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From the ground to the gallery

Laguna Art Museum's fall exhibits stress the connection between art and nature.

October 24, 2013|By Rhea Mahbubani
  • Adam Silverman stands where one of his installations will be as part of the "Clay and Space" exhibit at the Laguna Art Museum.
Adam Silverman stands where one of his installations… (Don Leach, Coastline…)

Adam Silverman gets chummy with the earth when he works.

The ceramist's contentment is obvious when his wet hands are immersed in clay, kneading, smoothing and glazing pots.

But he almost didn't follow his instincts.

With experience in architecture and the garment industry, Silverman decided to put his days as a hobby artist behind him and become a full-time potter in September 2002. He gave himself one year to work earnestly and discover if he could make a go of it. Fast forward 11 years, and he remarks that the experiment was a success, emboldening him to make the switch.

"It's fundamental and primitive," he said about the art form. "There's chemistry, art and design involved. It's challenging, and I really enjoy that."

The Rhode Island School of Design graduate will be spotlighted at the Laguna Art Museum from Sunday to Jan. 19. While his pieces and installations have been featured elsewhere, "Clay and Space" is his first one-man show and the one he deems his "most ambitious."

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Silverman's exhibit will share space with the site's fifth installment in its ex•pose series, highlighting interdisciplinary artist Richard Kraft, and "Sea Change: Tanya Aguíñiga's Bluebelt Forest." An opening reception will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday.

These displays are in keeping with the museum's recently announced Art & Nature initiative, scheduled for Nov. 7 through 10. Marinta Stupin, the venue's director of education, says the conference and festival will celebrate facets of Laguna Beach.

"The Laguna Art Museum traces its roots to a group of artists whose subject was the natural environment," she said. "They were incredibly accomplished Impressionist landscape painters, and their legacy to us lies not only in the paintings they left behind, but in the very existence of the museum. Art & Nature will be an opportunity for the museum to showcase the much-loved paintings of those early Impressionists, as well as the work of contemporary artists who make nature a central part of their work in new and exciting ways."

While art and cultural historians, scientists and environmentalists will be on hand early next month, local businesses and organizations, including Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow, JoAnne Artman Gallery, Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach, Festival of Arts and others, will simultaneously host gatherings focused on the outdoors.

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