Ceramics: Beyond the Studio
Learning art is more than what’s learned in the traditional studio courses. Our courses are complemented with demonstrations, lectures, and critiques from faculty and visiting artists. Students can also join in the activities of the ceramics student organization, interact with visiting artists, volunteer with the UM Museum, and experience a residency with a relevant site or artist.
Led by Matt Long, Mud Daubers is a group of undergraduate and graduate student ceramicists who showcase their work at the Double Decker Arts Festival, support the local Empty Bowls fundraiser, and organize other events throughout the year. They host a fall and spring sale on campus to raise awareness of the program and fund their activities such as bringing many national and international visiting artists to our department.
“I donated to an event called Empty Bowls. I sat at a pottery wheel for over 14 hours straight, making 200 bowls. The proceeds from my work resulted in $4,000 worth of donations to the Lafayette Food Pantry.” – Bailey Pillow
In addition to the artists who visit campus through Mud Daubers, the department also has an established visiting artist program called Art Talks. This program creates access to artists in person and via webcam, and helps students and faculty to keep pace with contemporary artistic practice and emerging technology used in cultural production today. Students can also expand their professional networks.
The list of visiting ceramic artists – either through the Mud Daubers or Art Talks program – is long and illustrious. A short sample includes
- Matthew Schiemann– Manager for the St. Pete Clay Artist in Residence Program at the Morean Center for Clay and adjunct professor at St. Petersburg College.
- Chandra Debuse– Self-employed artist and community educator in Kansas City, KS
- Tommy Frank– Self-employed artist and Community Class Instructor – Ceramics, Red Star Studios, Kansas City, MO
- Von Venhuizen – Associate Professor of Ceramics, Texas Tech University
- David Hiltner– Executive Director of Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, Montana.
- Josh DeWeese– Associate Professor of Art at Montana State University
- Jeremy Kane– Associate Professor of Art, University of Alaska, Southeast
- Sara Panzarella– Artist and co-owner of Imagine, a fine arts and crafts gallery in Skaneateles, NY
- Jeremy Randall– Visiting instructor of art at Cazenovia College in Cazenovia NY, and an adjunct instructor at Syracuse University
Four of the last five years our museum has been named to EDsmart’s list of “51 Most Astounding University Museums”, with a recent ranking of 17—one spot ahead of Princeton University. Many art students intern or volunteer with the UM Museum where they might work with art education programs or curate an exhibit.
In the museum, you can study the David M. Robinson Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities, one of the finest collections in the United States. Covering the 1000-year period from 800 B.C. to around A.D. 300, the collection contains Greek and Roman sculpture, Greek decorated pottery, inscriptions, architectural fragments, inscribed Sumerian clay tablets, small artifacts in terracotta and bronze, and Roman copies of Greek art works.
Residencies and Internships
Students and faculty work together to identify relevant residencies to provide valuable work experience, professional networks, further application of skills learned at the university, and a stronger resume.
For ceramics studio students, this might be a summer or winter break placement with an artist (i.e. Ron Dale and Chris Gustin) or with one of the big ceramic art centers in the country, such as Arrowmont School of Art and Craft, Appalachian Center for Craft, Red Lodge Clay Center, and The Morean Center for Clay (formerly St. Pete Clay). Longer-term residency placements tend to occur after graduation.
For those planning different career paths, the UM Office of Outreach’s formal Internship Experience program also assists students with internship placements in any career area of interest in Atlanta, New York City, and Washington D.C.
Art majors have exciting opportunities to experience the art and architecture abroad. They can arrange their own study abroad experience through the Office of Study Abroad. Or, they can travel with UM faculty.
One possibility is the course titled Art on Location, where UM faculty can take a course of students to different locations around the US and abroad. For example, in the 2-week 2019 Winter Intersession, art historian Dr. Louise Arrizoli teamed up with a French professor to offer a study of art in Paris, France.