Title: “Rise of the Phoenix” Triptych Ceramic Mural
Artist: Trent Talley
Location: South facing wall at Main & 17th
Date Completed: June 2014
Description: Phoenix Fired Art is a post tornado endeavor. Opened by Heather Grills and Brent Skinner, this community clay center is just on the North edge of the damage path on Main Street in Joplin, MO. The gallery represents 28 local and regional artists and the studio offers beginning classes and open studio space and specialty workshops for experienced ceramicists.
The Phoenix chose Ceramic Mural Artist Trent Tally to design, construct and install the large mural – “Rise of the Phoenix” – while teaching a workshop about ceramic tile murals in April 2013. Trent has taught at the Walton Arts Center and the Northwest Arkansas Community Creative Center in Fayetteville, AR. He has also worked with the Arkansas Support Network to help disabled children find inspiration in art. Most recently, Trent was awarded 3D Best of Show at the Bentonville Art Walk and his work is being featured at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in the Museum Store.
The mural can be found on the south end of the exterior of the building which houses Phoenix Fired Art facing 17th street. It consists of two 4×4 panels and one 4×8 panel that depict the process of bringing clay from its wet state to finished project—from in the ground to on the shelf!
- The Left Panel illustrates the very beginning—the extrusion process; digging in the ground and collecting clay. The words one will find include techniques such as pug, roll, slab, pinch, wedge, and sculpt.
- The Middle Panel shows Open Studio Members unloading the large gas kiln during the “Hot Pots Brigade” – a fun event held at Phoenix during each Third Thursday Art Walk where members of the community line-up and unload items from the kiln. Students are shown throwing pottery on the wheel, decorating, carving, loading the kiln, firing, glazing, and other activities necessary in making pottery.
- The Right Panel shows the final steps in making pottery. Advanced techniques such as Raku Firing are illustrated, while a woman admires a piece of pottery inside the Phoenix that is ready to be sold and taken home. Pottery is also getting photographed, being used as a decorative item in a garden, and serving out soup during Phoenix’s annual Empty Bowls fundraiser.
- The Outside Tiles were made by both donors to the mural project as well as community members that came to workshops led by Trent Talley.