New exhibit features clay collaboration

· 3 min read

New exhibit features clay collaboration

"Stream Bed II," wood wired stoneware by Amy Smith and Simon Levin, is featured in the new Eisentrager•Howard Gallery exhibit "Emulsion." The exhibit opens Jan. 17.
Courtesy photo
"Stream Bed II," wood wired stoneware by Amy Smith and Simon Levin, is featured in the new Eisentrager•Howard Gallery exhibit "Emulsion." The exhibit opens Jan. 17.

“Emulsion,” featuring works by Amy Smith and Simon Levin, will be on display Jan. 17-28 at the Eisentrager•Howard Gallery in Richards Hall.

A free, open to the public reception is 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 24 in the gallery.

Collaborations in the art world are not uncommon, even in the clay world where a stage of creation is often handed to another artist. In these collaborations, one artist might specialize in form, while the other decorates.

Over the past couple of years, Lincoln artist and UNL alumnus Amy Smith and Wisconsin artist Simon Levin have been shipping work back and forth looking to make companion pieces that are compelling and articulate, that remain independent, yet enhance each other, creating a whole that is greater.

Smith’s work is cold and crisp, in an immaculate way. Her pots are calming, whereas drama can overtake Levin’s surfaces.

Smith’s pots are predominately white; Levin’s are all about earth tones and evoked colors.

Despite these strong differences in execution, they have some sensibilities in common. They both love showing off raw clay, and they have a like appreciation for understatement and paired-down elements.

As a touchstone, several pieces of each artist’s independent work will accompany “Emulsion,” but the heart of this show is an evolved dialogue of formal elements that iterate and explore ideas and properties of water.

Smith and Levin have been working independently in their studio but jointly in concept. The exhibit is a true dialogue between pieces, a literal back and forth of making, refining and developing, generations of conceptual and formal evolution, where mutual intent became layered into the very shape, surface, size and feel of the pieces.

Smith received a Master of Fine Arts from UNL in 2000. She managed Lincoln Clay Studio for six years and has pursued a studio practice alongside teaching since 2001. She was recently awarded the 2013 James Rosenquist Artist in Residence at North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D. Her website is at

Levin received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa. He owns Mill Creek Pottery in Wisconsin, where he and his apprentices work to advance the cause of wood-fired pottery. He recently worked as a Senior Fulbright Research Scholar in Taiwan, exploring the potential of local materials. Levin’s website is

Gallery hours are weekdays, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. The gallery is located on the first floor of Richards Hall at Stadium Drive and T streets. Admission is free and open to the public.

For more information, call 402-472-5522.

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