Best ceramics duet - 2000
Time in Tandem: James and Nan McKinnell Retrospective
Susan Sagara, an assistant curator at the Arvada Center, crammed a couple of the lower-level galleries with more than a hundred pots for Time in Tandem: James and Nan McKinnell Retrospective. The McKinnells, now retired, were globe-trotting beatniks from the 1940s to the '60s. They landed in Boulder and Denver a few times before finally settling outside of Fort Collins three decades ago. The show included their student work and the work that later made them famous locally and nationally. A real revelation of the show was how distinct each one's work was from that of the other: James follows the Japanese-inspired tradition, the main current in contemporary ceramics, while Nan's pieces look like handmade versions of industrial design. Through the great volume of worthwhile pieces it presented, the Arvada show revealed that the McKinnells are among the best potters to have ever worked in Colorado.