Exhibits - Octagon Center for the Arts


50th Annual Clay, Fiber, Paper, Glass, Metal, Wood

January 26 - April 7, 2018


2018 marks the 50th annual All-Media juried exhibit at the Octagon Center for the Arts. The first Clay, Fiber, Paper, Glass, Metal, Wood opened in 1968, two years after the organization's founding in 1966. The Octagon was founded out of the community's desire to provide exciting art experiences for the public and professional opportunities for artists. This show the organization's attempt to fully embody the founding vision. As a result, it has a reputation for being one of the best group juried shows in Iowa due to its national reach, high standards for jurors, and significant cash awards. The title of the show reflects a media-focused theme. The founders believed that many art forms seen as lowly "crafts," such as ceramics or woodworking, should be elevated to compete with the level of other "fine" arts. The idea of excellent craftsmanship combined with compelling ideas continues to be a central theme as artwork is selected. This is the longest repeating exhibit at the Octagon and is responsible for bringing some of the most prestigious artwork into the community.

Juror: Peter Pinnell

Peter Pinnell’s first professional position was as Artist in Residence at the Octagon Art Center in Ames, Iowa, a position he held from 1984 to 1987. “I loved the Octagon, and my wife and I loved living in Ames. It was the perfect place for me at that point in my career”. After leaving Ames, Pinnell spent eight years in Kansas City, working as a studio potter and teaching part-time at the Kansas City Art Institute. In 1995 Pinnell was offered a faculty position at the University of Nebraska, where he is now Professor of Art.

In addition to his teaching, Pinnell writes, lectures and exhibits his pottery widely. Over the last 20 years he has been an active presenter with NCECA (the National council on Education in the Ceramics Arts), and his ceramics column, “As Far as I Know” has appeared in Clay Times magazine since 1998. His artwork has appeared in exhibitions across the US and in a number of venues overseas.



March 12 - 31, 2018


Metamorphosis relates to my broader theme of the possibilities of change and transformation as expressed through the human figure, focusing on explorations of transformative or fugitive ideas about the human figure. Using line, I want to discover the energy possible through gesture and improvisation. My work of the past few years has also focused on using layering and reductive processes to discover new textures and effects, followed by drawing forms again on those new surfaces. Current work relates to past work by using similar methods and ideas but also builds on those by altering the surface textures and the spontaneously created subject matter. Line is very important to my work, stressing the expressive qualities possible when drawing from memory. Inspiration is drawn from memory and relates to the human figure, natural objects like rocks and trees, and fabricated structures like buildings.

Gallery Hours

Community Gallery, First Floor

Monday - Friday 10am - 5:30pm  |  Thursday 10am - 7pm  |  Saturday 10am - 5pm  |  Sunday Closed

Sweeney & Main Galleries, Third Floor

Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm  |  Saturday 1 - 5pm  |  Sunday Closed




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