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Aug 11, 2022
Press Release | Michael Wisner: Form & Pattern

Ann Korologos Gallery presents Michael Wisner: Form & Pattern a pop-up exhibition exploring the hand-coiled ceramics by Michael Wisner. Formed from local, hand-dug, hand-made clay from the Roaring Fork Valley, the artist meticulously carves each pot with patterns of sacred geometry observed in nature and translated to clay. The exhibition will open with an artist talk, alongside woodblock printmaker Leon Loughridge, on Thursday, July 28 from 5 to 7PM.

Michael Wisner - Terracotta Kauai 4 x 14 (227)
Michael Wisner, “Terracotta Kauai 4 x 14 (227),” Ceramics, 14 x 4 in

Early life

Born and raised in Maryland, Michael Wisner spent his early adult life working in cancer research until, at the age of 25, he followed the call to life as an artist. His path would ultimately take him to California, Mexico, and Colorado to study at the ISOMATA School in Idyllwild, to pursue a 15-year mentorship and lifelong friendship with Juan Quezada, to become an artist in residence at Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and open his studio in Woody Creek, CO.  Wisner has created a home base and studio in the Roaring Fork Valley where he digs the clay to create his ceramic pots and finds endless inspiration in the bountiful natural world of the Roaring Fork Valley. 

Michael Wisner - Grey Pinecone with Lid, 6 x 15 (252)
Michael Wisner, “Grey Pinecone with Lid, 6 x 15 (252),” Ceramic, 6 x 15 x 15 in

Finding his style

During his artist residency at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, Wisner developed a style unique from his mentor’s. He carved his clay instead of painted it. He created it with his hands instead of buying it. He allowed his process to take more time, rather than money. He found satisfaction in discovering a deposit of clay in the ditch along Owl Creek Road, cleaning it, shaping it with a coiling technique learned from Quezada, pressing it with patterns of sacred geometry, and firing it into a fine art piece.

Michael Wisner - White Lotus 4 x 15 (229)
Michael Wisner, “White Lotus 4 x 15 (229),” Ceramic, 4 x 15 x 15 in

Inspiration from nature

Inspired by patterns found along hiking trails – pinecones, weavings, seed pods or a wandering river—Wisner studied these patterns and developed tools to press them into clay.  “It’s not for a random reason. Those patterns make sense structurally, and on a spiritual level as well. They are woven into us,” reflects Wisner. “People respond to this work, as it is something inside all of us.”

Michael Wisner - Metallic Zigzag, 5 x 16 (153)
Michael Wisner, “Metallic Zigzag, 5 x 16 (153),” Ceramic, 5 x 16 x 16 in

Geometry & language

Of these patterns in sacred geometry, Wisner, an English, Spanish, and Portuguese speaker, thinks of it as a language. “I am learning a language and then figuring out how to use it. To translate into clay the way nature has found to lay down shingles—one on top of another—and once I’ve decoded the intelligence of it, it’s like a jazz musician riffing.”

Michael Wisner - Cream Oval #112
Michael Wisner, “Cream Oval #112,” Ceramic, 13 x 12 x 13 in

Form & Pattern

Michael Wisner: Form & Pattern is on view July 28 to August 18, 2022 at Ann Korologos Gallery in historic downtown Basalt and virtually at korologosgallery.com. Join the artist for an artist talk Thursday, July 28 from 5 to 7PM. For questions, hours or private viewing times, please call (970) 927-9668, email art@korologosgallery.com, or visit korologosgallery.com.

Michael Wisner - Cameo Zig Zag (139)
Michael Wisner, “Cameo Zig Zag (139) ,” Ceramic, 7 x 5 x 7 in
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Posted in
  • Michael Wisner
  • Anderson Ranch
  • Ann Korologos Gallery
  • ceramics
  • clay
  • Michael Wisner
  • nature
  • roaring fork valley
  • solo exhibits