Alleghany Meadows is a nationally recognized studio potter, mentor, gallery owner and curator, non-profit board member and artistic entrepreneur – all centered around his love of art. He received his BA from Pitzer College, MFA from Alfred University, studied in Karatsu, Japan with with Takashi Nakazato, and received a Watson Foundation Fellowship for a year study of potters in Nepal. He has been an invited artist, lecturer and panelist at numerous universities, art centers, museums and conferences nationally, including, Penland, Kansas City Art Institute, Huntington Museum of Art, RISD, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Alfred University, Anderson Ranch, NCECA, Arrowmont, Archie Bray Foundation, Haystack and University of Georgia, Cortona, Italy. His work is in many private and public collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, New Orleans Museum of Art, Everson Museum of Art, Long Beach Museum of Art, American Museum of Ceramic Art and the Huntington Museum of Art, where he was honored with the Walter Gropius Master Award.
Alleghany is also known for his social outreach and entrepreneurial projects, including Artstream Nomadic Gallery, Harvey/Meadows Gallery, Studio for Arts + Work (SAW) and Artstream Ceramic Library. Artstream is a traveling exhibition space in a restored 1967 Airstream trailer. Currently in its 18th year, it has exhibited work by more than 150 artists in over 400 venues across the country. While on tours, the travelling artists present workshops, are visiting artists at universities, and participate in symposiums. Locations range from street corners to museums, colleges, universities and conferences, putting art on the street, introducing thousands to the language of contemporary studio potters through its innovative and accessible context. During its 14 years, Harvey/Meadows Gallery, Aspen, became one of the top galleries in the country for contemporary ceramics. It exhibited and promoted ceramics, works on paper, sculpture and painting by emerging artists and internationally recognized masters, educating the public and connecting artists with patrons and museums. The project continues as the Harvey Preston Gallery. Studio for Arts + Works, Carbondale, also 14 years old, is a for-profit project where 25 individual artists rent spaces and work collectively on open studio events and collaborative projects. Co-founded by Alleghany, in 2011 he became the sole owner and expanded to the current location, tripling the size and scope of the project. Lastly, Artstream Ceramic Library is a collection of 38 cups by nationally recognized contemporary potters. It functions similarly to a book library, where borrowers check out a cup for a week and experience it in their own contexts. It is hosted by venues nationally, and there is no monetary exchange. The library has seen more than 2,500 individual borrows across the country.
My search is for emotion, feeling, content and form in objects meant to be experienced and used in the intimate spaces of a home. I believe that ordinary domestic rituals can have a profound impact on the human condition. My work is connected to our bodies through these rituals and through form, scale, food and nourishment. It is activated most when in use, when engaging the senses of touch, sight, sound, taste and smell. I wish for my work effect the experience of time while inspiring creative decisions in actions such as sipping a moment of tea, preparing a soup, or arranging two daffodils in spring. I imagine a cup remaining in use and active for centuries; yet, I am acutely aware that the intended context carries risk, is transitory, where the cup can in one breath caress someone’s lips and in the next become shattered in the sink.
Memory, and my understanding of memory, are intimately connected to relationships with objects. A new cup enters my life, becoming familiar, holding my attention as I trace its subtleties, the pace and rhythm of its handle, the weight and balance when full, the transferring of its heat into my touch, the way light passes through its contents. Through time and use, this cup acquires a patina of memories which changes my understanding and relationship with it. Holding it, steam rising from tea, memories connected with the cup echo back, the long shadows of the sun rising one morning, a conversation with a passed friend, my youngest daughter taking her first step, marking moments in time which give life meaning and richness.
I work within a long history of ceramic traditions, searching for beauty and freshness, structure and meaning. I often draw inspiration from details in nature, the form of the sky seen from a solitary hilltop, the tension in a peony blossom squeezing outward during a warm week in late June. I love to work physically hard, long hours in the studio. Repetition and rhythm in my process are how I search for subtleties, forms, surfaces, patterns. I am fascinated by the potential when related elements stack and arrange, becoming something greater than a sum-total of parts. A series of soup bowls nesting together evokes an emerging flower, yet transforms into a stage for breaking bread with loved ones, then nests back to a flower, poised and alert for their next experience.