Reception on May 2 for Morris Potter Karla Klinger at the PRCA

By Angie Connor ’10, PRCA intern

Potter Karla Klinger will exhibit her work at the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance (PRCA) Gallery, downtown Morris, from May 2 until June 15, 2010. Klinger will be attending an opening reception at the PRCA from 2 until 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 2. The public is invited to attend the artist’s reception and visit the gallery to view the free exhibit, “Pots Old and New.”

Klinger has been a Morris resident since 1962 when she moved here with husband Eric Klinger, psychology professor, who taught at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Klinger began her professional career as a high school English teacher. She earned a bachelor of arts in English from St. Olaf College and a master of arts in English from the University of Chicago. For many years, she worked as an adviser at the University of Minnesota, Morris. The Klingers are now retired.

Klinger always admired pottery, but she never imagined herself as a potter until 1962, when she joined a pottery group through the Women’s Association on the Morris campus. Klinger gained further access to materials in the early 1970s when Lynn and Russ DuBois opened up their basement studio for faculty wives interested in learning. It was there that Klinger learned to wedge and throw pottery, and was provided clay, glazes, access to a kiln, and firing expertise. Klinger was hooked, and she began taking night classes at the Morris campus with Don Sherman, Meredith Jack, Jenny Nellis, and Kevin Flicker. Today, Klinger has everything she needs to create pottery in her own home: a Lockerbie wheel purchased in the 70s, an electric kiln purchased in 1997, clay, eight commercial glazes, and work and storage spaces in her basement.

Klinger’s pride and joy is her large Pithos jar, inspired by a pot seen in a shop in Crete visited with her husband in the mid 70s. Klinger’s pottery has been inspired by many sources such as Native American potters of New Mexico, by the Austrian potter Lucie Rie, by pottery seen in journals like Ceramics Monthly, and also by her teachers and former classmates from ceramics classes at the University of Minnesota, Morris. She enjoys reforming pots, draping thin sheets of clay over various shapes, twisting extruded hexagons into vases, or throwing traditional bowls, cylinders, and plates. She often “likes to play to see where the clay will lead.”
Adding coils

Closing reception for thimble exhibit on Sunday, April 25, 2010

A closing reception will be held for Melissa Yauk’s thimbles exhibit at the PRCA on Sunday, April 25, 2010, from 1 until 3 p.m. At 2 p.m., Melissa will talk about her collection and show examples of her antique thimbles. Melissa invites participants to bring thimbles to the reception if you’d like to learn more about your thimbles. She’s also interested in starting a thimble collectors group in west central Minnesota. Contact the PRCA if you are interested.

Prairie Camp 2010

Planning is underway for Prairie Camp 2010 scheduled for June 14–19. Activities for children through age twelve include: painting, sculpture, dance, music, puppet making…just to name a few. Children age six and seven meet in the morning from 9:15 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., and children eight through twelve meet from 9:15 a.m. until 3 p.m. Contact the PRCA for more information about this great summer activity for children.

2010 Annual Meeting report

The PRCA Annual Meeting was held on Thursday, April 8, 2010. Three outgoing board members were thanked for their service to the PRCA: Vicki Dalager, Shawna Conroy, and Elaine Simonds Jaradat. Four new board members were welcomed: Wendy Lindberg, Argie Manolis, Leah Zierke, and Sarah McDermott. Julia Conroy’s letter of resignation as PRCA executive director was shared with the group and her contributions to the PRCA acknowledged. Following the potluck meal and meeting, Jimmy Schryver, University of Minnesota, Morris professor of art history, shared slides and insight about archeological digs conducted in Ireland.

Public invited to view thimble exhibit at PRCA

An exhibit of thimbles, now on display in the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance (PRCA) Gallery, aptly fulfils the organization’s goal of “weaving arts, culture, and heritage into the fabric of community.” Once a mainstay in every home, the tiny thimbles tell grand stories of artists and artistry, politicians and advertisers, businesses and manufacturers, history and tradition. The exhibit runs through Sunday, April 25, 2010, when a closing reception will be held from 1 until 3 p.m. The exhibit and the reception are free and open to all.

Melissa Yauk, Morris Public Library director, estimates that her collection numbers about 1,500. She’s been collecting since 1976 and is active with the Thimble Collectors International organization, which attracts enthusiasts from around the world.

“Talk about networking!” says Yauk. “You learn, and share, and study, and read-yes there are books about thimbles-and pretty soon you get to recognize thimbles by their style, place of manufacture, and understand how they were made and by whom. More importantly, you recognize what to look for in a quality thimble and understand its value.”

Thimbles created for utilitarian purposes as well as art objects are included in the exhibit. The thimbles displayed represent different manufacturers, materials, and countries.
Yauk will speak about her collection, including her antique thimbles, at 2 p.m. during the April 25 reception. You are invited to bring your thimbles to the reception, and Yauk will review them with you. She would like to organize a thimble collecting group in west central Minnesota, and welcomes your participation.

Complementing Yauk’s collection, the gallery also features hand-stitched fabric art and objects. Contributors are Clarice Dieter, Susan Gilbert, Carole Johnson, and Sara Spohr.

To view the exhibit, visit the PRCA, located at 630 Atlantic Avenue in Morris, Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The nonprofit PRCA’s mission is to advocate, promote, and coordinate arts, heritage, and cultural activities in Stevens County and the surrounding area.