Anyone touring Santa Cruz is sure to eventually be confronted by the ceramic work of Mattie Leeds. Mattie creates large scale hand painted ceramics that are enthusiastically collected and on display in homes, galleries, and businesses throughout Santa Cruz and the San Francisco Bay area. Although there is a great deal of diversity in his approach, Mattie's work seems to fall into two major categories; monumental sculptural ceramics and constructions, and boldly hand painted vessels that are unabashed in subject matter and in color. Although there are many similarities between the two types of work, I have broken this narrative into two sections in order to adequately cover them both, and to show off as many of the inspiring images of Mattie's studio, sculpture garden, and ceramics I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to take during my short visit. Occasionally one is lucky enough to discover an artist who has truly integrated their art and their life, spiritually, aesthetically, and architecturally. Mattie Leeds is one of these artists, and exploring his home and studio was an unexpected and gratifying pleasure.
Santa Cruz Open Studios 1999 Review
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