To experience the work of Peter Callas is always a visceral and cathartic event. His abstract creations are suspended between the states of evolution and de-evolution. There is an ancient, fleeting quality to them, seemingly battle worn and scarred, as if they live and breathe, whisper and sigh, but within them pulses an undercurrent of tension, energy and passion unique to his aesthetic vision. Callas graduated with a liberal arts degree from The University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington in 1973 and was soon after awarded a yearlong artist in residency at Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana, a historic and prestigious foundation for the ceramic arts with a 60-year history and an international reputation. Callas followed this experience by traveling to Japan to research traditional woodfired kilns and Japanese art. In addition to exploring all six ancient kiln sites in Japan, Callas assisted in the construction of a traditional Anagama woodfired kiln. It was from that inspirational experience that Callas decided to build an Anagama kiln, which at the time was an unknown technique in the U.S. By 1976, Callas successfully built the first Anagama kiln in North America – a pioneering achievement that has been the cornerstone of his career for the past forty-seven years. Callas has held multiple teaching positions at art centers and the University level at Montclair State College and Rutgers University. At the studio level he has mentored more than forty young artists who have gone on to have successful careers of their own.
Callas’ work has been exhibited in Australia, France, Germany, Brazil, China, Korea, Japan, and in multiple exhibitions in the United States. He has received international awards in Korea and Japan in both 2000 to 2003 for his large-scale ceramic sculpture. In 2017 Callas was elected to the International Academy of Ceramics and in 2018, he received the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant which is helping support my upcoming museum tour and book project to celebrate of my 50 years in the field. This traveling exhibition is slated for 2021, initially hosted by The American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, CA..