This work was selected by May McCalmon (class of 2020), who explains: “I am pursuing a Studio Art degree with a concentration in ceramics, so I have come across Chris Gustin’s work in class related research. I would say this piece relates to my interests in functional pottery, and manipulating wheel thrown forms to achieve visual movement. The artist is masterful in creating subtle and dramatic curves in his vessels in order to create new volumes from a typical pot form. Gustin’s Teapot is an example of contemporary ceramics, and the push of functional pottery design towards sculpture. Functional pottery, more than any other art form, provides information about the owner’s life. The size of the piece Teapot was surprising to me, as I am more familiar with smaller vessels. I believe the size of this piece indicates its intended use, as this pot would hold enough liquid to serve multiple people, rather than a single serving. The strong stature of this teapot, along with the size, infers that it would be used in social settings. This work encourages viewers to think about their own household objects used in everyday life, and how they subtly give outsiders a hint of their identity and habits.”
The Vault, which also houses some of the works from our permanent collection, is dedicated to featuring and displaying works chosen by MSU students who work at the museum. Each month, one of our student gallery guides selects a piece from our collection and writes a short text explaining why they chose it and believe it should be displayed. By providing our gallery guides with an opportunity to participate in the curatorial process of selection and display, we aim to open a dialogue with the student community while simultaneously sharing with the public works from the collection that would otherwise remain in storage.