Marco Fields conducts workshop, talk

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The public will have two opportunities today to rub elbows with noted clay artist, Marko Fields – once at a morning workshop at Troy University and later an afternoon gallery talk at the Johnson Center for the Arts.

Nationally acclaimed clay artist Marko Fields will conduct a workshop at Troy University’s Malone Hall 121 from 9 a.m. until noon today. He will give a gallery talk at 5 p.m. today at the Johnson Center for the Arts. The public is invited to attend both events.

The Fields-conducted workshop will be from 9 a.m. until noon at Malone 121. The Johnson Center will host a closing reception for the ‘Alabama in the Making’ and ‘End Times’ exhibitions from 4 until 6 p.m. with the Fields’ gallery talk at 5 p.m.

“The community is invited to the workshop and the gallery talk,” said Larry Percy, associate professor at the university’s art and design department.

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“The workshop is an excellent opportunity to see a nationally-known artist at work at his craft. The gallery talk will give insight into Marko Fields’ art. We would welcome public attendance at both of these events.”

Fields conducted a workshop at Malone on Wednesday and described his work as stories in clay.

“My work is complex,” he said. “It’s narrative. It tells stories that are irreverent but not irrelevant.”

Fields said that he believes that God has a sense of humor.

“If God didn’t, he wouldn’t have created the armadillo,” he said, with a smile. “We each have our idiosyncrasies. I like to be cheeky with my art. I like to have fun.”

Much of Fields’ art is inspired by the environment and treatment or mistreatment of it.

“Even a mutant frog needs to be given its due,” he said.

Fields began his career in art as an illustrator and designer and didn’t discover clay until much later.

“When I discovered clay, I never looked back,” he said. “I had found my life’s work.”

Fields said that he has experienced several great epiphanies his life.

“Foremost among them is discovering clay as my life’s work,” he said. “I had dropped out of college in the mid-1970s, and dropped back in in 1991, a sculpture major. I took Ceramics One at the University of Kansas simply to learn about clay as a mold-making material, and within a week of my hands touching clay, I realized that I had found my medium.”

A more recent epiphany was Fields’ discovery of the area of study known as entoptics.

“I came to realize just why I make the marks that I have made for years, and how I have been connected to a sense of universal iconography for most of my life,” he said.

“As a result, my work has become more focused, and in particular, more narrative. In turn, that narrative direction has led me toward figurative work.”

Fields said that art making and the appreciation of art are profoundly important activities.

“As our society becomes increasingly inundated with technology, I believe that the beautiful handmade object will gain in value – intrinsic and economic – and importance,” he said. “As life becomes more complex, art will continue to serve as an essential, visceral and therapeutic connection to the wonder of our humanity.”