Rockport Center for the Arts Announces Artist-in-Residence and Corresponding Exhibition

by Jessica Fuentes January 31, 2022
A photograph of ceramicist William Tersteeg working.

William Tersteeg

The Rockport Center for the Arts (RCA) has named Pennsylvania-based artist William Tersteeg as its 2022 Artist-in-Residence. Mr. Tersteeg will be in Rockport for the month of February and his exhibition, The Lighthouse — Safe Passage in a Turbulent Sea, will be on view at the RCA from February 4-27.

In a press release, Elena Rodriguez, RCA’s exhibitions curator shared, “Tersteeg created all of these new works with Rockport in mind. Although he is from Pennsylvania, he has heard of the resilience of the art community of Rockport which, like a lighthouse, weathers the most turbulent seas.”

The lighthouse ceramic works that Mr. Tersteeg has created for this exhibition take a variety of forms, from traditional vase-like shapes to more whimsical designs. Many include detailed depictions of the night sky and ships at sea. Mr. Tersteeg hand glazes his works and uses a Raku firing method, an ancient Japanese technique.

A composite photograph that shows three sides of a ceramic vase created by William Tersteeg. The front view shows a nocturne depiction of the beach with a calm ocean and cloudy sky. The side view shows a dark blue stripe meant to look like the night sky with one large white star at the top and several smaller white specks below it, giving the sense of a shooting star. The back view is another nocturne of the beach, this one with a darker sky and stars in the sky.

William Tersteeg, “Quickly to Sea,” Image: Rockport Center for the Arts

Of his work, Mr. Tersteeg has stated, “Lighthouses are… frequently depicted as symbols of strength. They are also reflections of my visual, intellectual, and emotional world. I am the poet, musician, dancer, and author on a creative path that leads me through a visual journey. Along the way, I’m able to include content that reflects the landscapes of coastal environments and records the history of our coasts.”

A photograph of a ceramic sculpture by William Tersteeg. The sculpture has a short, circular base with a short lighthouse standing in the middle. The edges of the base have depictions of the ocean. The top of the base resembles a rocky shore.

A lighthouse ceramic sculpture by William Tersteeg. Image: Rockport Center for the Arts.

Mr. Tersteeg, who has worked in ceramics for over forty years, will host a variety of programs throughout his residency. He will lead workshops for RCA members and local high school students, and will host studio tours in which he will discuss his process. A reception on Saturday, February 5 from 5-7 pm, will be part of the Rockport Art Loop — an evening when ten galleries along S. Austin Street in downtown Rockport will be open to the public. 

This exhibition also coincides with the 19th Rockport Clay Expo which will run from February 5-6. The annual event was cancelled in 2021.

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