(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – An exhibition of hand-thrown porcelain by Berkshire-based artisan Daniel Bellow goes on view in the BerkshireNow gallery space at the Berkshire Museum on Friday, March 3, with an opening reception from 5 to 8pm, in conjunction with Pittsfield’s First Fridays Artswalk, when the BerkshireNow gallery is open to the public at no cost. The work by the accomplished potter, remarkable for its exquisite glazes and intriguing textured surfaces, remains on display through Monday, May 22.
For this solo exhibition, Bellow has created sculptural forms in porcelain and imagined a detailed scenario about their origin. According to Bellow’s backstory, scale models of rocket ships, supposedly created during the Song Dynasty in China at the command of Emperor Gaozong, have recently been discovered by archaeologists.
The unique sculptural “rocket ships” in the exhibition echo the work of the Song dynasty potters, whose smooth, dense porcelain ware was praised for its simplicity of shape and understated decoration.
About Daniel Bellow
After a career as a newspaper reporter, Daniel Bellow established the Daniel Bellow Pottery in Great Barrington in 2002. Much of his work is porcelain, and each piece is handmade on the potter’s wheel, one piece at a time. As Bellow says, “Things that are made by hand have a life of their own, a spirit, that machine-made objects, no matter how well designed, cannot hope to match.”
In Bellow’s own words, “I was the kid in high school who hid out in the ceramics studio. I went to gallery openings and haunted the second-floor landing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they keep the Chinese porcelain and the Japanese stoneware. I won the studio art prize my senior year, and went on to apprentice with my teacher Tom White in Northfield, Mass., and study with Mary Risley at Wesleyan University.”
“Thinking I needed a real job, I became a newspaper reporter, which was a great ride while it lasted but now looks like a decision to go into the buggy whip business in 1899. In 2001, I was between jobs, and my friend Danny Pearl got killed in the line of duty in Pakistan. I decided life was too short not to do what I really wanted. I sat back down at the wheel and rediscovered my joy.”
“I decided that if Paul Gauguin could quit his job to become an artist at 37, so could I. But instead of leaving my wife, two small children and two large dogs and going off to Tahiti to drink myself to death, we all moved back to the Berkshires and established the Daniel Bellow Pottery in Great Barrington in 2002.”
Daniel Bellow’s work is sold in finer galleries and in Anthropologie stores from coast to coast. He teaches at the Great Barrington Waldorf High School and IS183 Art School of the Berkshires.
BerkshireNow features four exhibits each year ranging from solo artists to group shows. Outfitting the nine-hundred-square-foot gallery space for the new exhibition series was made possible in part by a grant from the Pittsfield Cultural Council.
About the Berkshire Museum
Located in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts, at 39 South St., the Berkshire Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $13 adult, $6 child; Museum members and children age 3 and under enjoy free admission. For more information, visit Berkshire Museum or call 413.443.7171.