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'Fragile Earth: Ceramics and Drawings by Jeff Irwin'

Every week from January 30, 2023 until March 2, 2023.
Monday: 10 AM - 4 PM
Tuesday: 10 AM - 4 PM
Wednesday: 10 AM - 4 PM
Thursday: 10 AM - 4 PM
Hyde Art Gallery at Grossmont College
All Ages
A closing reception will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

From the gallery:
Hyde Art Gallery is excited to reopen our doors on day one of the Spring 2023 semester for Fragile Earth, an exhibition of ceramics and drawings from artist and retired Grossmont professor Jeff Irwin. This monochromatic showcase presents the artist’s continuing efforts to transcend the limitations of material while investigating the tenuous relationships we communally share with the world around us. Through this work, Irwin is responding to the often problematic stewardship humans have assumed over the natural world while underscoring contradictory dualities regarding the objects' material quality and conceptual make-up. This exhibition is intended to force the viewer to adopt a new visual language to examine mankind’s exploitation of the natural world and it’s slow but inevitable triumph over human intervention.

Displayed alongside Jeff Irwin’s more emblematic, white-satin glazed animal head trophies are new process-oriented works - Rorschach tree drawings printed on acetate, delicate extruded clay slip “sketches”, and painted enamel on glass recreations of seemingly random shadow composition. Each work alludes to the nature’s fragility, our manipulation of it, and our egotistical need to prioritize that manipulation.

“I often use imagery and symbols that speak to the manipulation of nature by human forces and our need to idealize that manipulation through dominance and control. My work explores the struggle in finding balance between our needs and those of the natural environment. When working on ideas for pieces, I look for contradiction, irony, beauty, and humor in the world that surrounds me. I take notice of how we impact the natural world and how we interpret that impact.”

About the artist:
Born in Long Beach, CA, Irwin obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Humboldt State University and a Master of Fine Arts from San Diego State University. Currently living in San Diego, Irwin is a retired Professor from the Ceramics Department at Grossmont College, El Cajon, CA, having taught there from 1989 to 2017. He has exhibited extensively in the US and Internationally. His work is in the collections of the Oakland Museum of California, San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts (TX), Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts (Racine, WI), Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum (Taiwan), and the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Ireland).

Exhibition information and events:
Fragile Earth will run from January 30 until March 2 at Grossmont College’s Hyde Art Gallery. A closing reception with the artist will be held on Tuesday February 28 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

All Hyde Art Gallery exhibitions and events are free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact:
Gallery Director, Alex DeCosta
(619) 644-7214
or visit

Artist Group Info

Jeff Irwin

Hyde Art Gallery at Grossmont College

Building 22 / Performing and Visual Arts Center
Grossmont College Drive
El Cajon, California 92020

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Dates and times of events are subject to change without notice. Always check the event organizer's website for the most updated schedule before attending.