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Ceramics represent Wichita artist’s love of nature

September 4th, 2019

Ceramic piece by Wichita artist Natalie Brown

Ceramics by Natalie Brown of Derby High School and Friends University are now on display in the Regier Art Gallery.

Form and function are equally important to Wichita artist-educator Brown, chair of the art department at DHS.

The artist reception for Brown and “In Bloom,” an exhibit of some of her latest work, is Sept. 26, 6-8 p.m. outside the gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center on the Bethel campus.

“As an art teacher, I devote much of my time and effort to education,” she said. “I greatly enjoy helping students to find their own creative potential and it is with joy that I teach the medium I so dearly love myself.

“The daily discourse and interchange with students motivates and challenges me to constantly reexamine my work and intentions as an artist.”

Her artist statement continues: “The idea of an object serving both functional and aesthetic purposes drives much of my work. I choose simple and elegant forms, providing a clean canvas of porcelain for my carvings. …

“The root of many of my designs is a love of nature, with patterns and textures derived from the lines occurring in the folds of flowers and edges of leaves.

“I enjoy optical illusions where one shape seems to flow in front of another and yet at the same time twists behind it. Using celadon glaze enhances these subtle patterns and forms a link to water and its moving ripples.”

Brown’s most recent work “includes the incorporation of multiple pigments with glazing.

“For a long time, most of my pieces were monochromatic. I wanted to add to them some of the vibrant colors found when walking in a garden.

“The process reminds me of working in watercolors or pastels, and I love how Velvet Underglaze mimics the feel of chalk drawings.”

She said she would welcome comments and feedback from viewers on “this new growth in my art, reflecting the [exhibit] title ‘In Bloom.’”

A working artist and educator, Brown serves on the board of the Kansas Art Educators Association. She holds an MFA in ceramics from Wichita State University, as well as a BFA in ceramics from Kansas State University. 

“In Bloom” will be on display through Sept. 27.

Regier Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 2-4 p.m. There is no admission charge.

Bethel College, a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887, is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel is the highest-listed Kansas private college listed in Washington Monthly’s “Top Bachelor’s Colleges” for 2019-20 and according to Zippia.com, is the highest ranked Kansas small college with the highest earning graduates. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.