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Centennial Art Center’s summer exhibit explores the worlds of calligraphy and clay


The Nashville Calligrapher’s Guild (NCG) is pleased to be celebrating their 40th anniversary with an exhibit at Centennial Art Center. In addition to the beautifully crafted calligraphy of NCG’s members, the exhibit will display beautiful intriguing clay sculptures by Asia Mathis and graceful pottery by Catherine McMurray, making this an exhibit that gallery visitors won’t want to miss.

example of calligraphy by Vicki Brandt
Calligraphy by Vicki Brandt

The exhibit opens with an in-person artist reception on Friday, June 11 from 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in Centennial Art Center Gallery – the Centennial Art Center Courtyard with its beautiful garden maintained by the Herb Society of Nashville will be open to ensure space for social distancing. The exhibit will remain on display June 11 through July 22, 2021.

The Nashville Calligrapher’s Guild has grown into an enthusiastic group of lettering artists with a wide range of talents and styles which seeks to expand the interest in and growth of calligraphy. Open to all, it is a community of people who truly enjoy the written word and the endless ways it can be expressed.

In a time of instant communication, the art of calligraphy offers a chance to slow down and reflect on the full meaning of words.

Renew sculpture by Asia Mathis
Renew ceramic sculpture by Asia Mathis

Ceramic artist Asia Mathis combines the human figure and nature to create thoughtful, enchanted ceramic sculptures. Asia’s work centers around the human search for authenticity and belonging. The surfaces of her sculptures are built up over a course of 3-4 firings using engobes, underglazes, stains, and glazes to create work that seems aged with patina almost as if they have risen directly from the earth.

Imaginative and thoughtful, her work reflects her personal experiences around issues such as the modern human conflict of being disconnected from nature.

Catherine McMurray joins this exhibit with a beautiful array of both functional and raku pottery – from coffee mugs to large casseroles, teapots, and platters. Delicate and refined, some pieces contain sprigged or impressed flowers while others rely on combinations of glazes to create stunning one-of-a-kind objects.

Her non-functional ceramic work is fired through a process called Raku. This unique and unusual means of firing and glazing was imported to America from Japan about 60 years ago. The Raku pieces are not utilitarian but rather are unique in their various glaze features. Raku shows the wonderful effects of smoke and fire – revealing intricacies to the eye, especially in varied light settings.

Dogwood Tea, Ceramic Teapot by Catherine McMurray
Dogwood Tea, Ceramic Teapot by Catherine McMurray

As gallery visitors explore these worlds of calligraphy and clay, the artists hope that visitors will experience a deeper connection to their own world.

Color My World, calligraphy by Ann Cobb
Color My World, calligraphy by Ann Cobb

Metro Parks Visual Arts will be hosting educational workshops by the artists at Centennial Art Center:

Sign up to join Ann Cobb of the Nashville Calligrapher’s Guild for a calligraphy workshop in June.

Sign up to join Asia for a clay sculpting workshop in August. (Call Centennial Art Center at 615-862-8442.)

Metro Parks Centennial Art Center is a visual arts community center located in the northeast corner of Nashville’s Centennial Park.

Centennial Art Center Gallery is free and open to the public. The exhibit is open June 11 – July 22, 2021. Gallery hours are Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, call Centennial Art Center at 615-862-8442, visit online: or find them on facebook.