Eide/Dalrymple Gallery to Feature Ceramics by Thelen, Dean

Augustana College today announced that 90 ceramic works from the collection of Todd Thelen and Eric Dean will be displayed at the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery from Wednesday, Sept. 8, through Saturday, Oct. 2. A gallery reception will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10. Thelen and Dean will speak at 6 p.m.

Todd Thelen, a 1988 graduate of Augustana, holds a master’s degree in fine art in printmaking. Eric Dean holds a master’s degree in fine art in photography. Together, their passion for collecting art has centered on contemporary studio ceramics.

Thelen and Dean began their collection about eight years ago. In that short period, the pair have amassed more than 1,700 pieces, according to their most recent count.

According to art experts, the size, age and breadth of Thelen and Dean’s collection make it extremely rare. A brief stroll through their home provides an education on some of the most important contemporary studio ceramicists in U.S. history.

Thelen and Dean collect a wide range of forms from artists across the country. This exhibit, however, includes “themes” that unite the collection. Tea bowls, for example, have become a particular focus. Natural forms also dominate. Thelen and Dean are drawn to pieces that seem to breathe, stretch, and reveal the individual hand of their makers, rather than tightly conform to the perfect 360-degree cylinders of commercially produced ceramics. The earthy colors derived from wood-fired, salt-fired, and soda-fired processes also rule the collection.

The Eide/Dalrymple Gallery is located on Commons Circle (30th Street and Grange Avenue), in the Center for Visual Arts at Augustana College. The gallery is open to the public and free of charge. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday noon to 5:00 p.m.

Kelly Sprecher
Director of Communications & Media Relations