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Jeff Nebeker, both an accomplished ceramist and pastry chef, draws visual parallels between frosting, cake decorating, and baking a cake with his hand-built, “almost edible” ceramic creations. His patience and technical skill with the clay and glazes creates what he calls “guiltless desserts.”

Some cakes are his own “concoctions,” while others are old favorites designed by other chefs. Jeff Nebeker offers portraits of playful gesture and color rhythms that are often associated with the modernists, but then he gives us tantalizing food. The piece becomes a visual experience of sharing his favorite foods with others.

Nebeker studied ceramics at the University of California at Davis with Robert Arneson and David Gilhooly,  and he studied art history with Wayne Thiebaud.  In integrating his clay, and often even his painting experiences, in his work, he often includes the tracings of the process of making pastry as a foundation to the subject matter and idea.  Wax paper,  baking grounds, and cellophane are often included in the finished piece.

His “Holiday Paintings” are often ideas of ownership with an understanding of how the piece is being made.  “Motherhood” and “Great American Easter” reaches for these ideas.

Jeff Nebeker reaches works in unknown territory by using the craft of and food traditions that are shared by so many of us every year, both utilizing the foundations of this culture and broadening it artistically.                            

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