Portage Hill Gallery exhibit features teapots and ‘shape-shifters’

WESTFIELD – A dual show of original creative art works by Eugenia Metzler and Virginia Schaefer will open at the Portage Hill Gallery, Westfield, on Satur-day, Aug. 3.

Metzler’s show is entitled, “Putting the Fun in Functional.” The title clearly defines her creativity. Eugenia Metzler’s giant narrative teapots are both sculptural and functional and will be on display and available for purchase.

“I have always enjoyed the challenge of the teapot,” Metzler said. “People describe my teapots as ‘whimsical, expressive.'”

Metzler’s giant figurative teapots are often inspired by people she works with and her own pets. They bear such humorous titles as “Tea with Attitude,” “Teapet No. 1,” and they often are accompanied with a narrative such as, “Vixie, the Foxy Squirrel Finally Got Married.”

Her teapots reflect her curiosity and sense of humor and spring from her interests which are wide-ranging and richly eccentric.

Metzler, a resident of Western New York, is the daughter of a professional ceramic artist and painter, and has studied clay extensively at Alfred University. In addition she has studied clay from luminaries in the world of clay in various assistantships, apprenticeships and collaborative efforts in centers of clay art as disparate as China and Uruguay and across the U.S. from Snowmass, Colorado to Peter’s Valley New Jersey.

Virginia Schaefer Horvath, writing under the nom de plume Virginia Schaefer, brings a visual excitement to the poetic form. Her collage Shape Shifter poems are created by bringing together words clipped from a wide variety of publications. She allows the collected words to find their expression together in compositions of shape, color and meaning.

The process of creating collage poems is based not on expression of ideas or feelings as is typical for other forms of poetry. It means snipping and storing interesting words then seeing the ways they interact with each other. The poem is found, emerging in clusters and appealing to the eye as well as the ear.

The poems, framed and hung reflect both the aural poetic tradition as well as the visual artistry that transcends a typical poem in print. The colors and seemingly random placement of words on the page engage the curiosity and then the mind as the meanings of the poems becomes evident on a closer inspection.

Schaefer comes from an academic background in English Literature with advanced degrees earned at the State University of New York at Buffalo and Kent State in Ohio. Her literary background is richly evident in the craftsmanship and content of her poetry. In addition to her literary accomplishments, Schaefer is known as Dr. Virginia Horvath, president of the State University of New York at Fredonia with a rank as a professor of English.

The Portage Hill Gallery, located on Route 394 midway between Westfield and Mayville, is starting its fourth decade of showcasing the best in artwork of the Chautauqua region. Teapots and Shape Shifters runs through Labor Day. For more information contact, The Portage Hill Gallery at 326-4478.