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Betty Feves

Biography to Display: 

Born 1918 La Crosse, Washington

Died 1985 Pendleton, Oregon

 

EDUCATION

1939 BFA, Washington State College (now Washington State University), Pullman, Washington

1941 MA, Art Education, Columbia University, New York, New York

 

PRIMARY WORK EXPERIENCE

1942-1945 – Design Technician and Founding Partner of Design Techniques, a ceramics production firm, New York City, New York

1946- onward: Sculptor, potter, music teacher

 

BIOGRAPHY

Betty Feves is known for abstract monumental slab-built stoneware sculptures, as well as functional stoneware vessels and dinnerware.             

Feves’ inspiration for both the surface and form of her pieces often came from the natural surroundings of her home: the wheat fields and cliffs. Her use of locally sourced geologic materials resulted in unique signature clays and glazes.

At Washington State, she studied with the future Abstract-Expressionist artist Clyfford Still.

On her color palette, Garth Johnson noted that “in an era of promiscuous use of materials and mixed media, it is difficult to recall an exhibition of ceramics that is so relentlessly brown[1].” He also notes that among her generation, “Feves provided a strong female voice in an era dominated by charismatic showmen like Voulkos or Paul Soldner. She had strong opinions about ceramics and design and wasn’t afraid to express them[2].”

Feves went to New York City to attend the Art Students League but ended up completing an MA in art education from Columbia University.

In 1945, Feves moved back to the Pacific Northwest when she married physician Dr. Louis Feves, and the couple moved to Pendleton, Oregon. Here, she would raise four children and establish herself as a studio artist. Primarily, Feves divided her time between working in her home studio and teaching music lessons.  Fevers  served on the Pendleton Arts Council, on the Pendleton School Board, and the Oregon State Board for Higher Education. In 1977, she was one of the first recipients of the Oregon Governor’s Arts Award in recognition of her contribution to both visual art and music.



[1]Garth Johnson, “Betty Feves: Generations.” Ceramics Monthly, May 2013, pg. 38-41.

[2] Ibid.

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, California

Capitol Art Collection, Oregon State Capitol, Salem, Oregon 

Bibliography

Bibliography to Display: 

Aney, Kathy. “Betty Feves life, work on display.” East Oregonian, Mar. 11, 2012. https://www.eastoregonian.com/news/local/betty-feves-life-work-on-display/article_dc174247-8acc-5725-ae51-c131852c4e8b.htmldisplay/article_dc174247-8acc-5725-ae51-c131852c4e8b.html

“Betty Feves: The Earth Itself, 2020.” Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Washington State University, accessed July 14, 2021. https://museum.wsu.edu/events/exhibit/the-earth-itself/

Feves, Betty, Namita Gupta Wiggers, Damara Bartlett, Daniel Duford, Jenni Sorkin, and Linda Sussman. Betty Feves: Generations. Portland OR: Museum of Contemporary Craft, in partnership with Pacific Northwest College of Art, 2012.

Johnson, Garth. “Betty Feves: Generations.” Ceramics Monthly, (May 2013).

Riegger, Hal. “The Slab Sculpture of Betty Feves.” Ceramics Monthly 11, no. 1 (Jan. 1963).

Taylor, Sue. “Betty Feves.” Art in America, Oct. 5, 2012. https://www.artnews.com/art-in-america/aia-reviews/betty-feves-61337/

 

 

 

Center for CraftCenter For Craft

 

 

AMOCA American Museum of Ceramic ArtAMOCA American Museum of Ceramic Art

 

Typical Marks

“FEVES” The F, V, and S have four cross lines 

1970
Bowl
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Dane Cloutier Archives
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Dane Cloutier Archives
Vessels
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Dane Cloutier Archives
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Dane Cloutier Archives
Vase
Date: 1970
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Slab Built
American Museum of Ceramic Art 2004.2.327, gift of the American Ceramic Society
Photo: TMP
American Museum of Ceramic Art 2004.2.327, gift of the American Ceramic Society
Photo: TMP
1970
Photo: TMP

Citation: Beul, Jasmine. "The Marks Project." Last modified March 24, 2022. http://themarksproject.org:443/marks/feves