Conrad resident Gary Stattler will be the first featured artist of the New Year in the Ray Frederick Gallery, room 306, on the Marshalltown Community College campus.
The exhibit opens with a reception at 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 22 and will be on display through noon Feb. 14. This month's exhibit will feature Gary's ceramic work.
"I've always enjoyed sculpting, and this show has provided the opportunity and incentive to do some larger pieces," Stattler said.
Artist Gary Stattler’s artwork will be on display in the Ray Frederick Gallery from Jan. 22 to Feb. 14.
The exhibit will consist of ceramic sculptures as well as functional pottery. "My wife, Mary, has a passion for cats so that has often been my subject matter in the past, but this time I'm adding a few other subjects. I've always enjoyed the outdoors which has been my source for some of my newer pieces."
Stattler was born and raised in Iowa County, and grew up on a farm southwest of Ladora. After high school he attended Northwestern Bible College for one year before transferring to Iowa State Teachers College. In college Stattler worked as an assistant occupational therapist at Allen Hospital in Waterloo. It was there where his interest in ceramics blossomed and it soon became his emphasis for undergraduate and graduate studies.
"I knew that I wanted to work with young people from early on, starting my college education as a biology major," he said.
Stattler worked full time while his wife completed her degree, and changed majors to Art Education upon his return.
"I never seriously saw myself as a full time artist, as I always enjoyed working with young people too much."
Stattler married his wife Mary the summer following his sophomore year. After graduating, they moved to Gladbrook for two years and then to Conrad. Stattler was hired to teach at Miller Middle School and remained there for 32 years. During that time he earned his Masters of Art Education from the University of Iowa. He's also taught adult education classes through the Central Iowa Art Association.
"Most of the pieces in the show will be items that I hope people will feel that they could enjoy using in their everyday lives. Pottery is very tactile. I would hope that the viewers would feel as if they would like to handle the pieces and see them in their home settings. As a maker I have the luxury of responding to the visual, tactile, and functional qualities of a finished piece. The making of a piece of pottery brings out a grouping of human capacities that are intrinsically fulfilling both to the potter and the viewer."
Stattler has had one-man shows by invitation of the Waterloo Art Association, twice at the Old Jail Gallery in Dubuque, and three at the Mississippi House Gallery and also the River Trace Gallery in Galena, Ill.
Gary and Mary celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2011. They have one son who lives in San Francisco with his wife and daughter.
"As a longtime area artist and art educator, Gary has influenced a lot of lives over the years," says MCC Professor of Art, Tim Castle. "We are pleased and honored to be showcasing Gary's work here at MCC and I think many people will be delighted to see so much of his work all in one venue."
The Ray Frederick Gallery is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"My intent is for people to find an object that they feel is aesthetically pleasing and that they will use in their everyday life, growing to love and enjoy it. Because an individual piece of pottery is somewhat fragile by nature, in their use it may be scratched, chipped or broken and they would have come to enjoy the piece enough that they will seek a replacement."