42 x 24 x 24 inches
Photograph By Ben Roti
On Loan From Ron & Masako Berman
Teabowl and Box
4 x 4 x 6 inches
Photograph By Jeff Bruce
Click images for detailed view.
May 1, 2012
KANSAS CITY, MO – This spring the Belger Arts Center and Red Star Studios will collaborate on
a tribute to Don Reitz, a venerable ceramic artist whose career spans more than 50 years. The Belger
plans to open “Don Reitz” on May 4, 2012, with more than 90 artworks including wood-fired vessels
and sculptures, and also prints from the Arizona artist. The exhibit will run until Saturday, September
The 82-year-old Reitz lives on 20 acres of desert land near Sedona, AZ, where he and two assistants
regularly fire four wood kilns. While hosting visitors from the Belger Arts Center last fall, Reitz
referred to his compound as his “sandbox.” His youthful enthusiasm for making art, and the energy
he brings to his craft, are legendary. Reitz has mentored many artists along the way, including noted
sculptor Donald Lipski. Lipski is the creator of the large circle of “Thinkers” at the corner of Central
and Ninth in Kansas City, MO. Reitz is a contemporary and friend of Kansas City ceramics notables
Jim Leedy and Victor Babu.
Featured in the Belger / Red Star exhibit will be works that Reitz made after a near-fatal auto accident
in the 1980s. While in rehabilitation for severe arm and leg injuries, Reitz began a correspondence with
his five-year-old niece, Sara, who was receiving treatments for cancer. Sara and Don sent each other
encouraging images and this lead to many artworks decorated with what could be described as child-
like imagery. These pieces were far removed from the monumental atmospheric works that had made
Reitz's artwork can be found in the collections of the High Museum of Atlanta, the Los Angeles
County Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and many other of America's
prominent institutions. He taught at the University of Wisconsin for more than 20 years, and has
conducted workshops all over the country. Last summer Reitz was a featured demonstrator at the
Archie Bray Foundation's 60th anniversary celebration in Helena.
Listen to KCUR's coverage of Don Reitz and the DON REITZ exhibition.
Belger Arts Center Statement.
The Belger Arts Center was founded in 2000 and since that time has hosted more than 40 exhibitions of two and three-dimensional artworks. The exhibits have attracted more than 60,000 visitors from six continents. The Belger merged with Red Star Studios, a ceramics collective, in the spring of 2010. The two groups are currently sharing a building, but Red Star Studios will move to the Belger Warehouse Complex at 2011 Tracy Avenue in the near future. The Warehouse Complex already serves as home base for the Lawrence Lithography Workshop print house and for a metalwork facility run by Asheer Akram. Akram fabricated one of the new “Shuttlecarts” which were recently unveiled at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The carts were designed by Peregrine Honig. For more information on the Richard Notkin exhibit, or the Belger Arts Center, contact Mo Dickens, gallery assistant, at firstname.lastname@example.org , or 816-474-3250.