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Brother Thomas

Updated on February 11, 2018

Brother Thomas Bezanson - Pucker Gallery, Boston

In Memory of the Pottery Artist

The master whose work is represented by the Pucker Gallery on Boston’s Newbury Street may have remained unknown to me, had I not attended a ceramics course. Our instructor, Michelle Zachs, decided to introduce her students to Brother Thomas’s art.

A small room where the works of Brother Thomas Bezanson are displayed immediately bestows its distinct charm upon its visitors, mainly thanks to the amazing purity of its objects’ shape and spirit.

Brother Thomas was born in Canada in 1929. He passed away in 2007. In 1950 he graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and began working with ceramics in 1953.

In 1959, Thomas Bezanson decided to enter the Benedictine Monastery in Vermont. That was the beginning of his religious path. Since 1985 Brother Thomas had been the Artist-in-Residence, Mount Saint Benedict, Erie, PA.

The connection between Brother Thomas’s creative life and the State of Massachusetts, specifically Boston area, begins in 1971, the time when the city of Springfield hosted his first personal exhibition.

Since 1982, Brother Thomas’ ceramics have been permanently displayed in galleries all over New England, particularly at the Pucker Gallery.

In 1994 a series of commemorative exhibits were held in several locations. Brother Thomas had held hundreds of exhibitions in galleries and museums in America, Britain and Canada. A few of his works are displayed in private collections in Germany and Japan.

Details about the life and work of the artist are presented at the Pucker Gallery, in the film created by the master himself in 1991.

Brother Thomas was not just an artist; he was a philosopher, theologian, scientist, innovator, researcher, and lecturer.

Speaking to students of various universities and colleges about his work, he touched on a profound theme of the artist's purpose and the meaning of art. Brother Thomas considered his own art and creativity a theological process. Surrounded by his works, people truly do start to feel something sublime, unearthly. In my opinion, this is pure materialized philosophy, as expressed through various geometrical shapes, in the form of vases, decorative dishes, jugs and bowls.

No less important is the color – its effect can be compared to the spiritual light of the artist’s thoughts. In this regard, I recall the colors of music by Scriabin and other similar experiments in this direction.

Thomas Bezanson also created a unique recipe for color glaze. The shapes and the combination of colors used by the artist in his work are closely linked to the Eastern philosophy of arts.

In 1978, Brother Thomas visited Japan and dedicated a lot of time to studying the tea ceremony. Since then, the process of creating different styles and types of bowls took a special place in his work.

Brother Thomas once said, "The art of ceramics is the process of changing the physical and spiritual state of matter." He also pointed out that, "after all, art is not a history of personalities, or the history of things, but the history of the artists themselves."

Familiarity with the works of Brother Thomas brings something pure and light into a human existence. In proximity to his art, people feel more spiritual and uplifted.

This fine artist left a blessed memory to us in the form of his incredible creations.

I was fortunate enough to have met him and even show him my article about his art published in a Russian periodical.

The room at the Pucker Gallery where Brother Thomas’ ceramics are displayed is open to the public. There you will find yourself in the magical world of ceramics, in the spiritual world of this amazing artist.


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