It’s fair to say that California-based ceramic artist Wesley Anderegg has somewhat of a love/hate relationship with the state of Arizona.
He was born in Phoenix, graduated from Arizona State University and lived in the area for more than 30 years. His show “Arizona” at form & concept, which opens on March 30, pokes fun at life in his birthplace.
“I love the desert,” he explains. “From January through March, there’s no better place to be. When I grew up there in the 1950s, we lived at the edge of town. The desert was a great place to raise hell.”
Anderegg has created a series of small colorful ceramic tiles that pay homage to the world of his childhood. Men wearing Western clothes ride horses. Jack rabbits, roadrunners and quail roam through the desert. Pretty Arizona gals drink Coors beer.
“There are more females portrayed in my work in this show than ever before,” he says.
Art was not on Anderegg’s radar while he was growing up. He preferred spending his time drinking beer, playing baseball and riding motorcycles. A ceramics course at college sparked his interest in working with clay.
“I didn’t want to work for other people and thought it would be cool to be a potter and work for myself,” he adds. “I set up a studio and started to work with clay. Over time, I took more classes and workshops.”
For many years, Anderegg’s home has been a small community north of Santa Barbara. He purchased his property, which already had a studio on it, three days after seeing it in 1999.
“I still go back to Arizona to visit because my mom and brother are there,” he says. “I thought about having the show in Arizona, but I like New Mexico better.”