Brooklyn art. Five top#1 sculptors join 85 other exhibitors at the second American Fine Craft Show

Brooklyn art. Five top#1 sculptors join 85 other exhibitors at the second American Fine Craft Show
Yareah Magazine


Brooklyn art. Five top#1 sculptors join 85 other exhibitors at the second American Fine Craft Show

“Woman, Head on Knee,” (large), by Bob Clyatt, Raku-fired stoneware. 15″H x 26″L x 8″W

Five sculptors, representing divergent styles and techniques, join 85 other exhibitors at the second American Fine Craft Show Brooklyn at Brooklyn Museum November 22-23, 2014. This show is the first in the Art of American Craft museum series. The others will be at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and Monmouth Museum in Conn and N.J. respectively.

“We included sculpture at the craft show to spotlight the interaction and play of form and function in many of the works for sale,” said Richard Rothbard, show and series co-founder and co-director with his wife Joanna Rothbard. “One sculptor, Barry Rust, creates instruments you can play. Jennifer McCurdy’s ceramics are sculptural and decorative. Whether admired for their form and/or function, we’ve selected exhibitors, in addition to ceramists and sculptors, whose glass, furniture, textiles or fashion we recognize for artful execution.”

Brooklyn art. Five top#1 sculptors join 85 other exhibitors at the second American Fine Craft Show

“Cubed,” Michael Alfano, clay puzzle in 9 pieces: Female one side, male on reverse

Rye, N.Y.-based sculptor Bob Clyatt wrote: “Whether I’m combining clay with 3-D printing or trying to mash Science and Mystery together into some new sort of theology, it seems I always want to get opposites sparking off each other.” He continued on, “Tying everything back to the figure helps me explore modern life in the context of our most ancient human concerns – things like sex, security, freedom, power, thoughtful reflection. I love the legacy of the old figurative sculptors and the challenge of making the figure contemporary.”

“My work is the daily practice of creating sacred objects – Objects which conjure the primal magic which exists in each of us, which the ancient texts speak of, yet is so often lost in our society,” wrote Zaliah Zalkind on “As beauty is rooted in the natural world my work honors the sanctity of the material and the earth itself.” Zalkind, whose studios are in Boston, Mass. and Sedona, Ariz., creates mostly bowls of alabaster that he gathers in the southwest. He uses traditional percussive hand-tools and abrasive tooling techniques to shape each bowl some of which he adorns with rare gemstones and found pieces of juniper wood as a base. To achieve his hallmark translucent finish, he hand-sands each bowl.

Brooklyn art. Five top#1 sculptors join 85 other exhibitors at the second American Fine Craft Show

“Al Fields Cigar Box Ukelele,” by Barry Rust. Functional ukulele made from a vintage cigar box. Sepele neck, ebony fingerboard, bone nut, Ko’olau Mahana strings.

Brooklyn, NY-based Rust wrote on his website, that his sculpted cigar box guitars “have a long history in America, and the recent handmade, salvaging explosion makes these instruments match perfectly with the times….”

About his instrument-sculptures, Rust continued: “I love making them: finding the most beautiful boxes and tins, shaping the wood until it fits perfectly in your hand, getting the tone just right.”

Contemporary figurative sculptor Colleen O’Donnell writes that her Nature series “involves abstracted forms based on organic subject. I find the beauty of the natural world appealing and inspiring. The seeming solidity of forms gives a sense of permanence to a world of birth and decay. The cycle of life is one which we must learn to deal with: Our humble place in the world, our own impermanence, our need for joy in the moment.”

“If the artist taps into a universal truth, the piece is felt by everyone like clear mountain air,” wrote Michael Alfano on his website His monuments and public art are on permanent display in the US and his sculptures are in private collections throughout the world. In addition his work has been covered frequently in newspapers, magazines, books and television.

Special exhibitions at Brooklyn Museum concurrent with the American Fine Craft Show Brooklyn include “Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, and Beyond,” “Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe,” as well as long-term installations such as “Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt” and “American Identities: A New Look.”

Information: Visit and

Where: Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11238. Directions:

Hours: Saturday Nov. 22: Preview for Museum Members & Press 11 am-Noon; General public Noon-6 pm. Sunday Nov. 23, 11 am-6 pm.

Tickets: Adults – $12.00 Seniors -$11.00 Students – $6.00 Children under 10 -Free.

Cash at entrance; online at Includes general admission to museum.

Additional information about the sculptors:

Bob Clyatt: The award-winning sculptor studied creative arts at UC Berkeley where he earned a degree as he did at MIT. During the 1990s he founded and eventually sold two firms, HorizonLive and i/o 360, credited with innovation in their fields. Then for eight years he studied sculpture at the Art Students League of New York under the guidance of Barney Hodes and created studio art. In addition to appearing in international media, his work has appeared globally in one-person and group exhibitions most recently from Hong Kong, Paris and Santa Fe to New York and Chicago.

Zaliah Zalkind: As a second generation artist and sculptor, Zalkind has been working in stone for nearly 30 years. His most recent form is the vessel, an object both ancient and modern, which he strives to bring to new heights. When lit with a candle his pieces have both a shimmering warmth and quiet stillness. His goal as an artist is to pioneer new forms and ideas in stone with a commitment to maintaining the highest standards of quality and craftsmanship. Each luminary vessel, which on average takes two weeks to finish, is made from a unique piece of translucent alabaster.

Barry Rust is also a fourth grade teacher in Brooklyn. He grew up around tools in central Illinois, listened to music obsessively when young and discovered old-time music as an adult. He wrote: “I loved that some of these musicians played instruments they created themselves, from household materials they had lying around. Their resourcefulness was irresistible. I started building my own instruments from boxes and tins almost 10 years ago, honing my craft through books and experience.”

Colleen O’Donnell received her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts [PAFA] in 2003, studied figure drawing in New York at the Art Students League and National Academy of Design and was selected for residencies at The Carving Studio, Rutland, Vt. and The Fulton Street Gallery, Troy, NY. Her gallery representation is in Washington, DC with Susan Calloway, and she maintains a studio in Philadelphia. She has been chosen for such invitational exhibits as Hidden Cities (juried by Lisa Phillips, Director of the New Museum of Contemporary Art) and the Gracie Square Art Show, both in New York and juried outdoor sculpture exhibitions: Sculpture Now in Lenox, Mass and Art in the Heart, Ithaca, N.Y. Her work is in private collections in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Washington, DC. She teaches Terra Cotta Figure Sculpture, Sculptural Abstractions, Expressive Figure Drawing and Écorché in the PAFA Continuing Education program.

Michael Alfano has sculpted figures, monuments and philosophical pieces for 20 years. The award winning sculptor studied at the Art Students League of New York, Boston University and learned from internships with several prominent sculptors. He continues to attend master classes and teaches sculpture on occasion.

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