All Fired Up
by Matt Hutaff
The hum of electric kilns, shelves of projects waiting to be fired, and the whir of ventilation fans mean only one thing — the Joan and David Lincoln Ceramic Art Building is open.
The new workspace, completed ahead of schedule in February, provides a tremendous boost to the College’s ceramics program. “The impact of the Lincolns’ extremely generous gift is going to be enormous,” says Assistant Professor of Art Adam Davis. “The benefits are too numerous to mention; everything in ceramics is about to double — the space, classes, students, and professors.”
Already a working studio, the facility’s numerous wheels, kilns, and benches look lived-in and well-used. And visitors will find the art created — including classical amphorae and a clay human brain — as diverse and interesting as the students involved in its creation.
The College officially dedicated the building on April 12, 2011.
67th Ceramic Annual Promotes Fun
Tim Berg insists you have fun with ceramics. The curator for the 2011 Scripps College Ceramic Annual — one of the few in the country where artists are invited to submit proposals — has assembled a motley crew of pieces for his “Making Fun” exhibit. Ranging from a Ming vase with robotic legs to stop-motion animation to the corpse of Mickey Mouse draped casually on the floor, the annual generated laughter and conversation.
“Year after year, [the Ceramic Annual] mounts a compelling exhibition of contemporary ceramics that challenges people to think about where we are headed as a field and as a community,” Berg says.
Pioneer and “Father of American Raku”
During his 30-year tenure at Scripps, Soldner shaped the direction of the program. Generations of ceramic art students found in him an artist both “internationally acclaimed and personally accessible.” Responsible for popularizing the Japanese ceramic technique known as American raku in the United States, Soldner was determined to provide a fine art alternative to the more commercial ceramics programs available at other institutions. His resulting work with the College and the Ceramic Annual, which he grew and curated for 37 years, solidified Scripps as a major center for ceramics education.
Soldner leaves behind a vibrant ceramics legacy at Scripps College that is thriving and influential. The impact his life has had on the art world, and ceramics in particular, is incalculable.
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