December 15 - January 20
Clay x 3


Ariane Leiter, Maria Teresa Rode, and Catherine Schmid-Maybach are ceramic artists who all live in the central California region, residing in communities of Atascadero, Ojai and San Francisco respectively. They have known one another for thirty years, having met initially as graduate students who shared an interest in clay, and have remained friends—connected by a strong interest in and commitment to contemporary ceramic art. Although technical engagement with the media of clay links their practice as artists, their artworks explore different aspects of sculptural form and surface.

Leiter’s sculptural work reflects a meditation on the long history of the hand-made vessel. The traces of her fingers and hands imbue the work with a quality that is both quietly sensual and rippling with life. Although the forms could be functional, they also are referential to the impact of time on the structures in nature.

Rode’s work is informed by her engagement with human cultural expression. In both her sculpture and her large format wall tiles she employs images, patterning, and brilliant glaze coloring, subtly orchestrated to create unexpectedly playful forms and richly detailed compositions.

Schmid-Maybach creates sculptural slabs that are layered with what appears to be etched, black and white photographic imagery. These overlaid images suggest histories of places in the American west, and the individuals, families, and interests that inhabited these places.

Although the aesthetics of these three artists are different—from reductive and minimal to colorful and complex, their work reflects the deep roots of ceramic sculpture in modern and contemporary California art. The exhibition will feature roughly fifteen pieces per artist, ranging in scale, and feature statements by each of the artists. Mark Dean Johnson, Gallery Director at San Francisco State University and friend of the artists, will help design the installation.

Related Programming

Saturday, December 15 at 2 PM: meet the artists at an opening reception and exhibition walk-thru. Free admission.

Thursday, January 3 at 12 PM: Art at High Noon with Ariane Leiter. Free admission.


Meet the artists at an opening reception on Saturday, December 15 from 2 to 5 PM. The Clay x 3 artists and Marta Peluso from the exhibition Light from a Dark Room in SLOMA’s First Gallery will be doing walkthroughs of their respective exhibitions starting at 2 PM. Free and open to the public.

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