About Andre Pellerin written by Raymond Luczak
In 1976, André Pellerin went to Gallaudet and eventually graduated with a double B.A. in Theatre Arts and Psychology in 1982. Even though he acted in quite a few productions, he preferred to work backstage and build the sets. By the time he left the Theatre Arts Department twenty years later in 2002, he'd done over 70 stage productions.
In 1985, I met him through a mutual friend. I was a nobody, a Gallaudet student, and a budding writer with big dreams. I was in awe of how much he knew. No, he wasn't what I'd call a "book person," but his knowledge of how things worked--from working years as an assistant technical director at the Gallaudet Theatre Arts Department--impressed me. He grew up in a large French-Canadian family in Barre, Vermont. He and his brother, Rene were deaf and went to the Austine School for the Deaf in Brattleboro, Vermont.
In 1988, I left for New York City, where I eventually found my way into print and stage and screen.
In 1999, André took his first class in pottery under Linda Jordan. The moment he sat at the spinning wheel and felt the warm clay unfurl under his huge hands, he was hooked. Here, he felt, was a whole new direction from designing and putting things together for a set for a theatre production. Here, he saw he could create from within a chunk of clay and make it his own. As his vision deteriorated somewhat due to his Usher's Syndrome, his need to create in a more tactile art form was never greater, and pottery answered his prayers without him realizing he'd ever prayed for such a thing.
I remember one conversation when he was clearly excited by the whole process: he went into great detail how it seemed like magic--turning clay into something that could be useful but above all be beautiful to see and touch. To see an artist so happy about making endless discoveries is a rare sight to behold. and that's why I completely understand his obsession with all things pottery. His common-sense intelligence and his intuitive hands have enabled him to make stunning progress as an artist. I've seen him pore through books showing clearly the various techniquies and approaches, and his powers of concentration are nothing short of breathtaking. That he has such beautiful hands is a gift that he is able to create beautiful things with them is even more so.
Every time I visit Washinton DC, I always make a point of seeing his latest and appreciate both the labor and the art that goes into his work. I have enjoyed watching him develop and grow as an artist in the years since he began his first pottery class. This dear man adores pottery in such a personal way that only true artists do in their own craft, that I have no choice but to say that he is definitely an artist to watch.
You are indeed privileged to enjoy his first show, no doubt the fulfillment of a small dream and a promise of greater things to come. Submitted on 10 September 2003