College Home | Gallery Home | Events Calendar 2007 – 2008
Return to Gallery Home

Duality: Helen Otterson & Rick Parsons
Cytosol Lattice Endoplasmic Flagella
Metabolic Fusion Vital Entity


Learn about our other concurrent exhibit: Paths Crossed

Symbiotic Collusion & Interim Equilibrium

Helen Otterson

My focus on biomorphic forms stems from my interest in the human encounter with disease. Disease is an experience that radically transforms life through its ability to force a discussion about human suffering and survival. I have witnessed how a devastating disease, while excruciating, can change one’s life in a positive and powerful way. Personal experience and microscopic slides of human tissue influenced my work. Creating textured form, I reference organic grows that explore the relationship between health and disease.

My sculptures explore the temporary symbiotic relationship between healthy and deadly cells. My reference material is alluded to through the use of glass, which parallels the qualities seen in the images seen thru the microscope. The highly textured surfaces are reminiscent of microscopic textures and imply the growth of disease while yellow, red and amber allude to bodily fluids. Concurrently, the bright quality of the colors used reflects the positive consequences that disease can cause.

Helen received her MFA in Ceramics from the University of Miami and a BFA in Ceramics from the Kansas City Art Institute. She has been an Artist in Residence at the Contemporary Craft Museum, Anderson Ranch, Vermont Clay Studio and Baltimore Clayworks. Exhibited throughout the United States, her sculptures have been displayed most recently in the Fluent Dichotomy Exhibit at the Appalachian Center for Crafts. Her work is mixed media sculpture, primarily using clay and glass. Her works have been published in Clay Times and Ceramics Monthly and are part of the permanent collections at the Kansas City Art Institute, the University of Miami and the University of California, San Diego's Cancer Center. Helen's prints works are in the University of Tasmania Print Collection. Currently, she is the Ceramic Department Chair at the Armory Art Center.

Gallery Installation


Beat, Breath and Burn Fix
Panning Chamber Pill
This and That Human Time & Geologic Time

Rick Parsons

Rick Parsons was born in Galveston, Texas. He received his BFA in Art from Stephen F. Austin State University and an MFA in Sculptural Ceramics from the University of Dallas, where he also has served as a visiting professor.

Ephmeral Thought (MLK 1963)

In Rick’s sculpture he focus on the effect of environmental pollutants on the body using three materials as metaphor. Clay is the body and biology; saltwater heals, preserves and destroys; and steel is the social and spiritual structure that we build our lives around. The clay forms are first soaked in saltwater to absorb the salt as the body absorbs the chemicals in its surroundings. The clay objects are then placed on to steel plates where the salt causes the steel to oxidize. Steel is a material that is perceived as having great strength yet can be weaken by a material as simple as salt.The irony of the sculpture is that the same material that is used as the healing agent is also the catalyst for destruction.

Element FH, CB, GJ

Rick is currently the Sculpture Program Coordinator at Anderson Ranch Arts Center. His sculpture has been exhibited throughout the country and was recently featured in a solo show in the Charles and Dorothy Clark Gallery at the University of Texas – Pan America. In 2003 Rick was the cover artist for the American Literary Review and in May 2007 his sculpture was the focus of an article in Sculpture magazine. Rick is a mixed media artist, whose work has been exhibited in galleries and shows worldwide along with being a visiting artist at Colorado College, San Jose State University, University of Miami, and Arizona State University.

Learn about our other concurrent exhibit: Paths Crossed