Kelly Jean Ohl’s intricately crafted ceramics can be found in 30 galleries in 15 states, including the Kolman & Pryor Gallery, in the Northrop King building of Northeast Minneapolis. Named one of City Pages “Top 10 Galleries in the Twin Cities” in 2013, Kolman & Pryor invites you to Tidal Music, an exhibition of Ohl’s newest objects and exquisite sculptures. The exhibition begins on Saturday, November 23, 2013 and runs through Saturday, January 4, 2014 with a free public reception on Saturday, December 14, 2013, 7-10 p.m.
Ohl’s porcelain and stoneware bowls and objects are small, delicate and abstract. They often reference biological entities throughout the natural world—whether clinging to rocks in a tidal pool, swimming beneath the viewfinder of a microscope or intertwined on a forest floor—with compelling non-specificity.
She carves the works’ intricate designs using a variety of household utensils and dental tools. Sanding, firing and hand-painting yields highly textural work layered with markings and meanings. Ohl also often embeds her objects with materials that create music or sounds.
For Tidal Music, some of Ohl’s pieces will be displayed on wide white pedestals—some low to the ground—and partially covered with sand. “We want visitors to imagine ‘combing’ through a large number of her works, just like they would comb the beach looking for unique flotsam,” says gallery curator and co-owner Patrick Kemal Pryor. “People will be able to pick up some of Kelly Jean’s evocative pieces, some of which are musical or make sounds when gently shaken.”
“When someone picks up one of my pieces they see the detailed carving, feel the unique tactile quality of the surface and then also realize the piece makes sounds,” says Ohl, who was born and raised in southeastern Minnesota, and has an MFA from the University of Michigan. “This is my way of acknowledging that the work was meant to be touched. It’s part of the experience.”
The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.