While doing research for some up and coming projects, I had the unique opportunity to spend a day with accomplished potters Mikhail Zakin, Louis Mendez, and Sheryl Zacharia. Also adding to this group of good company was Dianne Mendez, who incidentally, snapped the below photos in their palatial SoHo loft.
I was in the best of company: Mendez and Zakin have made a inspirational impact on the direction taken here at StudioPotterArchive, and Zacharia is a sculptor whose work I’ve come to greatly admire.
As a sculptor myself (in concrete and clay), I’m drawn to the immense talents of each artist for different reasons, and notwithstanding, to their warm and inviting personalities.
The connection between these three artists seemed too fortuitous for me to not orchestrate a day such as this. Behind the scenes, each artist is the subject of a SPA special project in the works; all exciting, and each offering insight to the creative flair that’s fueled such visually striking work.
Zakin agrees. She gave an introspective look at Zacharia’s career; past and present, during our visit. As a fan her work, Zakin welcomed the opportunity to see, firsthand, the path taken by Zacharia over the course of 20 years. Zacharia is getting set for a series of shows in 2012, and since the two are professionally linked (Zacharia and Zakin teach at the Art School at Old Church in Demarest, NJ) the timing couldn’t be better.
To say Zakin and Mendez are anything short to being called “titans” in their field is saying too little. Our visit downtown (onward from Zacharia’s home) to Mendez’s live-in studio/gallery offers a unique view of a lifetime worth of artistic achievement. Said Zakin to Mendez, “I’m grateful for the opportunity to witness a full career such as yours.” Mendez’s reply, that “the honor” was his, was acknowledgement that Zakin’s own achievements were ever so grand, and had me thinking that I was the one truly benefiting by being in such company.
It was great day, and one that continues to inspire the good work done here at SPA.