• Laurel Contributor

Meet the Artist, Pat Taylor

by Luke Osteen

Highlands Mayor Pat Taylor and his irresistible creations are spotlighted at Smitten’s Third Thursday Meet the Artist Event, set for 5:30 P.M. - ‘til, May 16.

Need a reason to attend the Third Thursday Meet the Artist Event at Smitten, set for 5:30 P.M. May 16?

Well, just look at the remarkable Forest Creature Face Jugs sprouting up like wild mushrooms at Smitten. They’re the product of the restless mind and skilled hands of Highlands Mayor Patrick Taylor, the artist in residence at Taylor Pottery.

Dr. Taylor will be on hand to explain these creations and illuminate the process that conjured them from his imagination onto the display shelves at Smitten.

Part of that alchemy is the product of years of serious study by Dr. Taylor. He incorporates both ceramic traditions and natural materials from the Southern Appalachians into his work, and he gathers much of his own clay from stream beds in the area.

Dr. (Mayor) Taylor’s accomplishments include teaching high school art, serving as an Elementary Art Specialist for the Clarke County School System in Athens, Georgia; being a Visiting Professor of Art at Nanjing Normal University in China; serving as a university liaison with Chinese officials concerning business and cultural exchanges; being the Founding Chair and Professor of Art at the Department of Visual Arts, at Kennesaw State University; and serving as Chair and Professor of Art, at Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia. Additionally, he served as Chair of the Facilities Committee for Building Development for The Bascom from 2006 to 2009.

Although his expertise spans virtually all visual art disciplines, he was drawn since high school to ceramics, and today is widely recognized as an exceptional potter, turning clay into beautiful and functional pieces from his home studio in Highlands. He served as the Bascom’s Potter in Residence from 2009 to 2011, a position for which he was singularly well-suited. He has exhibited extensively, and his pieces are to be found in more than 30 corporate and private collections. Serving as Mayor of Highlands has somewhat curtailed his time at the wheel and kiln, but he continues to produce his art as time permits, and his business, Taylor Pottery, continues to thrive.

Of course, those whimsical touches make Dr. Taylor’s creations a natural fit for Smitten, the local residence of the slightly-off-kilter and the unexpected. See the evidence up close at the gallery, 468 Main Street in Highlands. For more information, visit smittenofhighlands.com or call (828) 526-9300 to RSVP. You really need to see these pieces in person (and the mayor, too).

The Laurel Magazine

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