The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte will unveil its exclusive new Ben Owen Pottery Gallery on January 12, 2011, presenting custom pottery pieces from renowned North Carolina artist Ben Owen. The new retail setting will be open to the public daily and has been created to feature the work of an acclaimed contemporary potter whose pieces already highlight the hotel’s extensive contemporary art collection. Seventy of Ben Owen’s original pieces are currently on display throughout The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, and the opening of his first gallery in the city will open up new access to hotel guests and local residents wishing to purchase his work. The Ben Owen Pottery Gallery at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte will offer 75-100 one-of-a-kind pieces of Ben Owen pottery art, with prices beginning at $45. Works will range from pots, vases, jars, bowls and platters to major showpieces and spectacular larger works of art. All items are hand-created by Ben Owen, who also will make special appearances at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte for 2011 art weekends and art demonstrations. “We are honored to be working with an artist of Ben Owen’s stature,” said David Rothwell, General Manager, The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte. “Many of our guests have commented on his work in our hotel public areas, and we are delighted to now make it available on a retail basis. We look forward to welcoming Mr. Owen to special art events at the hotel as well.” Born and raised in the legendary Seagrove, NC pottery tradition, Ben Owen III learned his art from his grandfather, Ben Owen, Sr., the long-time master potter at North Carolina’s Jugtown Pottery. Like his grandfather and other Seagrove potters, young Ben Owen has made a special study of Asian ceramics, finding that the Seagrove tradition has a special affinity for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean forms and glazing techniques. Owen incorporates these influences into vibrant glazed pieces which offer simplicity, strikingly smooth shapes and brilliant colors yielding to earth tones. Owen’s works are owned by some of the world’s most high-profile collectors, with his large installations also seen in Ritz-Carlton hotels and select private residences worldwide. The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte is home to several hundred pieces of fine art presented in striking locations throughout the hotel, from the first-floor Lobby and second-floor meeting spaces to guest rooms, corridors and the penthouse Spa & Wellness Center. The hotel’s commitment to supporting local art and artists is visible as pieces and artists from the Carolinas are given special prominence in this curated collection.