Solveig Cox: A retrospective at Hollin Hills Potters

She loves being known as the “cat lady,” but Solveig Cox has enjoyed a wonderful career as an artist—and this month, her friends will recognize her accomplishments while bidding her a fond farewell.

For 40 years, Cox’s feline creations have enchanted visitors to Hollin Hills Potters, one of the founding studios of the Torpedo Factory. As the artist prepares to move to Massachusetts to live near her daughter, her studio mates are honoring her with a retrospective. From June 8 through June 22, 2014, visit studio 23 for a show and sale of Solveig Cox’s work—and meet the artist at the opening reception on Sunday, June 8, 2014, from 1 to 4 p.m.

As visitors to the retrospective will discover, Cox was born to delight other people through art. Her mother and aunt, both immigrants from Hungary, were accomplished artists whose work ranged from graphic design to fiber art and housewares. Cox first took pottery classes while living in Germany in 1956 and began firing her own work when she and her husband moved to Virginia in 1960. After a decade or so, her pottery was selling in more than 100 shops, especially after the shapes and movements of her own pets inspired her to see the endless artistic potential in cats. She and her husband soon collaborated on cat-themed furniture, and her popular drawings appeared on t-shirts, dresses, calendars, daybooks, cards, and tote bags—even as she experimented in other media, from glassblowing to felt making, in search of new ways to express and re-imagine her lighthearted style.

Cox is living proof that crafts and fine art need not be bereft of humor. The art world agrees: In the 1990s, Cox served on the board of directors of the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution, and for decades she’s been involved in the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, which promotes ceramics education nationwide.

In the days ahead, stop by studio 23 to enjoy four decades of sheer playfulness in art—and to appreciate the countless lives one artist can shape.

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