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Jan-26-2017 16:33printcomments

Hallie Ford Museum of Art Features PNW's Own Anne Hirondelle: Small Revolutions

1962 alumni of South Salem High School, her work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States.

artwork of Anne Hirondelle
Anne Hirondelle, (American, b. 1944), "Partners 4, 2016," stoneware, paint, and birch wood, 13 ½ x 22 x 5 in., courtesy of the artist, Port Townsend, Washington.

(SALEM, Ore.) - A new exhibition at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art features the ceramic work and drawings of nationally recognized Port Townsend, Washington artist Anne Hirondelle (née Harvey).

“Anne Hirondelle: Small Revolutions” opens February 11 in the Study Gallery and Print Study Center and continues through April 30, 2017.

John Olbrantz, the Maribeth Collins Director says, “Throughout her long and prolific career, Hirondelle has pushed the boundaries of the ceramic medium, making functional vessels and abstract sculptures that are warmly alive and visually engaging.

This exhibition explores a period of time during the past six to eight years where her work evolved into an intriguing exploration of abstract vessels where function gives way to sculptural possibilities.”

Born in Vancouver, Washington, in 1944, Hirondelle was raised near Salem, Oregon, and graduated from South Salem High School in 1962.

She received her BA degree in English at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma in 1966, followed by an MA degree from Stanford University in Counseling in 1967.

A committed feminist, Hirondelle entered law school at the University of Washington in 1973. Although she knew from the first day that law school was not for her, she stayed for a year.

During that time she followed her interest in ceramics by taking pottery classes at the Factory of Visual Arts in Seattle. She enrolled in the School of Art at the University of Washington in 1974, where she earned her BFA degree in 1976 under the guidance of the legendary ceramics artist and teacher Robert Sperry.

Hirondelle has always been drawn to the vessel as a metaphor for containment. As her work evolved through the 1980s and 1990s, she began to create increasingly sculptural vessels with elaborate spouts, handles, and bases.

No longer necessarily symmetrical, these new shapes and forms became organic and architectural while remaining clearly recognizable and identifiable as ceramic vessels.

In the early 2000s, Hirondelle’s work moved in a radical new direction. She discovered that stripping surfaces of adornment could embolden the vessel shape.

She began deconstructing and reconfiguring the vessel, focusing on the concept of openness instead of containment and exploring issues of light, color, texture, and form. Simultaneously, her drawings took on new meaning and importance as vehicles to further explore concepts of abstraction.

Hirondelle’s work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States, and her ceramics can be found in a number of prestigious collections, including the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Stanford Museum of Art; the Tacoma Art Museum; and the White House Crafts Collection.

She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship, awarded in 1988; she was a finalist for the Betty Bowen Award at the Seattle Art Museum in 2004; and she was honored with the Twining Humber Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in 2009.

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