Romy and Clare work on display in December

Jasper Community Arts will feature the work of local artists Clare Backer Bies and Romy Kissel for the months of December 2021 and January 2022 at the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center.  

A life-long friendship led to the creative partnership of Clare Backer Bies and Romy Kissel. Both sets of the lady’s parents were childhood friends and in each other’s weddings. Being less than a month apart in age, Clare and Romy grew up together. At a young age and encouraged by both of their mothers, part of their play was often art-related, creating paintings, clay pinch pots, and other art projects. 

Throughout the school years, Clare and Romy were in art classes together and were influenced by the same teachers. Local ceramic artist and art teacher Tom Schum was a mentor to both women.

“He was generous with his time and accommodating to us. He just wanted us to be creative and love art. His extra time and encouragement were instrumental to us both moving forward with study in the field of art,” said Clare and Romy.

The pair attended university and after receiving a professional art education, they both explored life on their own before returning to Jasper. When they returned, they began to create brightly colored pottery for family and friends. More requests for their work followed and together they formed a business. For twenty-six years, they’ve been collaborating to make beautiful, cheerful pieces.

“In this new body of work, we looked at inspirational ceramic artists from decades past. We applied a softer, more muted palette with a more restrained, nearly monochromatic, approach to the glazing. In order to achieve the look of this new work, we moved to a completely new type of clay body as well as a new selection of glazes.” they explained. 

“This collection is an expression of our journey as we challenged ourselves to see our world through a different lens,” explained Clare and Romy. 

Clare Backer Bies and Romy Kissel’s exhibition will be on display from December 2, 2021 through January 21, 2022. In lieu of a First Thursday Reception, a Holiday Volunteer Thank You Reception will take place on Friday, December 3, 2021, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Local food catered by Sander Catering.  

The galleries at the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center, located at 100 3rd Avenue, Suite A, Jasper, IN 47546, are open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, and Sunday from noon to 3:00 pm. School groups, clubs and students are welcome. Admission is free. Donations appreciated.