Parsons' prize-winning work connects physical, immaterial

Ceramic sculpture of mountain peak.


Texas Woman’s University visual arts professor Colby Parsons had a busy fall semester.

He followed up his Best of Show win in the Zanesville Contemporary Ceramics Prize exhibition — a title that carries with it a prize of $20,000, the largest prize for a ceramics competition in the western hemisphere — with a trip to Denmark to set up a show.

That show, titled “Hetero and Semiotic” at the Ann Linnemann Studio Gallery in Copenhagen, recently closed. His prize-winning work in the Zanesville competition, however, will be exhibited in the Zanesville Museum of Art in Zanesville, Ohio, through Jan. 2.

The work, titled “Peak,” combines ceramics with video, creating what Parsons calls “an intersection between the physical and the immaterial.” The sculpture is made of thick, dark clay with a silky-textured glaze designed so that video projection shows clearly on its surface. The video consists of simple patterns that are distorted when projected onto the clay form.

“The sculpture and the video projection are interdependent in these works, with neither one complete without the other,” Parsons said. “Part of my interest in making this work is in the development of a unique optical phenomenon and aesthetic, and part of my interest is in creating a kind of hybrid artwork that brings together elements that in conventional terms might seem opposed to each other.”

More information on Parsons’ work is available at

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Page last updated 11:57 AM, April 30, 2019