Barry Rhodes has been a potter for almost 30 years having started as an apprentice under Rick Berman and Glenn Dair in the late 70’s at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia. From there he maintained a studio in the old Nexus Arts Center in Atlanta, producing vessels shown throughout the United States. In addition to pottery, Barry has a Ph.D. in Physics from Emory University and taught at Clark Atlanta University in the Department of Physics for ten years. He now works at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where he is a Computer Scientist in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion.
Western culture tends to put art onto shelves and behind glass, into museums and galleries, and to separate it from everyday life. “Art is what you go to see in a museum”, is an all too familiar refrain. I once attended a clay workshop by a very famous potter named Ken Ferguson, who was demonstrating the making of tea bowls. Tea bowls are a much revered pottery form in Japan and an iconic part of the Tea Ceremony. A young student asked Ken what he did with all his tea bowls. You could hear in her voice the expectation that he sold the best ones to tea masters for thousands of dollars. What he actually said was that he and the “the wife” sit in front of the TV at night and eat ice cream out of them. And while not all my work is suitable for eating ice cream, the idea that art can be a part of life in an integral way drives what I do.