SHOW LOW — Creativity and beauty meet functionality at Northland Pioneer College’s (NPC’s) Talon Gallery this fall. Vessels of art created by former White Mountains resident Jessica Penrod will be on display at the Talon Gallery in the Aspen Center on the Show Low – White Mountain Campus through Oct. 18.

“I love the creation of functional art as it is just so honest and natural. These are pieces with a purpose,” noted Penrod. “The beauty of objects that we use every day is not only shown in their visual appearance, but from the experiences they create: from the process of creation, to the way they are used and enjoyed in the home.”

Penrod was born and raised in Pinetop and graduated from Blue Ridge High school in 2012. She attended NPC with the intent to become a painter or a musician. However shortly after learning how to throw on the potter’s wheel, she transitioned to creating functional vessels. In 2014 she received her associate’s degree from NPC and found her passion in ceramics. Jessica then left the White Mountains for the high desert and attended the University of New Mexico, in Albuquerque. There, she had the opportunity to travel to Japan and study the Arita Porcelain process while completing her Honors Thesis. In 2017 she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with honors and a focus in ceramics. She currently works as a production potter at the highly acclaimed Hanselmann Pottery studio in Corrales, NM, where she produces stoneware vessels, fires the kilns and uses her free time to focus on her personal artwork.

Each of Penrod’s private pieces are hand-thrown and trimmed on the Potter’s wheel, then hand-painted and high-fired in a gas reduction. She either uses shino glazes or keeps the outside surfaces of the clay raw to express the warmth and variation created from the reduction process, giving it a rustic and organic appearance. Penrod thrives on and gains inspiration from the places she resides. Her earthy and decorative surfaces are inspired by the outdoors and her roots in the White Mountains while her textures and tones derive influence from New Mexico’s diversity and natural tinting. Each piece acts as a canvas for objects that inspire memories of the things we enjoy in nature and the feelings and experiences they bring into our lives.

Penrod will discuss her work during a closing reception on Friday, Oct. 18 from 5-7 p.m. at the Talon Gallery. The talk and reception are free and open to the public.

The Talon Gallery is open Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For information about the exhibit, contact Gallery Director and NPC Art Faculty Magda Gluszek, 800-266-7845, ext. 6176.

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