River Collaborations New works by Melody Shipley and Ken Shipley


River Collaborations

New works by Melody Shipley and Ken Shipley

October 5, 2019 – October 30, 2019

Opening Reception:

First Saturday Gallery Crawl: October 5, 2019; 6-9pm

Melody Shipley and Ken Shipley will have River Collaborations series exhibited at Blend Studio during the art crawl Saturday, October 5, 2019 from 6 to 9 PM. The both artist will be available on the opening night of the First Saturday Art Crawl.

River Collaborations

Artists’ statement by Ken and Melody Shipley

This summer we spent quite a bit of time on the boat, floating down the Cumberland River. We experienced silty, sandy banks, the tangled roots of trees exposed to the air, large rocks washed in mud, the majesty of bald eagles, great blue herons, otters, puffy clouds, broken reflections in the ripples of the water, lots of plastic and trash, and the quiet. This body of work reflects each of our perceptions of this summer spent on the water. We enjoyed moments in which time seemed to stop, and we existed in it both separately and together. We began our collaborative work as a natural evolution of our combined experiences on the river as we brought our own styles to the work. We became more attuned to each other as we became more attuned to the shapes, forms, and patterns of nature that surrounded us. This long summer enveloped us, along with our daughter Selby, in an even greater appreciation of nature around us and how intrinsically involved we are in it.

Melody Shipley


Melody completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1996 and is currently finishing her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN.   She is a potter and a counselor, finding her strength, peace, therapy, and inspiration from the beauty of nature. She enjoys recreating her vision of that beauty in the forms and surfaces of the pots she makes. Each pot is a separate landscape, a separate path, or a separate person in her journey of life. Her work is thrown, altered, and hand built using both stoneware and porcelain clays, and fired in various ways. She hand carves her pieces and applies several layers of glazes to achieve the rich textures of her surfaces.

Melody’s work has been sold and exhibited regionally, nationally, and internationally. She conducts workshops and teaches classes through programs at John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC, and in her home studio in Clarksville, TN. By integrating mental health counseling and the arts, she hopes to raise awareness to both underserved needs in the community.

Ken Shipley


Ken Shipley is a recently retired Professor of Art from Austin

Peay State University in Clarksville, TN, USA. He has worked in

ceramics and the arts for over 40 years. He began his career as an

apprentice to both Charles Counts in Rising Fawn, GA and Bill Ashley

in Chattanooga, TN. Ken’s work covers many aspects of ceramics,

from production pottery to large one of a kind pieces. He holds a B.A.

in Religious Studies and the Master of Fine Arts degree from the

University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

In fall of 2018, Ken and his wife Melody were awarded the

Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts from the Arts and Heritage

Development Council of Clarksville/Montgomery Co. Tennessee.

In the winter/spring of 2018 Ken taught eight international students

and participated in a residency at La Meridiana International School of

Ceramics in Tuscany. The fall of 2017 Ken and Melody received

separate grants to support the project: ‘Honoring 911 through Art and

Art Therapy’ and continue this work currently at the Steven Cohen

Center with a grant through ADHC. His most important work to date

are twofold: one is the establishment of a project called’10,000 Bowls’.

inspired by making several thousand bowls donated to first ‘Empty

bowls of Clarksville’, then including donations to Manna Cafe of

Clarksville and other nonprofits. He is making the’10,000 Bowls’ for

Homelessness and Homeless Awareness locally with plans to expand

regionally and beyond. Secondly, he has for many years donated time

and materials to ‘Artist in the Schools’ programs in Clarksville,

Chattanooga and Knoxville in particular and plans to continue this

most valuable work.

Ken has taught workshops at John C. Campbell Folk School in

Brasstown, N.C. since 2005. He has been a resident artist in Italy and

France and has given workshops and presentations there as well as

US Virgin Islands, England, China, Hawaii and other places around

the USA. His work is in permanent collections in the Shanghai

Museum of Art, Fudan University in Shanghai, La Meridiana in Italy,

AIR Vallauris, France, Arrowmont School of Arts in Gatlingburg, Tn.

and numerous private and public collections in the states and abroad



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