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February 1, 2019a

This exhibition features a collection of whimsical porcelain clocks and functional dancing pots from local artist Debbie Whelan. All pieces are hand thrown of porcelain, as well as white and brown high-fire stoneware. Many pieces are altered after being thrown: squished, pushed, darted, pinched, clay taken away, clay added. All glazes and slips are hand mixed and are created by altering recipes to achieve different colors and textures.

Debbie Whelan has spent a lifetime in the dance profession. After earning her MA in Dance from American University in Washington, DC, she embarked on 38 years of teaching, choreographing and performing, starting with Meredith College, Penn State University, and their student companies. She created several dance companies, including Firehouse Dance Company (improv) and The Elderberries (senior citizens) in Ithaca, NY, as well as Beaumont Dance Works (9-11 year olds) in Knoxville. She created the dance program at Beaumont Magnet Academy, wrote the Tennessee State Dance Curriculum Standards for K-5, and has taught dance to generations of children at Beaumont for 21 years. Since her retirement in 2014, she continues to teach and choreograph with adults and children at the Emporium and with Circle Modern Dance. The more-relaxed schedule has given her time to play intently with her therapeutic hobby – pottery – in which she has dabbled for almost as long as she has been dancing. Her first introduction to making pots came in 1978 with John Givinnes, who taught pottery at Meredith College. He allowed her to come and play with clay and advised her in setting up her own studio. After raising her two children and developing the dance program at Beaumont, Whelan retaught herself how to throw pots with a help from YouTube videos. She now makes pottery daily as she searches for her unique voice in clay. Whelan is intrigued with the process of blending her passion for dance composition with her passion for clay composition. To her, pottery is an extension of the dance. The dancer informs the potter, and the potter informs the dancer, culminating in a lovely duet.

Located at Emporium Center

Friday, Feb 1 - 5pm

Contact: (865) 523-7543