Don Reitz at the Belger Arts Center

OPENING MAY 4!

May 4, 2012 - September 8, 2012

A tribute to the legendary Don Reitz spanning 51 years of his career. Join us from 6-9 pm on First Friday and see 100 artworks by Reitz on the ground floor and the third floor of the Belger building at 2100 Walnut Street in Kansas City's Crossroads Arts District. DON REITZ will run through September 8, 2012.

 Don Reitz  You Are Here , 1988 6 x 19 x 15 inches Photograph By Ben Roti

Don Reitz You Are Here, 1988 6 x 19 x 15 inches Photograph By Ben Roti

Don Reitz - Skirted Jar - Belger Arts Center - Kansas City

Don Reitz Skirted Jar, 1996 42 x 24 x 24 inches Photograph By Ben Roti

DON REITZ March 6, 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO – This spring the Belger Arts Center and Red Star Studios will collaborate on a tribute to Don Reitz, a venerable ceramic artist whose career spans more than 50 years. The Belger plans to open “Don Reitz” on May 4, 2012, with more than 90 artworks including wood-fired vessels and sculptures, and also prints from the Arizona artist. The exhibit will run until Saturday, September 8, 2012.

The 82-year-old Reitz lives on 20 acres of desert land near Sedona, AZ, where he and two assistants regularly fire four wood kilns. While hosting visitors from the Belger Arts Center last fall, Reitz referred to his compound as his “sandbox.” His youthful enthusiasm for making art, and the energy he brings to his craft, are legendary. Reitz has mentored many artists along the way, including noted sculptor Donald Lipski. Lipski is the creator of the large circle of “Thinkers” at the corner of Central and Ninth in Kansas City, MO. Reitz is a contemporary and friend of Kansas City ceramics notables Jim Leedy and Victor Babu.

Featured in the Belger / Red Star exhibit will be works that Reitz made after a near-fatal auto accident in the 1980s. While in rehabilitation for severe arm and leg injuries, Reitz began a correspondence with his five-year-old niece, Sara, who was receiving treatments for cancer. Sara and Don sent each other encouraging images and this lead to many artworks decorated with what could be described as child- like imagery. These pieces were far removed from the monumental atmospheric works that had made Reitz famous.

Reitz's artwork can be found in the collections of the High Museum of Atlanta, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and many other of America's prominent institutions. He taught at the University of Wisconsin for more than 20 years, and has conducted workshops all over the country. Last summer Reitz was a featured demonstrator at the Archie Bray Foundation's 60th anniversary celebration in Helena.

Belger Arts Center Statement.

The Belger Arts Center was founded in 2000 and since that time has hosted more than 40 exhibitions of two and three-dimensional artworks. The exhibits have attracted more than 60,000 visitors from six continents. The Belger merged with Red Star Studios, a ceramics collective, in the spring of 2010. The two groups are currently sharing a building, but Red Star Studios will move to the Belger Warehouse Complex at 2011 Tracy Avenue in the near future. The Warehouse Complex already serves as home base for the Lawrence Lithography Workshop print house and for a metalwork facility run by Asheer Akram. Akram fabricated one of the new “Shuttlecarts” which were recently unveiled at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The carts were designed by Peregrine Honig. For more information on the Richard Notkin exhibit, or the Belger Arts Center, contact Mo Dickens, gallery assistant, at mdickens@belgerartscenter.org , or 816-474-3250.

Don Reitz - Teabowl and Box - Belger Arts Center - Kansas City

Don Reitz

Teabowl and Box

, 2008 4 x 4 x 6 inches Photograph By Jeff Bruce

Click images for detailed view.