New exhibit at Sweet Briar highlights local artist’s ‘passion for clay’

Ted Batt-Raku Houses
Ted Batt, “Raku Houses,” Raku fired, 2017, varying sizes: 7 ½-10 inches x 3-5 inches

Pottery by artist Ted Batt will soon be on display in Benedict Gallery. “Ted Batt: A Passion for Clay” opens at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, with a reception and gallery talk by the artist. Batt’s work will be on view through March 11.

While this is his first exhibition at Sweet Briar, Batt, who has lived and worked in Lynchburg since 2004, has many ties to the College.

“I know a lot of the studio art faculty; one of my pottery students, Lauren Balint, had a show at Sweet Briar last year; and I’ve been to campus many times for gallery shows or Endstation [Theatre Company] productions,” Batt says.

His show will feature a variety of pottery, including large thrown pieces, functional objects such as bowls and vases and sculptural work, both figurative and non-figurative.

“My hope is that visitors will see the endless possibilities of working with clay that I see,” he adds. “Creativity can come in many forms, and clay is a wonderful way to express your creativity.”

Ted Batt, Alter Ego
Ted Batt, “Alter Ego,” Earthenware with porcelain slip, Cone 6, 2017, 13 ½ inches x 11 ¼ inches x 7 ½ inches

Batt, who has worked with clay for more than 25 years, received his B.A. in history from the University of New Hampshire and his master’s in art history and museum studies from Virginia Commonwealth University. As director of the visual arts program at the Academy Center of the Arts, Batt oversees two annual national juried exhibitions and curates monthly shows of regional and national artists. He also manages the May Carter Pottery Studio at the Academy.

Before moving to Lynchburg, Batt operated a fine arts program at the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals, where he managed galleries, provided live music concerts, and purchased permanent collections of art for new construction. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Cub Creek Foundation in Appomattox.

This event is free and open to the public. Benedict Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, email Nancy McDearmon at nmcdearmon@sbc.edu.