World-Renowned Ceramics Artists Exhibit Works This Week at Waubonsee Community College
For decades, Waubonsee Community College has been home to a heralded ceramics program, and this week — as part of the college’s 50th anniversary celebrations — the college will host artists from around the country and world for the International Wood Fire Conference.
The focus of the Oct. 6-8 conference is to continue the ongoing dialogue about the wood fire process as it relates to ceramic arts. Registration is limited to 400 participants.
The conference will feature speakers and workshops. Artists will also display their work in exhibitions open to the community. A complete listing of those exhibitions, as well as registration for the public conference, is available at www.waubonsee.edu/woodfire.
Keynote Speaker Bios
Mark Hewitt — Oct. 6, 7 p.m.
Mark Hewitt has been making distinctive functional pottery in North Carolina since 1983. He splices what he learned in his native England as an apprentice to pioneering potter, Michael Cardew, onto the pottery traditions of North Carolina and the South, bending those traditions into an elegant contemporary style. He uses local clays and glaze materials, and fires his pots in a one of two very large wood-burning kilns.
Mark works with apprentices, conveying production skills and aesthetic qualities to a new generation. Several of his former apprentices have gone on to establish their own successful independent careers.
In addition, his recent work reassesses aspects of the industrial ceramic world into which he was born – his father and grandfather were Directors of Spode, the fine china manufacturer.
He was the 2014 Voulkos Fellow at the Archie Bray Institute in Helena, MT, a finalist for the 2015 American Craft Council/Balvenie Rare Craft Award, a 2015 United States Artist Fellow, and is current President of the North Carolina Pottery Center, in Seagrove, NC.
Chris Gustin — Oct. 8, 5 p.m.
Gustin is a studio artist and an Emeritus Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, where he retired in 1998. Chris received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1975, and his MFA from Alfred University in 1977. Chris lives and works in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts.
His work is published extensively, and is represented in numerous public and private collections, including the Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the World Ceramic Exposition Foundation in Icheon, Korea, and the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art.
With more than 50 solo exhibitions, he has exhibited, lectured and taught workshops in the United States, Caribbean, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. He has received two National Endowment for the Arts Artist Fellowships, and three Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowships, the most recent in 2009. Chris is cofounder of the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Maine, and currently serves on its board.