www.montereycountynow.com JUNE 20-26, 2024 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 29 ARTS There’s a new exhibit in the Monterey Museum of Art’s Currents space, a section dedicated to emerging California artists. Mark Tanous’ Water: A Story to Be Told, features 19 pieces of ceramics with water as the theme. “I’m very attracted to water,” Tanous says. “Water is so vital to us and we take it for granted.” Tanous has been working with clay all his life. He calls it a “delicious medium” that at first has living organisms in it and is filled with water. Then this “good mud” is treated by ceramic artists who fire the clay until it becomes a parched skeleton, with water removed. Then, with the use of glaze, one brings it back to life. “I think of myself as a Phoenician,” Tanous says, referring to the maritime empire that ruled the Mediterranean sea between 2500 BCE to the 1st century BCE, noting that Phoenicians also created the color royal purple. Tanous became less enchanted with making pots and vessels. Being a fableist, he says, with time he decided to add another layer to his art. He started to create fictional characters to whom he assigned his work. He calls them the “Reductionists.” In the current show he introduces three of them. One is a man who for many years operated as a street sweeper in San Francisco, watching the dirty water going into the bay. Then there is a former crop dusting pilot from the Central Valley, who observes ag companies taking water. The third collaborator is a former teacher, a witness to the young people’s attitude toward water. “Water is a simple, wonderful thing and we need to pay more attention to it,” the artist says. “Because it’s very rapidly becoming a tool of war and oppression.” A Californian through and through, Tanous went to high school in Carmel. He returned to Monterey County in 1995 and opened a skating rink in Marina. At the same time, he has been practicing ceramics at Monterey Peninsula College, where he now teaches art. Regarding clay, he says that the medium is “very forgiving” and it gets expensive only when you set up your home studio. “It’s a never-ending journey,” he says. “There are multiple clays, multiple tools, techniques and styles. Nobody knows everything about clay.” Water: A Story to Be Told is on display until Aug. 18 at Monterey Museum of Art, 559 Pacific St., Monterey. $15. 372-5477, montereyart.org. AGATA POPEDA Good Mud For Mark Tanous, water helps create ceramics while his ceramics convey the importance of water. By Agata Pop˛eda Ceramicist Mark Tanous makes vessels, but his new exhibit at Monterey Museum of Art features mostly more conceptual pieces interpreting water and its significance. The Creperie Cafe • Mon – Fri 7am – 4pm (Sat & Sun 8am – 4pm) 1123 Fremont Blvd., Seaside • 831.901.3900 at The Press Club A Conversation with David Ligare Agata Pope˛da talks with painter David Ligare about his philosophy of art Thursday, July 11 at 12:30pm Thursday, Aug. 1, 2024 Sara Rubin will talk with Asaf Elia-Shalev, about his book, Israel’s Black Panthers Thursday, Sept. 5, 2024 Dave Faries will talk with a local winemaker about the profession (guest TBD) UPCOMING EVENTS: Thursday, Nov. 7, 2024 Sara Rubin speaks with psychiatrist Susan Swick on mental fitness