exhibition slideshow
noELLES: "nine wise WOMEN bearing gifts"

Curated by Ruth Reese

On View
December 7 through December 28, 2013.

Saturday/Sunday December 7 & 8, 2013, from 11 to 5pm.

Even though Christmas tradition has embraced the Magi as male, there is no conclusive evidence that the there couldn't be a lady or two among their ranks. This theory is not without basis and has been discussed by scholars at Oxford University. Reverend Benedict Thomas Viviano, a homegrown St. Louisian (and professor emeritus at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland) is pioneering research on this subject1. While many people are familiar with the idea of three male priestly gift givers, there is not a consistent head count of these royal figures, and some traditions celebrate up to twelve. Perhaps we may be switching up our traditional creche to include a few extra wise women this season. On the cutting edge of this new research, PHD is honoring the idea of the wise woman by featuring only women artists in its upcoming holiday exhibit. "noELLES: nine wise WOMEN bearing gifts" opens with a free public reception for the artists Saturday, December 7 & 8 from 11AM to 5PM. It features the work of Jeri Au, Lisa Colby, Jo Jasper Dean, Melody Evans, Peg Fetter, Michelle Hamilton, Jenna Jacobs, Ruth Ann Reese, and La'Shay Williams. This exhibit will remain open until December 28, 2013.


Jeri Au's mixed media installations combine clay with unexpected (and often organic) materials. For 15 years, Au ran a successful studio pottery in the St. Louis region. Originally from Hawaii, she has exhibited her work across the US, the People's Republic of China and Hong Kong. She received her B.A. in English from St. Louis University and has also studied at St. Louis Community College, University of Hawaii, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She is now the head of ceramics at Webster University.

Lisa Colby has been a working metalsmith for over twenty-five years. She received a BFA from Wayne State University and has work published in Lark Books "1,000 Rings" and "500 Silver Jewelry Designs". She has taught at Penland School of Crafts, The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and is currently faculty at Craft Alliance.

Jo Jasper Dean is an artist living and working in St Louis, Missouri. She studied art at Fontbonne University and St Louis Community College and earned her Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from Maryville University. Her unique painting style and distinct visual voice has won her numerous spots in local and national group art shows including a 2012 Award of Excellence from Art St. Louis.

Melody Evans builds ceramic sculpture and large scale installations that are influenced by more traditional vessel forms. Although she started her career as a potter, she soon moved into making sculpture during graduate school at California State University where she received her Master's of Studio Art. She has received numerous awards in her career including the first place in the National Visions in Clay. Her work is represented in numerous public and private collections including Washington University.

Peg Fetter creates work that balances between toughness and delicacy, that combines the intrinsic preciousness of jewelry with the edginess of blacksmithing. Fetter received her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, where she studied with Heikki Seppa. Her publications include "Ironwork Today 3" and "Art Jewelry Today 2." Fetter has taught workshops around the country, as well as teaching at Craft Alliance, Fontbonne University, and St. Louis University.

Michelle Hamilton creates glass art that investigates the stratified and elegant configurations found in botanical and sub-aquatic formations. She balances form, light, shadow and color to create multi-dimensional compositions. Hamilton has been working in and teaching glass and clay since receiving her MFA from Washington University in 1989. She exhibits nationally, has been published in books and magazines and her work is found in private and corporate collections. She is currently a university educator at Maryville University.

Jenna Jacobs received her MFA from Indiana University and is a current Artist in Residence at St. Louis Craft Alliance working in fibers. She creates geometric patterns with beads and fabric to learn the shape's and structural potential. Most recently, she is the recipient of the Alma Eikerman Memorial Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters.

Ruth Ann Reese explores the richness of porcelain and red earthenware in her functional ware and sculptural work. Reese has been published in "500 Plates", "500 Raku" and "Mourning: A Buddhist Ritual Comes to America." Exhibiting nationally, her work has been in shows such as Red Heat and Visions in Clay. Reese holds an MFA from Washington University and BA in English from Loyola University. Most recently an Artist in Residence at Craft Alliance, Reese teaches at St. Louis Community College and Maryville University.

La'Shay Williams graduated from The Art Institute-Chicago with her BFA in Fashion Design. Her work has been seen in the LAHA "This is Me" fashion event, the SLU Busch Student Center, and the MIMH Art Gallery. She was the featured designer for the Beauty and the Arts 2013 fashion event at the Regional Arts Commission. William's creations are intricate and tedious in detail, specializing in surface design and fabric manipulation. She creates unpredictable pieces of art with a message. For Williams, fashion design is a celebration of the human spirit in action.

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1- Was a Wise Woman Among the Magi who Followed Bethlehem's Star? December 16, 2010 The St. Louis Beacon.

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