Arts Council showcases 'Pottery & Paintings'

Albany artist Kirby Gregory creates painting and pottery pieces focused on pots.

Albany artist Kirby Gregory creates painting and pottery pieces focused on pots.

ALBANY — Art lovers were treated to a feast for the eyes Thursday at the Albany Area Arts Council’s “Pottery & Paintings” showcase, featuring the work of Albany native Kirby Gregory.

Gregory’s creations include a variety of pottery pieces ranging from vases and serving bowls to cookie jars and cream-and-sugar sets. His paintings reflect his love for pottery as well, focusing on the pots themselves by highlighting their features using art media of chalks, pastels, ink, graphite and polyurethane on canvas.

An avid art enthusiast, Gregory serves on the Albany Area Art Council’s Board of Directors and is also a participant in Empty Bowls, a joint outreach project with the SOWEGA Council on Aging in which local artists do their part to fight hunger in the community.

Gregory studied art at Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, and his former art professor proudly attended Gregory’s show.

“Yeah, I taught him everything he knows,” Ralph Harvey joked. “No, really — he’s incredibly talented, and I’m very proud of him and his work.”

Now, Gregory passes skills he learned from Harvey on to his own students.

“He is the best teacher,” said Cindy Gravois. “I’ve learned so much from him. What I really appreciate about his teaching is that he teaches the basic skills and then allows his students to explore their creativity with their own works.”

Gravois now owns her own pottery wheel, and has a phone full of pictures showing her creations.

“I wanted to learn the skill, and The Clay Spot recommended him,” Gravois said. “It’s just been so much fun.”

But budding artists aren’t the only ones who benefit from Gregory’s teaching. Health care professionals in the physical therapy field also take lessons from Gregory, then use their new-found knowledge to help their patients.

Presently, Gregory is teaching school-age children how to use a potter’s wheel for Project Impact in Apalachicola, which helps provide academic opportunities for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools.

All of Gregory’s functional pieces are food, microwavable and dishwasher safe and available for purchase.

The Albany Area Arts Council will feature Gregory’s exhibit at the Carnegie Library until Sept. 27.