The Alchemist’s Dream

The Alchemist’s Dream: Letts, Marino and Muir
October 8 – December 24, 2021

"The Alchemist's Dream: Letts, Marino and Muir" exhibition postcard

Three artists, one quest: the transformative nature of art

A new exhibition of work by three distinguished regional artists, featuring the work of Michigan painter K.A. Letts and Ohio artists, ceramicist Tom Marino and metalsmith Tom Muir, exploring the common theme of transformation.

The exhibit will open with a free, Public Reception on Friday, October 8, 2021 from 6 – 9 p.m.

The exhibit continues through December 24, 2021.

Click to view the revised 2nd edition exhibition catalogue for The Alchemist’s Dream, containing art images, prices and artist information from the full exhibit.

In the tradition of ancient alchemists who sought to transmute base metals into gold and – through the magical “elixir of life” – gain immortality and divine understanding, Letts, Marino and Muir each combines elements of nature, philosophy and technology as a catalyst for the viewer’s increased awareness of the world and humanity’s role within it.

The paintings of K.A. Letts reimagine myths, studying the art of storytelling while incorporating elements of painting styles from art history throughout the world, evoking both the distant past and the possible future. Tom Marino examines themes of transformation and enlightenment in his ceramic artworks, making connections between explorations in discovery and modern science’s pursuit of knowledge. The metalworks of Tom Muir connect man and nature, often calling upon familiar forms from history and imbuing them with ambiguity and tension through their newly transformed, organic shapes.

"Persephone in Winter" by K.A. Letts
“Persephone in Winter,” tinted gesso on paper by K.A. Letts, 2021. Photo by American Frame.

K.A. Letts (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

Trained in set and costume design, K.A. Letts received her B.A. from Barnard College (New York, New York) and her M.F.A. from the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University (formerly the Yale School of Drama) in New Haven, Connecticut. She is an Alumna of the National Artists Program at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, New York.

Letts has exhibited in numerous venues nationwide such as at Scarab Club (Detroit, Michigan), Playground Detroit (Michigan), Motor Row Gallery (Chicago Illinois), Firecat Projects (Chicago, Illinois), University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan) as well as at Non-Fiction Gallery (Savannah, Georgia). Additionally, her work was included in the 2014-2015 95th Annual Area Artists Exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art (Ohio), where she received the Purchase Award. Her work forms a part of the permanent, public collection of Toledo Federation of Art Societies.

"Crucible Series: Flame" by Tom Marino
“Crucible Series: Flame,” ceramic with metallic silver and tint, by Tom Marino, 2020. Photo by Stephen Johnston.


Tom Marino (Toledo, Ohio)

Tom Marino holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Michigan Technological University (Houghton), where he also pursued graduate work. He is a longtime member and former President of the Toledo Potters’ Guild. Marino’s award-winning work is included in many permanent museum collections including the Canton Museum of Art (Ohio), the Crocker Museum of Art (Sacramento, California), the American Museum of Ceramic Art (Pomona, California), the Zanesville Museum of Art (Ohio), the Block Museum (Evanston, Illinois), the Midwest Museum of American Art (Elkhart, Indiana), Racine Art Museum (Racine, Wisconsin), as well as the permanent collection of Ceramics Monthly (Westerville, Ohio). He has exhibited annually since 1980 in the juried Crosby Festival of the Arts at Toledo Botanical Garden (Ohio). He exhibits nationally and internationally in venues such as Hawk Galleries (Columbus, Ohio), the Ohio Designer Craftsmen Best Of at the Ohio Craft Museum (Columbus) and SOFA Chicago (Illinois). In 2016 he enjoyed a solo exhibit at Zanesville Museum of Art and, in 2017, exhibited at the 11th International Ceramics Competition (Mino, Japan), before being shortlisted for a touring exhibition by that museum.


"Watercourse Teapot" by Tom Muir
“Watercourse Teapot,” copper, brass, aluminum, by Tom Muir, 2003. Photo by Tim Thayer.

Tom Muir (Bowling Green, Ohio)

Tom Muir received his M.F.A. from Indiana University (Bloomington) and his B.F.A. from Georgia State University (Atlanta). He is a Distinguished Research Professor at Bowling Green State University (Ohio), where he is head of the Jewelry and Metalsmithing area in the School of Art. He currently serves on the executive committee of the International Jewelry College Association as the representative of the Americas.

His award-winning work has been published extensively and included in over 500 national and international exhibitions. Muir’s collections include the Toledo Museum of Art (Ohio); Art Institute of Chicago (Illinois); Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution and The White House Collection of American Crafts, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C.). The recipient of numerous fellowships bestowed by Arts Midwest/National Endowment for the Arts, Michigan Council for the Arts and Ohio Arts Council, in 2009, he received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Ohio Designer Craftsmen for having made a major contribution to craft in Ohio.

Click to view the revised 2nd edition exhibition catalogue for The Alchemist’s Dream, containing art images, prices and artist information from the full exhibit.

For purchase inquiries, please contact
20 North Gallery:
419-241-2400  or


The Alchemist’s Dream Installation Images: