Nottoway chief exhibiting work in major exhibition
Published 12:43 pm Saturday, August 16, 2014
DREWRYVILLE—The Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia is being represented for a year at a major exhibition on artwork from Native Americans. Specifically, Lynette Allston, chief of the tribe, will have several examples of her pottery on display. The show, “Traditions, Change and Celebration: Native Artists of the Southeast,” will be at the McKissick Museum on the campus of the University of South Carolina in Columbia.
“I’m pretty excited about to be a participant,” Allston said. “I’ve been making pottery off and on for over 30 years. In recent years I’ve worked a little bit harder.”
The invitation to participate came from one of the curators.
“Dr. Will Goins, who had the idea, contacted me and wanted tribes represented throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast,” she said.
Her pottery is of her own design, of course.
“I have done reproduction-type pottery. But over time, my pottery evolved,” she said. “I still incorporate traditional designs and traditional elements, but I take a more contemporary perspective on it.”
For example, Allston will use a spiral pattern, which she said can represent “the continuum of life.”
Or what looks like the petals of a flower can stand for family. The petals represent the individuals, but they’re connected in the middle to one another and their ancestors.
Her interest in the art of pottery goes back to the early 1970s, when she took her first class and learned then to make earthenware and hand-built objects.
But work and the rest of life crowded in, and the hobby was put aside for awhile.
“Then I did other things and decided to try pottery again. I’ll work two days a week to work on pots,” The material comes from a commercial producer of stoneway clay, and Allston takes care to make them functional. “I want people to use them safely,” she said. That means no lead at all in the glazes so the plates, bowls and cups are safe for food.
In fact, several other different pieces will go to the related show, Folk Fabulous, and those items will be for sale.
Allston said she spends a couple of hours on the potter’s wheel in her personal space each time she works on her pottery.
“It’s soothing. You get going and lose yourself,” she added. “It’s organic.”
To learn more about the exhibition and show, visit www.scartshub.com