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Art therapy

Clay works pay tribute to a father's passing



After Deb Komitor's father died last year, her clay caught her tears.

"Everyone goes through [the grieving process]," says Komitor, a local artist. "I realized my way of getting through it was to work a lot. I think, "Where would I have been this past year if I hadn't been knee-deep in clay?'"

Komitor's upcoming show, In Honor of My Father, presents bas-relief artworks raised images on flat clay that emerged from the waning days of her father's life. As they together sought clarity and resolution on past misunderstandings, the artist observed an inspiring calmness and dignity in her father.

"This isn't a sad show," explains Komitor. "It's uplifting. I felt like my dad saw me, and I got to see him, for the first time; there were so many gifts in that."

In the months that followed, Komitor's projects became an active therapy. Over a creative process that sometimes required up to two months of labor, from layering and kiln firing to detailed painting and varnishing, she literally cried into the clay and produced thematic imagery of her struggle.

In "Life is Change" (pictured), the boat and water imagery speak of change's constancy and allowing oneself to, as she puts it, "go with the flow."

Komitor originally pursued an arts education as a painter before dabbling in sculpture work. She views her current medium as a nice balance between both talents and forms. — Matthew Schniper


In Honor of My Father

Cottonwood Gallery,

25 Cimino Drive

Thursday, April 27, and Friday, April 28, 4-8 p.m.; Saturday, April 29, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Free; call 520-1899 for more information.

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