Appreciating the work of art

John Akal, Avenue Flashes
Posted 4/23/13

I grew up in a house that was pretty much dedicated to the arts. My mom was an artist who specialized in abstract painting and taught art, and my dad …

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Appreciating the work of art


I grew up in a house that was pretty much dedicated to the arts.

My mom was an artist who specialized in abstract painting and taught art, and my dad worked in stained glass and photography. When it comes to the arts, I seem to have been born with some kind of genetic addiction to them.

I always took any art class I could find.

In high school this led me to taking a ceramics class one year. I have to tell you, I wasn’t very good at it, but it sure was a lot of fun messing with the clay and creating something.

I think we all made some kind of clay pot in a grade school art class that was our parents pride and joy sitting on a shelf somewhere. I still have a 10-pound teapot around here at my house. It was supposed be lightweight, but whenever I would get the pot thin enough on the wheel to be practical, it would usually self destruct on me. So, a 10-pound teapot it is.

On the up side, it’s fallen off the shelf at least a dozen times and still hasn’t broken. Some archaeologist will be digging that up a thousand years from now and wonder if it was supposed to be a teapot or a bowling ball.

I think we all have an appreciation for works of art done in clay. Whether they come off the potter’s wheel or are handcrafted sculptures, it’s an art form that most of us have dabbled in ourselves.

Starting Thursday, April 22, through Sunday, April 24, the Jefferson Unitarian Church, 14350 W 32nd Ave., will be presenting one of the best shows of the year featuring the Castle Clay Artists.

Castle Clay Artists, Inc. is a cooperative ceramics studio with the Denver Potter’s Association.

This show will feature 22 ceramic artists, three glass artists, nine jewelry makers and three more people who fall into the “other” category.

Now, looking at the list of participants, I recognize quite a few of the names and let me tell you, this is a group of people who are masters of their crafts and I am lucky enough to own some pieces from many of them.

This promises to be a really great show that you don’t want to miss.

Admission is free, and the artists will be selling their works at the show. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information call 303-377-5535 or visit

Cinco de Mayo

For those of you who would like to celebrate without battling the crowds in Denver, the Jefferson Symphony has just the right recipe. They will be hosting their Cinco de Mayo concert featuring the five-piece Mariachi band, Alma de Colorado as their special guests.

The concert will be filled with festive Mexican and Latin music and is the final concert of their 60th anniversary season.

This will be 3 p.m. Sunday, May 5, the Green Center on the Colorado School of Mines campus.

Tickets are $22 for adults, $17 for seniors with discounts for children and students.

For more information visit or call 303-278-4237.

Now, where did I put that sombrero I got in Tijuana 20 years ago?

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multimedia production.

avenue flashes, akal, arts, ceramics, cinco de mayo


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