July 14 - August 4, 2005
Community artists Louis Ballard and Hua Nian ponder existence through vibrant ceramic and oil-painted creations. Using their chosen medium as a springboard, each artist illuminates the concept of personal identity born through life experience.
Louis Ballard teaches ceramics at Parkland College and Danville Community College. His functional and nonfunctional ceramic works exude a spontaneous energy. “Favorite themes that appear in my work are symbols of Osage and Quapaw Indian ancestry as well as love, sex, food, and music,” Ballard says. “What do I have to say about such things? I love them all and they have been a great part of my life.” Ballard lives in Champaign.
Urbana painter Hua Nian, originally from China, is inspired by archeological excavations. Her latest subject matter deals with ancient tablets. “Enveloped by the burning colors, these tablets are warm, vibrating, and breathing, emerging from the dark and the deep. They draw one in like wells, for the messages themselves are drifting too—colors permeating, lines running into each other, reconstructing themselves, shapes shifting in and out… This is a world that I have sensed ever since I came to the United States—spontaneous, onrushing, multidimensional, beautiful, and mysterious.”