What Is A Rabbit? July 11 – August 4, 2012

by Susannah Israel

“Invitational exhibition features CAA artists.”

What Is A Rabbit? is an invitational exhibition highlighting the legendary rabbit in art. The most diversely represented animals in world culture and folklore, we find rabbits variously depicted as tricksters, fertility symbols, luck-bringers, cowards, or cuddly pets. Now eleven noted ceramic artists share their unique sculptural interpretations as they address the question “What Is A Rabbit?”

The John Natsoulas Center for the Arts has a long history of working with innovative and collaborative approaches to ceramic art.  Exhibiting artists across the country are making work for this show:  Amber Aguirre, Kailua Kona, HI; Rebekah Bogard, Reno NV; Kelly Connole, Northfield MN;  Alanna de Rocchi, Helena MT;  Susannah Israel, Oakland CA;  Joe Kowalczyck, Berkeley CA;  Tom Michelson, San Francisco CA;  Merry Arttoones, Tucson, AZ;  Kensuke Yamada; Philadelphia, PA;  Fred Yokel, Campbell, CA; and Wanxin Zhang, San Francisco, CA.

In some parts of the world, mythology involving rabbits and hares associates the animal with fertility and the lunar cycle. The Hare in the Moon, shown with mortar and pestle, is mixing the elixir of immortal life; but in some stories, he is just making rice cakes.  In early US folklore, (Brother) Brer Rabbit is an adept verbal trickster, always outwitting the pursuing fox.  The irrepressible Bugs Bunny has appeared in more films than any other cartoon character.  Noble rabbits captured our hearts in Watership Downs with their courage and loyalty. Easter Bunnies bring chocolate treats to children. And in the classic Alice In Wonderland, of course, the fantastic adventures begin with Alice tumbling down a rabbit hole.

As guest curator, I was inspired both by the desire to see more splendid rabbits from the likes of Aguirre, Arttoones, Bogard, Connole, and de Rocchi, and the chance to see how Kowalczyck, Michelson, Yamada, Yokel and Zhang would work with the concept. It’s going to be an exciting show.

Susannah Israel


Please join us on Friday, July 13th for the Opening Reception  to find out what kind of mischief our rabbits are up to at the hands of these contemporary mythmakers in clay.

Contact Nancy Resler: 530-756-3938   art@natsoulas.com

John Natsoulas Gallery 521 First Street, Davis, CA 95616















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