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Art From the West of Now

Cat’s Lair Collection, located in McStiff’s Plaza, is an art gallery and unique gift shop in Moab, Utah featuring local, regional, and international artists.You will find here beautiful and unique works of original art: jewelry, pottery, wood and metal work, paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, fused & blown glass, azurite crystal roses, hand-spun wool & silk, beads, light & color...

Moab is a small, isolated town located in the red rock desert of southeastern Utah. There are few collections like this one for over a hundred miles in any direction. Utah is world-famous for its spectacular natural beauty. Many talented and devoted artists live and work here, quietly interpreting the natural beauty around them into stunning works of contemporary art.

The gallery is the realization of a longtime vision by Olga Martinova: to create a place to show the works of isolated, talented artists - to present to the world this new art from the West of Now.

Olga Martinova is a canyon country artist who designs and creates fine art jewelry using many of the metals, semiprecious stones, and minerals found in the desert, including the rare and wonderful Azurite crystals that come from a mine in Lisbon Valley south of the La Sal mountains. Her strong designs are naturalistic, resembling leaves and vines and desert thunderstorms, but her materials and techniques result in pieces that are sleek and modern - even technical.

A native of Leningrad, USSR (now St. Petersburg, Russia once more), a vibrant city with a rich artistic tradition, Olga grew up surrounded by art and artists: her mother was Valentina Perozchkova, a well-known sculptor in Leningrad; her father was the poet and writer Alexei A. Martinov.

Gallery Artists

This month we would like to invite you to see our new addition to our collection. This month’s theme is “ IT’S ALL ABOUT POTTERY!....” Seven wonderful clay artists of Utah will be represented in our Gallery.
If you have not yet had a chance to stop by and see any of our wonderful artists that we represent, don’t worry...we still have them on display, so please stop in and enjoy them all.

Kevin Frazier
Kevin Frazier was born in an artistic family. His mother was a painter. He experimented with various media from an early age. By the end of high school he already started taking pottery classes. Ever since he has been working with clay.

Kevin received his MFA and secondary teaching certificate from the University of Utah. Shortly after graduating he began teaching at Salt Lake Community College. Then he had the opportunity to set up and run the craft center at the college. He began teaching pottery, stained glass, lapidary, small metals and anything else someone wanted to try.

Most of his current work is raku. Raku is a low temperature firing technique that requires the pieces to be taken out of the kiln while they are still very hot. In most cases the glaze on the piece is still fluid. The fast rate of cooling, from the hot kiln to air temperature,causes the glaze to crackle. Post reduction, placing the hot piece in a combustible material, fills these crackles and any unglazed surface with black carbon.

Although he uses a stoneware clay body for his work, it never reaches vitrification temperature. This means that raku is inherently more fragile than stoneware and should be handled with care.

Edwin Hymas and Diana Lea

As a trained observer and teacher Edwin Hymas feels that creating is what we are here for, and just can’t stop. Whether it is wood, clay, plaster or metal these ideas keep taking form.

Born up north in Tremonton Utah in 1948, Ed has been working in clay since 1972, and was a two dimensional artist before that for several years. His work is known throughout Utah and the Western U.S. He resides in North Ogden with his artist wife Diana Lea.

Diana began her pottery career in 1977 as a production potter in Boulder Colorado. As her work evolved from stoneware to majolica she moved to Park City Utah where she met Ed in 1994. Together they produce some of the highest quality intricately carved stoneware pottery.

Betina Cerling

Betina grew up in Oregon, studied languages and literature, and ended up with BA in romance languages and an MS in geology. Later she and her husband left for Tennessee, where she first started to take ceramic classes. She said; “Clay appeals to me. I am fascinated by its properties in all its phases.Wet clay is limp and moldable; as it dries it becomes less malleable, but can still be carved. Once dry, clay resembles rock in many ways. It’s brittle, but becomes like stone in the kiln. Each stage of this wonderful stuff must be treated differently.

I seem to need to hold the clay and feel it before I am comfortable actually making something. Functional ware that demands knowledge of and facility working with all phases of this medium catches my attention. Even seemingly totally non-functional pieces begin as vessels some are interactive. I use the wheel as one of many tools, and I enjoy encouraging clays with different properties to bind and work together.”

A few years later they moved to Utah. Even with the demands of her family and children, she never lost her desire to keep her hands in clay and her enjoyment of her creations.

Vicki Acoba

Nothing can be said better then what the Artist said herself.

“I create ceramic teapots from porcelain. I throw and pull a series so shapes on the potter’s wheel. At the appropriate time, I trim the thrown objects, wrap them I individually in plastic to retain the moisture. In my studio, I select and work on one thrown object at a time. I sit and look at the shape, add the appropriate spout and than decide on the surface decoration. I use a variety of methods to change the surface. I carve directly on the body of the teapot, or I apply bits and pieces of clay that I have textured using stamps or pieces of found objects that have texture to their surfaces, I might apply coils to the surface. I change the surface in order to get changes in the glazes that I use. The surface distortions cause the glazes to break differently, reflect light in unusual manners or cause running patterns. In some instances, I leave the surfaces untouched and let the glazes create a beautiful teapot by themselves. Sometimes I layer the glazes to create unique patterns.The handles and lids are as varied as the thrown bodies of the teapots. I never reproduce an exact duplicate of any teapot. This also means I don’t make sets of anything. I don’t have that discipline in me.

I love what I do. I do it to please me. And I have found that there are people outside of my circle who also like what I do. It pleasured me to see smiles on faces as they approach my display. They may not buy a teapot, but they have smiled and to me, that’s what it is all about.”

Wendy Wood

Wendy is fascinated by the use of ceramic items throughout human history and has a strong interest in the culture and human values associated with pottery. Although she took her first pottery class purely by chance, it was her university program in history and archaeology which kept her sprit working in clay. She has been producing pottery for sale in the western market since 1989. Her work is strongly influenced by historic pottery forms, including prehistoric and historic Mediterranean functional ware, American Indian traditions, and Asian pottery form and design. She is currently focusing on producing small pots.These intimate pots are intended to be held in the hand and reflect an effort to visually define volume by enclosing space. Although these pieces strive to be decorative and aesthetically pleasing, they always maintain their underlying function.

She has also recently explored masks as an artistic image, inspired by the use of masks and storytelling by cultures around the world.

“I received pottery training at Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. I then spent a number of years at the Salt Lake Art Center, first as a student and then as an instructor and studio manager. In 1994, a number of these potters and I created Utah Potters, Incorporated, a pottery cooperative which has been blessedly successful for us all. It is a privilege to try to pass on the wonder of working in clay and the joy that clay continues to bring to me.”

Charles Parsons

Charles Parsons, a Salt Lake City resident, has been working in ceramics for twenty years. He studied for several years under Lee Dillon and Gordon Moore in the ceramics studio at the Salt Lake Art Center. He currently works out of the Red Kiln pottery studio, where he also teaches wheel thrown pottery classes. He has shown work at different galleries in Salt Lake City.

Until the past few years, most of his work has been functional high-fired glazed porcelain ware. Although he continues to do this kind of work, He has become more interested in “alternative” firing techniques that forsake the use of glazes. Specifically, he has been experimenting with various low fire techniques where the pieces are made with a porcelain clay body and then pit fired, saggar fired or horse hair fired without the use of glazes.

Suzanne Storer

Suzanne born and raised in Oregon. She received BFA in California College of Arts and Crafts. She has done many workshops with Paul Soldner, Akio Takamori, Robert Peipenburg and Jim Romberg.

Suzanne’s ceramic art centers around life itself. Animals, birds, water life and the human form inspire her pottery and sculpture. Her southwestern style bowls and platters evolve from the spirited imagery painted and pecked into the rock walls and boulders in the desert canyons of southern Utah. Her sculpture focuses on the relationship between the female human form and rock land forms inspired by the desert canyons of Southern Utah. This Oregon native has made her home in Utah for the last 20 years and makes her living as a professional potter. Her work is currently available in Santa Fe, at shops and galleries throughout the west, and locally at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and at Utah Artists Hands in Salt Lake City.

Hand-spun Wool & Silk for Lovers of Fiber Art

Olga began spinning years ago, and keeps her spinning wheel in the shop, where she often gives demonstrations to customers who have never seen this ancient art practiced in real life. She sells skeins of yarns in beautiful warm colors that she dyes herself or buys from local producers, in luxurious blends of Merino, alpaca, camel, and silk.

The Cat’s Lair Collection a nice selection of stone beads for all the people who like to express their creativity in jewelry making.

If you’re passing through Moab, we’d like to invite you to take a few minutes to stop in and say hello, and enjoy the refreshing experience of original art!

In Eddie McStiff’s Plaza, where you see the big yellow cat above its rocky lair, you know you’re in the right place! The big cat was sculpted by local artist Ekaterina Harrison, and the rock entrance to its cave was created by local artist Sandi Snead.

Cat’s Lair Collection
59 South Main St.
Moab, UT 84532
(435) 259-2458

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