University of Mississippi

MFA Graduate Travels to Jingdezhen, China

This October, MFA Ceramics student, William McKinney has been honored with representing the University of Mississippi at the Taoxichuan Creative Fair in Jingdezhen, China. He was selected by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts and is one of seven students chosen to represent Universities from the United States. When asked about his upcoming trip McKinney stated, “It’s a huge honor…it was pretty amazing I got this opportunity to do this.”

McKinney grew up around the mountains of Morgantown, West Virginia and received his BFA in ceramics from West Virginia University. In an interview McKinney said, “…it will be good to get myself out of another comfort zone. I’ve been at Ole Miss for [two and a half years] now and it was great to get out of where I was comfortable back home in West Virginia…I want to do that again…this trip is going to make me challenge myself again.”

McKinney’s work in ceramics is experimental in nature and investigates function verses abstraction, and explores the environmental changes that are happening across the United States, specifically in his home state of West Virginia. He is looking forward to new artistic ideas and perspectives and hopes that his experimental approach to ceramics will bring something special to the fair. “[I’m hoping] to show people that [yes] this is a traditional material for pottery, but it can be adapted into very sculptural means and [push] those boundaries…”

Photo courtesy of Olivia Whittington