South Texas College’s Art Department, together with the college’s Library Art Gallery Program, presents “A South Texas Ceramic Showdown: Up and Down and All Around.” Featuring the RGV’s fourth annual ceramics exhibition and conference, the event includes a full display of ceramics works by art students and professors from 11 regional universities and community colleges.

Participating institutions include South Texas College, The University of Texas-Pan American, The University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College, The University of Texas at San Antonio, Tarrant County College, Texas A&M Kingsville, Galveston College, Central Arizona College, Kent State University and Northwest Vista College.

The exhibit will be on view from July 8 to September 4, 2010. A reception will be held on Saturday, July 17 from 4 to 6 p.m. at STC’s Pecan Campus Library Art Gallery, Bldg F. located at 3201 W. Pecan Blvd. in McAllen. The free, two-day conference and workshop begins Friday, July 16 and ends Saturday, July 17 at STC’s Pecan Campus Art Building Ceramics Lab. Art talks will also take place Saturday, July 17 from 1:30 to 4 p.m. in the college’s Pecan Campus Library Rainbow Room. All activities are free and open to the public.

The conference includes clay demonstrations and talks by Carl Block of Flatland Pottery and Max Butler of Butler Pottery. Both ceramicists are graduates of The University of North Texas, currently teach at Texas ISD schools, own clay studios, and are active musicians.

Among Block’s vast accomplishments, his work is featured in permanent art collections including the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., Rice University, The University of Houston, The Chinati Foundation, and the personal collection of former president George H. Bush, to name a few. Butler studied in France and was apprentice to Jean Louis Gaudin. In 2004, he received the prestigious Fulbright Memorial Grant to study in Japan.

“We are pleased to have Block and Butler as our featured clay artists for ‘A South Texas Ceramic Showdown,’” said Chris Leonard, STC ceramics instructor and conference organizer. “As friends, Block and Butler share a history of creating utilitarian forms that are delightful. They don’t decorate, they do.

“Both of these UNT alums know their way around the wheel, but their work is anything but faceless,” Leonard added. “Both gentlemen, who teach school by day, make hard work look effortless, and yes, even fun. They are entertainers with muscle and thought provoking products. Their pieces tell stories and I’m sure they will tell a few stories, too.”

For more information contact Sofia K. Vestweber at 956-872-3488 or at libraryart@southtexascollege.edu, or visit http://lag.southtexascollege.edu.