AT THE WIRTZ GALLERY
Located in the First National Bank of South Miami’s lobby, each month the gallery presents local & international artists. Gallery hours are Monday to Thursday 9a-4p, and Friday, 9a-6p. Artist receptions are generally held on the second Friday of the month, from 6-9p and are open to the public.
During the month of August, the works by Marlene Kohn will be exhibited in the gallery. Kohn has been a professional artist and art educator in Miami for over 25 years. Her work is in many private collections and has been showcased throughout South Florida. Her artwork in shapes, lines, patterns, movements, flowers and motifs that derive from influences such as textiles and nature. As noted by the artist, a subtle line or shape can determine the direction a piece will take. Many of her canvases are created in a modular fashion, beginning with small squares that may be expanded or combined with others, or stand on their own.
For September, the gallery hosts the work of local artist Ana Telles Portuondo. Her artistic output ranges from drawings in India ink to enhanced cigar boxes, to large-scale paintings rendered in acrylic. Her work is heavily influenced by her Cuban roots, even though she left that island nation when she was just eight months old. She has never seen Cuba, but it and her family, culture and faith are the driving forces behind the subjects and themes she chooses for her artistic expression.
MARSHA SILVERMAN – CERAMICIST
Marsha Silverman understands the art of creating in porcelain. Like all successful potters from antiquity until today, she has mastered the treatment of clay. She knows the joy of shaping it by hand or by wheel, and she knows clay’s fickle character—sometimes waiting until the final steps to reveal its flaws.
The discipline of working in ceramics requires coordination, skill, practice, time and an endless supply of patience. Silverman is both disciplined and extremely talented, creating organic pieces that possess a pleasing quality that invite you to pick them up, take them home and share them with others.
“I work in porcelain because it feels wonderful when I’m throwing–creamy and soft. Since it hasn’t any iron in it, porcelain is the perfect clay for my interest in glazes. I’m able to get a wide variety of visual and tactile effects,” said Silverman.
Impeccable treatment of glazes is a hallmark of her work. Micro-crystalline and matte-crystallize glazes produce different finishes, some with a halo effect that is inspired by the sparkling quality of a geode’s interior. Her pieces generally measure between 4.5 to 10 inches and are shaped like gourds, pods, bottles with thin necks, open forms, teapots and lidded jars.
Silverman creates in a studio that would be the envy of most artists. It is attached to the home she shares with her husband and two Yorkshire Terriers. An accomplished ceramicist for many years, she knew that the ideal studio would be have to be spacious enough (about 1,500 sf) for storing and wedging clay, potter’s wheels, kilns, drying racks, and paint hoods. Interested to keep in touch with the world right outside her door, she incorporated a sizeable space that showcases tropical plants and orchids bathed from above in natural light.
“I am happiest here in the studio,” said Silverman.
Since her introduction to working with clay at summer camp at the age of eight, Silverman has been interested in the aesthetic potential of clay. For about 10 years of her life, she pursued ballet as a career but returned to pottery.
“I didn’t like the life. I preferred my artistic expression to be more self-motivated,” Silverman said.
The artist was born in New York and trained at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she majored in ceramics. She was awarded the Boit Prize and the Clarissa Bartlett Traveling Scholarship. The scholarship allowed her to study in Europe for almost a year. She set up her first studio in Rexford, New York, in 1972 and married Jack Firestone in 1974.
In 1975, she and her husband moved to Anchorage, Kentucky. Here, she set up a studio, making and selling fine porcelains for six years. She and Jack later settled in Miami in 1981.
Although she says she is semi-retired, she continues to create in her studio.
Silverman’s work is available at The Archive, Fine Art and Collectibles, located at 1559 Sunset Drive in Coral Gables. Visit www.thearchive-gallery.com to see examples of her work or just spend some time enjoying The Archive in person. Learn more about the artist at her website .