Malcom Davis infused the art studio with inspiration
Malcom Davis passed away mid January and now in February, Arlington Lee Arts Studio Gallery remembers him with an exhibition of pottery teapots, teapot paintings and prints by his fellow artists.
“Malcolm Davis, pastor turned potter, dies
Published: January 16, 2012 9:20 PM
By MATT SCHUDEL. The Washington Post
As early as 1960, Malcolm Davis began organizing civil rights bus caravans and sit-ins in the South. He helped lead voter registration drives and was confronted by the Ku Klux Klan, all while he was still a seminary student.
He later became an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and he moved to Washington in 1967 as the ecumenical campus chaplain at George Washington University. He became a leader in the peace movement and helped organize antiwar marches along with such '60s activists as Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden and Abbie Hoffman.
He was still a popular campus minister in 1974 when a neighbor invited him to attend a class on ceramics.
"In a matter of weeks," Davis recalled in a 2003 oral history interview, "I was transformed. It was as if there was that potter in me all my life just waiting to get out and just never had the opportunity." Over time, he gave up his ministry to devote himself to making ceramics. He became renowned for his porcelain and for a colorful ceramic glaze that he developed. He taught other potters all over the country, and museums and private collectors paid top prices for his teapots, cups, bowls and plates.
Davis, who lived in Washington and had a studio in Upshur County, W.Va., died Dec. 12 at Sibley Memorial Hospital's rehabilitation facility in the District. He was 74 and, according to his wife, had a pulmonary embolism three days after hip-replacement surgery.
For Davis, pottery was much more than a craft. There was something deep and enduring about molding vessels by hand, something that connected him to traditions and people reaching across time.
He called it his destiny.
"What we do with the clay," he said in 2010, "what we create with our hands, what we offer from our spirits may not end racism or stop injustice, but it may just help keep our culture human."”
Now, here is my review of the exhibition that is a tribute to him.
““Pots of Joy” tribute to Malcom Davis, potter
Arlington Art Examiner
There is a most unique display of pottery and prints at the Lee Arts Center for the balance of this month. February, the show displays a combination of ceramic tea pots and prints of tea pots made by Arlington artists.
You know that you can stop by anytime during the week and on Saturday to see the intimate gallery managed by Steve Munoz, Director of the Lee Arts Center. Most of the items on display are for sale.
Malcom Davis was a potter who worked at Lee Arts Center studio for awhile. His reputation was international. He was loved by his fellow artists and upon his recent passing; they feature a tribute to him surrounded by pots and prints that he so enjoyed.
“My desire is to bring to life pots that are friendly and intimate, growing ever more personal with daily use.”Malcom Davis
Look at the picture show that I have posted with this article and you will get a glimpse of the experience that you should try to have first hand to see the details of glazes and ink.
There are 18 pieces represented by the following artists.
Klaudia Levin: 1) Tea Drinker’s Delight, Sagger-fired ceramics and mixed media, 2) Bird Cage, Sagger-fired ceramics and mixed media
Bird Cage is a whimsical ceramic work.
Maureen George, Tea Luv, Monoprint and Mixed Media
I feel the love.
Liz Wolf, 1) Spiral Teapot, Reduction Linocut, 2) Textured Teapot, Reduction Linocut
Helene Vonnegut, T.4.1, Shino Glaze
Joe Rubin, VNT Ceramic
Wes Muntain, Miss Muffit, Reduction Linocut
Rebecca Zweibel, 1) Forward, Stoneware, 2) Flowers, Stoneware
Veena Raghaven, Oriental Teapot, Carved Porcelain
Soon Hee Kim, 1) Teapot, Celadon Glaze, 2) Faceted Teapot, Celadon Glaze
Debra Vardon, epot, Shino Glaze Stoneware
Dana Lehrer Danze, 1) Green and Gold Teapot, Stoneware, 2) Blue Forest, Stoneware
Eric Christenson, Teapot, Porcelain
Lee Center Hours:
Monday & Friday: 9:30 am - 6 pm
Tuesday - Thursday: 9:30 am - 9 pm
Saturday: 9:30 am - 5 pm
The Lee Arts Center, a program of the Arlington Cultural Affairs Division, is housed in the Lee Community Center. Studios for ceramics and printmaking are maintained in large, airy rooms with abundant natural light. There are ongoing open studio programs in pottery, ceramic sculpture, tilemaking, and printmaking.”