'the feel' are importantÍ with a successful piece everything works in harmony," said Cathcart.

Cathcart's work will be display

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