1980 — 1989 Ceramics Myers School of Art, History of Ceramics Program, Myers School of Art AkronMyers School of Art Ceramics Program

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Summer 1980

“Kathy Ricks taught a mold making and slip casting class.  I took the class and thought it was great.  Kathy was very organized which was very helpful in learning to make molds.”
Donna Webb


As of June 30, 1980 the Potters Guild Fund had a balance of $957.15.
This money was slated to be used to pay for visiting artists in ceramics. Kathy Ricks contacted a number of contemporary ceramic artists in an attempt to arrange workshops for her students.  The following were their replies:
A letter was received from Patti Warashina, dated June 16, 1980 discussing an exhibition sometime in the fall of 1981 and saying that her workshop fee was $250/day plus expenses.  A 2 day workshop is about maximum for her.  She would rather do a one day workshop.

A postcard dated August 29, 1980 was received from Betty Woodman who was in Firenze, Italy.  She said that George Woodman was doing an exhibition at Wright State College in Dayton in March of 1981 and that it might be interesting to coordinate with it. “Or maybe too complicated”.

A letter from Wayne Higby said that his schedule was very busy for the next year.  He suggested he might have some time late next spring or the following fall.  A show of his work would “probably be out of the question” His fee was $350/day plus transportation lodging and food.  “I prefer not to do demon. But I would be agreeable to do a crit and discussion of contemporary issues.  Also, I would be happy to show lots of slides, my own and others.”
John Glick replied to a workshop request in a hand written note that said “just now he cannot schedule even a tentative date for a future workshop.  I only can manage one or two each year and I have too many tentative plans already afoot to do more.”
Kathy Ricks married Jack Taylor a woodworker in May.  Donna was her matron of honor.
Spring 1980 Donna Webb taught Ceramics I.

Fall 1980

George Sacco taught for the Department of Special Programs form 11/3 to 12/15/80.  He taught Ceramics:  Wheel throwing from 8 to 9:40 on Monday nights.  His syllabus began with:
“Ceramics is the most technical of the forms artists work in.  To realize more than limited results, the potter must acquire a good basic understanding of the materials and processes of his medium.
His syllabus ends with:

“As usual, try to be as creative and as imaginative as possible.  Remember that practically any form can be made from clay.
Keep reading the book, (Ceramics, A Potter’s Handbook by Glenn Nelson), especially the chapter on form and design. Seek out and read as many ceramics books as you can.  There are many in the library including masters theses and periodicals, such as “Craft Horizons: and “ Ceramics Monthly”
Try to attend any ceramics, crafts or art exhibition that you can.
Start to think about other materials that can be used in combination with clay.  Further develop your own personal vocabulary.
Keep your sense of humor.
Remember that there are no rules in art and that as an artist you are limited only by yourself.
Continue to make good use of your class time and your instructor.
Feel free to ask questions or discuss problems at any time, I am here to help you.
Ceramics is still a sometimes slow and tedious process.
And remember…’A Dalmatian dog in the desert is not always alone.’  Doog Kcul.”

The department chair at this time was Tom Morin.

Spring 1981

The Student Potters Guild hosted potter Tim Mather.   The workshop dates were January 22nd and 23rd at a fee of $200.00 per day.  Tim brought his own clay and the University of Akron supplied light, medium and dark colored glazes.  Tim wrote that he was in the middle of a major remodeling job on his house and was in a race with winter to get the doors and windows in place before the snow arrived.  He asked for five gallons of the dark glaze and three or so of the others.  As to the schedule,

“I think it would be best to throw and put things together the first day and glaze the second.  It would also be a good idea to show slides sometime before I do the glaze demo.  The only aspect of a timetable that I have found to be a good idea is not to start before 9 in the morning.  Starting much before this means a small crowd and people drifting in late.  Other than that, my time is yours.  I talked to Pat Kelly’s (director of the Emily Davis Gallery) secretary about showing some pieces.  I will bring about twenty; if more would be better let me know.  There was also a question about a title for the show, how about something really far out like ‘Tim Mather, recent work’?

This letter was typed on a typewriter!
The Potters’ Guild Financial Officer, student Mary Ann Flowers paid Tim $150.00 for expenses of lodging, food and transportation and $484.24 for his workshop fee and other expenses from the Potters’ Guild budget.
The Potter’s Guild transferred $935.00  to the Art Department entertainment account to be used in payment of visiting artist Peter Voulkos, who would be on campus April 21, 22 and 23.  An additional withdrawal of $50.00 was necessary to pay for refreshments at the party to be given in his honor during his stay.  This check was made out in the name of Ruth Stano who  purchased the food items.
K. Ricks notified Jeanne Musci that there is $245.50 in the U of A Potters Guild plus $13.69 in petty cash.

Joy Sutton received a check for $4.08 to reimburse her for taking visiting artist to lunch.

Among Kathy Ricks’ students were:
Joanne M. Michel graduated with a BFA in ceramics in 1980
Patricia E. Dillon graduated with a BFA in ceramics in 1980
James M. Sheppard graduated with a BFA in Ceramics in 1981
Caroline Suich of Norton Ohio
Dana Melecia of Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Sis Caner of Akron, OH
Kaye Coble of Canton, OH
Mary Spano of Akron, OH
Michael Martell of Akron graduated with a BFA and emphasis in ceramics in 1979
Lois Bates of Akron, OH  (deceased)
Scott Zayre
Joyce Suris
Melanie Kengott
In the fall Kathleen Ricks was up for tenure.  She decided to leave the University.  She lives in Florida.


I have been fortunate to have had a teaching position at what is now the Myers School of Art since fall of 1981.  It was difficult to find a college teaching position after graduating from the University of Michigan in 1971.  I did a number of other things for ten years including teaching in the public school, working in my studio and teaching part time until a visiting professor position opened at the University of Akron.  I had been teaching part time in the Art Department since 1975 and had applied for the full time position once already but I applied again and was awarded the job.
As I look back over the time I have been teaching I can divide the time into five-five year periods.  This is roughly the amount of time it has taken for each person to make their way through the art program at the University of Akron.  I inherited some of my first students from Kathy Ricks who had carefully prepared the students to throw, fire kilns and slip cast.  That group included Bob Yost, Mary Ann Flowers, Melanie Kengott, Barb Gedeon and Michael Martel.  During the first ten years, the ceramics area was very much its own world.  Most of what was made in the studio was pottery or sculpture made in a ceramic tradition.  Few of the students went to graduate school and  some like Bob Yost, Beth Lindenberger, Michael Martell, Warren Harrison, Shirley Nourjian, Marianne Dias  and Carol Swearingen set up studios in or near Akron and spent some of their years after graduation active in the art scene here.  They tended to use their own resources, working independently to balance income, family responsibilities and studio time.  The vessel was an important form among earlier alums.  Bob Yost, Beth Lindenberger, Shirley Nourjian, Warren Harrison, Meg Slinker, Michael Martell, Dave Reid and Jim Klein base their work on the vessel even when the forms function primarily as sculpture.
From 1968 to spring of 1984 ceramics was taught on the first floor of Schrank Hall South.  Clay was prepared down a floor and across into South Hall.

Ceramic students mixing clay

Mary Ann Flowers and another student mixing clay.


There were often little trails of clay and foot prints in the hallway between the ceramic studio and the elevator.  The best part of the studio was the wall of windows and the door that opened into the courtyard in the middle of Schrank Hall.  We created a raku kiln in a fiber lined drum.  It was very pleasant to have the light from the windows and to go outside into the courtyard.  Donna used the large office as a studio and had a kiln hooked up there also.  Two Alpine gas kilns were in a small vented room between the two larger rooms.  The Akron Public Schools donated a third Alpine kiln to the university in 1981 and a fourth gas kiln was built by Larry Calhoun and his students.  I think we called that kiln the Friar Tuck.. During that first five years there were few student exhibitions.  Melanie Kenngott’s senior exhibition, Dinner with Bob and Mel was an important step in learning to promote student work.  Michael Martell’s exhibition at the Guzetta Hall Atrium was a successful and early exhibition of ceramic sculpture.  Warren Harrison and Beth Lindenberger had an exhibition at the Student Union.  Their refreshments included wine smuggled in and served from under the  refreshment table.  It took some strong discipline on the part of Michael Jones, the gallery director to put an end to this practice.
In addition to the BFA candidates the ceramics program had a steady stream of art education students.  These include  Joan Snavely, Georgia Stathopoulos, Bill Skeggs, Frank Batch, Ruth Belden, Pamela Ewald, Ann Ranian, Jean Shaw, Pam Huff, Pat Werger, Frank Yaskey, Joanne Smith,  Nancy Hinson, Kathy Sapienza, Cathy Vogel, Sandie Fox, Stephen Csjtey, Sarah Hersman, Erica Flemmer, Bobbie Lucas,  Nancy Jones, Carolyn Evey ( fall 1995), Frank Delgrecco, Judy Kmet, Dave Derrig, Deb Conner, Julie Holbert, Rhonda Laucher, Carolyn Pope, Beth Stickley (Schmidt), Kristen Conti and Leah Scharville.

Unknown student checking Alpine Kiln

Unknown student checking the cones of Alpine II.


Fall 1981

Oct 1981 A Century of American Ceramics came to the Toledo Museum of Art.
We did the Real Art project for the first time in Intro to Ceramics.  This was a project in which students translated their favorite painting into a three dimensional ceramic piece.  There was a high rate of success with this project and we repeated it several times.  We attributed the success to the fact that the paintings chosen were very good paintings and the students who chose them liked them very much.

Fall of 1981 Carol Garrison and Nancy Zick were in Donna’s first Intro to Ceramics classes.
Advanced class:  John Bozzelli, Sherry Bruce, Joellen Bryan, Mary Ann Flowers, Melanie Kenngott, Brenda Murphy, Joy Sutton, Carol Swearingen, and Bob Yost.  The Potters Guild paid $15.00 for membership to the Ohio Designer Craftsmen. In October of 1981.
Jean Appleby taught Ceramics II in 1981 and fall of 1982.
Bruce Bowers taught ceramics in the Continuing Education Program at the University of Akron.
Donna Webb applied for the position of visiting professor of art and was hired for the position.

Donna Webb in her office/studio in Schrank Hall about 1982. Photo by Bob Yost.

During the 81-82 school year a national search was conducted for the tenure track position.  Among the candidates was Andrea Gill now on the faculty at Alfred and John Ground.  It could have been a very stressful situation to teach ceramics while a search was being conducted for a successor.  Fortunately I was so busy and the other faculty (even those who may have preferred another candidate) were so professional in their behavior that we got by in pretty good spirits.
Earl Ertman became Chair of the Art Department.


Spring 1982 Warren Harrison and Carol Garrison were among those  in Intro to Ceramics. Advanced Ceramics class:   Cathy Billings (“As a general guideline, I have found a Chinese saying that suits me very well:  ‘if a good pot were put down on the forest floor, a person should be able to walk by without noticing it, so well should it fit in and blend in with it’s surroundings.”) John Bozzelli, Sherry Bruce, Joellen Bryan, Mary Ann Flowers, Brenda Murphy, Robert Yost, Joy Sutton, Independent Study, Eugene Keller, Independent Study, transferred to the College of Fine and Applied Arts 10-1-79 BFA candidate, and Melanie Kennegott 1cr Independent study, Carol Swearingen, in progress.

Joyce Suris was studio assistant this semester.
Mary Ann Flowers received $97.80 from the Akron U Potters Guild for gasoline and lunch for the Peter Voulkos visit.
Bruce Bowers taught continuing education class
The Potters Guild paid $127.00 for registration for the workshop at the college of Wooster for seven students.  $18.00 each!
John Bozzelli and Bob Yost demonstrated throwing at Bolich Jr. High in Cuyahoga Falls in May of 1982.
Advanced students took a field trip to see a China painting demo at the studio of Eleanor Taylor in Stow.
Bob Yost did an internship for the ceramic studio.  He did all kiln firing, maintained wheels and kept the studio open 4.5
Vito Acconci lectured in the Emily Davis gallery.
Students were directed that for their lab fee of $25.00 they could make 200 lbs of clay.  If they made more it would cost an additional $25.00
Donna took a special topics class in shop practices from Bob Huff in Spring of l982.  The class covered joinery, local material resources, wood, trees and lumber and finishing materials and techniques.  Donna was not a great student.  She was afraid of the table saw and had to hire a more accomplished student to help her finish her final project.

As of April 1982 the Potters guild Fund had a balance of $2.62.  This was the result of not having a holiday sale in the fall.


Donna Webb and Jean Appleby taught a Raku workshop. Anna Angelini, Alleen Donohoe, Warren Harrison, Melanie Kenngott, Denise Robins, Joan Snavely, Georgia Stathopoulos, Bob Yost and Carol Swearingen took the class for undergraduate credit.
Bill Skeggs, Frank Batch, Ruth Belden, Pamela Ewald, Ann Ranian, Jean Shaw Pat Werger and Frank Yaskey, and Joanne Smith took the class for graduate credit.  We met from 8- 5, made tea bowls and had tea every afternoon at 3:00 for two weeks.

FALL 1982

First Labor Day Ceramic Fair at Boston Mills Ski Lodge. “The One and Only Ceramics Show Anywhere in the United States”.
Donna was awarded the tenure track faculty position.
Jean Appleby taught Ceramics II and was preparing to teach Ceramics Art of Raku for the Continuing Education Program at the University of Akron.  She decided not to teach the class.  She could not afford to teach it because continuing education did not compensate faculty who taught studio classes for time spent building equipment, securing classroom materials, firing kilns and preparing glazes.
Claudia Zeber was able to step in and teach that Ceramics class.
Carol Swearingen presented a decal making workshop for advanced ceramic students.
Prerequisites for Ceramics I changed from Intro to Sculpture and drawing 1 or 2-D design to 3-D design only.
Ptah (Arthur Webb) took his first advanced class.  Also John “the penguin” Bozzelli, Melanie Kenngott, Carol Swearingen, Bob Yost, Nancy Zick, Carol Swearingen, Sherry Bruce, Eugene Keller, Joellen Bryan (independent study )

Carol Swearingen did an internship in the studio.  She rewired an electric kiln.  She helped calibrate the gas kilns by recording the deformation of multiple pyrometric cones and the placement of the dampers.  She helped Intro students with clay mixing and monitored the studio six hours per week.
In December 1982 Tom Turner moved into his new studio on Medina line Rd.  He came to the University of Akron ceramic studio to glaze some pots on Dec 9 and 10 and did a cone 9 reduction firing on Dec 11 along with a throwing demonstration.

“Dinner With Bob and Mel” took place at the Akron Civic Theater Tuesday September 7.  This was Melanie Kengott’s senior exhibition.  Bob Yost worked with her on it.  She graduated with a BFA with an emphasis in ceramics and a BS in Art Education k-12.
Donna Webb and Dan Moore visited Stark Ceramics Owned by  Frank Gonzales .  We spent time with Jack Faur who had great knowledge about local ceramic materials and their properties.
Eugene Keller gave a lecture about the problems associated with believing in Santa Claus as he stood in my office with me and my daughter Orianna.  We both listened without comment.  When Eugene left Anna said.  He probably doesn’t believe in the Easter Bunny either.
Beginning in 1982 Jean Appleby (BFA with an emphasis in ceramics) Magna Cum Laude, University of Akron, MFA Edinboro University of Pennsylvania) taught career Options for Artists in the Art Department at the University of Akron.

“University of Akron Potter’s Guild Presents
The First Annual Akron University Art Show and Sale
Emily Davis Art Gallery (located at 181 E. Exchange Street) December 10, 1982
Publicity Committee; Typing committee; Hanging Committee; Matching stickers Committee; Cash Box During Show Committee; Packing Sold Work During Show Committee; Treats Committee; Taking Care of Treats During Show Committee; Taking Down Work After Show Committee; Work Disposal Committee, Repainting Walls Committee; Repainting Stands Committee.
In the past, the Potter’s Guild money has brought visiting artists to campus to hold workshops and bought equipment.  I hope you can be present the day of the show to hear comments about your work to talk to people about your work and meet the people who buy your work. Thank you for supporting the Potter’s Guild. Thank you sincerely, bob b yost.”

Bruce Bowers taught continuing education class


Spring 1983 Delores Speicher took her first Intro to Ceramics Class.
Advanced class:  Alleen Donohoe, Warren Harrison, Eugene Keller, Melanie “One More Dog to Bite Kenngott” (9th semester of advanced), Ptah, Bob Yost (10th semester of advanced), Nancy Zick, Beth Zurinsky.  (Lab fee $25.00!).
The advanced students didn’t always show up on critique days.

Comic strip found posted in the ceramic studio in spring of 1983.

It was very frustrating so one morning Donna called Melanie.

“Where are you?” Donna said.  “I’m in bed! I can’t believe that you called me!” was Melanie’s reply.

So Donna created a new rule that if someone was absent for a critique they would fail the critique.  The first person who was absent for a critique was Beth Zurinsky who had great attendance and had never missed a critique.  Donna stuck to the rule (as any new teacher would) and Beth was pretty upset.
Field trip to Edinburgh, PA to see ceramics program
Joyce Suris applied for grad schools this spring.
Field trip to Youngstown.
Paul Sires taught Ceramics II.  Several if not all of the students had crushes on him.   He and Ruth Lyons became directors of the Spirit Art Center in Charlotte, N.C.
John Gaskins workshop.  He did a throwing demonstration and we visited John’s studio, From the Earth Pottery behind Lou & Hy’s off W. Market. to see his kiln.  (We have great pictures)
Bruce Bowers taught continuing education class
U of A Potters Guild Fund had a balance of $62.40 in April 1983.

Donna and Bob Huff gave a joint lecture on figurative sculpture.
Jean Appleby gave a workshop on her work
Bob and Mel at Summit Mall:  Bob Yost and Melanie Kenngott showed their work at Summit Mall.

The Great Kiln Test was born.  This test has continued to be given to students as the gateway to permission to fire the gas kilns for twenty five years.
Alleen Donohoe created a larger than life size sculpture of Zippy.


Jean Appleby taught “Electric Kiln and Throwing.  Warren Harrison was in the class.  Beth Lindenberger was Donna’s studio assistant.  They both worked on molds for Donna’s pieces.  There were several big leaks of plaster as they decided how molds should be made.

FALL 1983

Advanced class:  Warren Harrison, Eugene Keller, Deborah Schwarz, Ptah, Nancy Zick, Beth Zurinsky ( Lindenberger).
Ceramics II was taught at the same time as advanced.
Tom Turner won Best of Show at the second Ceramics Fair at Boston Mills.  William Hunt, editor of Ceramics Monthly Magazine lectured at Boston Mills on Ceramics in the l980’s.  A panel on Marketing Works in clay included Don and Lisa Drumm, Tim Mather and Tom Turner.

A program for an event at the University of Akron Gardner Student Union contained the following:

“Student Center Programming Presents:
Artist Highlight of the Month (Oct, 1983)
Featuring University of Akron Potters Guild
A Demonstration of Techniques of Handmade Pottery
Beth Zurinsky Ne. Lindenberger
Melanie Kenngott
John Walch (a continuing education student who went on to study Materials or Ceramic Engineering at Ohio State).
Eugene Keller
Warren Harrison
Deborah Schwarz
Nancy Zick.”

Oct 1983

Donna Webb’s pots were shown in the Focus On Gallery at the Akron Art Museum and in Image/Afterimage at the Arts Consortium, Inc in Cincinnati, and an invitational Ceramics Show at the School of Art, Ohio University.

Claudia Zeber gave a glaze demonstration and a throwing demonstration for students at her studio on Highland Ave.
In November Judy Moonelis gave a workshop to ceramics students and a  lecture at the Akron Art Museum. Her demonstration at the University of Akron took place in the sculpture area (South Hall on Exchange St). A party for Judy Moonelis was held at the home of Judith and Christopher Meyer.  The  $400.00 honorarium was paid for by the University Gallery (200), Akron Art Museum (100.00) and Student Art League (100).  Lodging and air travel paid for by the Art Department (230), Poster by the Student Art league (100). Food for breakfasts and party ceramics budget (50.00)
The Judy Moonelis workshop was a great success.  Students worked along with Judy in South Hall texturing slabs for her large sculpture.  The piece was later broken up and pieces went home with several students.

Scot Wallace organized “Akron Area Artists:  Art for Interior Spaces” at the Gardner Student Center.  Nancy Zick, Beth Lindenberger and Melanie Kenngott participated
Carol Swearingen took grad classes at Edinboro University in 1983 and returned home to come to the Judy Moonelis workshop.
November 1983, DBR Gallery in Cleveland hosted a Clay Invitational students were able to see work by Mark Johnson, Andrea Gill,
Tom Cook, Deirdre Daw, Wally Mason, Anne Currier, Bill Boruillard,
Dave Williamson, Eva Kwong, Christopher Gustin , Betty Woodman, Karen Karnes. Kirk Mangus, Christopher Staley, Rick Hensley and Theodore Randall.
Students too a field trip to Boston Mills Ceramics Fair and heard the lecture by the editor of Ceramics Monthly, Bill Hunt.

Spring 1984

Advanced class:  Warren Harrison, Laurie Lott, Michelle Massullo (Independent study and advanced ceramics), Nancy Zick, Beth Zurinsky)
Cer II was held at the same time.
The lab fee was $25.00.
Dave Vargo’s earthenware sculptures were shown at the Akron Art Museum.
Ceramics students took a field trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Bob Yost participated in an internship at the Kitchen Center for Video Music, Dance, Performance and Film in New York.  He also took a throwing class with Jim Makins.
Ptah was in prison at Marion from October 1983 through 12/2/84.  Letters went back and forth between the ceramics studio and Ptah.  He planned to return to school when he could and he did.
Melanie Kenngott applied for teaching positions in public school.

Donna wrote an article about the NCECA Panel “The Studio Potter”  chaired by Jerry Williams editor of The Studio Potter Magazine.  On the panel were Nick Casson, Gail Kendall and Jeff Oestreich.  NCECA was in St Louis that year.  Donna and Joe and Warren and Beth attended.


Summer 1984 Jean Appleby taught Ceramics I for Teachers. Beth Zurinsky married Thom Lindenberger.  Donna, Tom and Anna attended the wedding. July 1984 Donna Webb exhibited work in Clay USA at Radford University in Radford VA.

FALL 1984

The Art Department held the first classes in Folk Hall.  We moved into the new ceramic studio just after school started.  The ceramic studio was formerly the car wash and oil change for the Cadillac dealership.  Joe Chiofolo, Beth Lindenberger and Warren Harrison helped move materials and organized the furniture as it arrived in the new building.  By Sept 13 we were in the new studio and had the Tom Coleman workshop there along with a pot luck lunch.  It was sponsored by the ceramics students and the Student Art League.
Advanced class:  Pam Bahas, Pat Bishop, Joseph Chiofolo, Laurie Lott, Warren Harrison (donated a coffee maker to the University of Akron ceramics area) Lois Mangrum (donated her ceramic library to the School of Art). Joyce Parker, Deborah Schwarz, Delores Speicher, Liz Starcher, Beth Lindenberger, Bill York (dropped after four days)  and Delores Speicher took independent study.
Beth Lindenberger and Nancy Hinson were the lab techs.
Advanced and  Cer II were taught at the same time.
University of Akron alums and students showed their work at the Quaker Hilton.
Oct. 1984 Donna Webb exhibited her work in the alumni Art Annual at the School of Art University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and at the Kuban Gallery in Cleveland.
A pottery sale was held on Friday December 14th in the New Art Bldg, Exchange Street, Ceramic bldg 10-6 pm.  Bob Yost spent $44.00 on press type, stickers and printing for the event.
On 12/18/84 the total in Potters Guild account included $48.75 carryover plus 126.75 from the pot sale for a total of $202.75.


Advanced class: Joe Chiofolo, Warren Harrison, Randy Robart, Vanessa Smith, Delores Speicher, Elizabeth Starcher, Ptah (back in class!), Pam Bahas, Jim Marshall Ind. Study, Lois Mangrum Ind. Study, and Beth Lindenberger Ind. Study. Alleen Donohoe Ind. Study, Nancy Hinson, grad student and Bill York, Delores Speicher, Ind Study. Nancy Hinson took three hours of graduate credit in ceramics.  Jim Marshall (BFA Kansas City Art Institute) took 1 credit hour of graduate ceramics.

Advanced and Cer II were taught together.

Lori Clevidence organized the rental of the Summit Lounge at the Student Center to be used for the Holiday Sale.  Metals and ceramics students participated.

In March we had a workshop with Donna Polsleno sponsored by the Student Art League. Donna Webb had a one person exhibition at the Department of Art Gallery at Denison University.
Alleen D., Nancy H, Ptah, Delores S., Brenda M., Bob Y., Jim and Beth L.  went to see the National Crafts Invitational at Kent.  Artists included Andy Nasisse, Joe Bova and Akio Takemori.
In February we had a field trip to Tom Turner’s studio in Medina and saw his  amazing ceramic collection.
March 18 Donna gave a lecture on Ceramics at the University of Akron at the Student Union.
We took a field trip to the Canton Art Institute.
In April Steve Judson Wilcox gave a workshop in slip casting.
Demo:  Slip casting with plaster molds, slide talk artists work, Demo cast greeware fresh from the mold, lunch:  pot luck, slides:  clay from molds-contemporary ceramic pieces, Demo:  Hand building with cast clay. We paid Steve  $125.00.

Donna received the college of Fine and Applied Arts teaching award and bought a used electric kiln for her studio with the award money.
Donna Webb showed her work at the Selo Shevel Gallery in Ann Arbor, Michigan and at the Burke hall Art Gallery at Denison University in Granville, Ohio.
I think this was the semester we got two new electric kilns.  We had a kiln naming contest.  Students suggested names for the kilns and the students voted on the names.  Warren Harrison suggested “Cracklin Rosie” and Joe Chiofolo (Blue Sky) suggested “He who heats up but doesn’t burn”.  These kilns became the “Rosie” and the “He Who”.


Donna taught a Raku class.
Joe Chiofolo, Warren Harrison, Susanne Kackman, Nanette Kozma, Hope Long, Pamela Marquess, Carolyn McCulloch, Juliet O’Bryan and Vanessa Smith undergrads.
Nancy Hinson, Mary Ann Callow and Dianne Volak-Ulis grad students.

Michael Jones of Yellow Springs, Ohio accepted the position of Director of University Galleries affective July 1, l985.
Ptah demonstrated throwing on the potter’s wheel at the African American Festival at Lane field (corner of Wooster and Lane) on July 20-22.

July 1985 Domo Project at spaces, an artist designed furniture ex with accessories, lamps, rugs, linens dishes bric- a- brac.  Several Art Department Faculty participated.

In 1990 School of Art student Stacy Hunter1 lamented the lack of recognition for ceramics.

1985 through 1990 produced some small but significant changes in that situation.  Our new gallery director, Michael Jones from Yellow Springs was himself a potter.  Though he was a strong advocate for contemporary art in general he did not neglect ceramics when he did the programming for the Emily Davis Gallery.  Kirk Mangus, Eva Kwong and Donna Webb all had one person exhibitions in the Gallery.
Mitchell Kahan became the director of the Akron Art Museum and though he did not start out as a strong advocate for the craft based arts such as ceramics he did show Michael Chipperfield’s ceramic sculpture and Luke and Rolland Leitske’s work which included ceramics.  By the late 1999’s he was showing William Morris, Lisa Lou and Dale Chihuly.
On a more modest scale, student Scott Wallace curated an exhibition, Akron Area Artists:  Art for Interior Spaces that included many ceramic works.  Scott also offered a course:  Mid Century Modern:  Decorative Arts of the l950’s for the continuing education program at the University.  As part of the class he curated a small exhibition of l950’s ceramics.
Metals faculty, Christina DePaul organized a symposium, Craft as Content.  Here students heard leading figures in the craft world discuss the meaning of craft.
The Speakers committee presented “Creative Schizophrenia” a discussion of the issues involved in maintaining two very different bodies of work.  Ceramic artist Patty Warashina was one of the participating artists.
Dorothy Shinn, art columnist for the Beacon Journal tried to define craft.  Shinn said that there are “some accepted definitions of craft and art.  Craft, it is alleged, is preconceived production; the craftsman knows when he or she begins what the finished work will look like, how it will be done, how much time will be put into it and how much material will be used.  Art, on the other hand is never preconceived.  Art is research, like a scientific experiment, if you please.”…
A Robert Arneson exhibition opened at the Cleveland Museum of Art and The American Craft Museum opened in New York City.

FALL 1985

Fall 1985 Advanced Ceramics:  Joe Chiofolo, Warren Harrison, Nanette Kozma, Jim Kraus, Claudia Savage, Vanessa Smith, Liz Starcher, Ptah, Joyce Parker, Nancy Hinson (graduate credit), Pam Marquess, and Brenda Contrella
Vanessa Smith was studio assistant. She did many things well.  She transformed the slide collection and put it in order.
David Vargo gave a  workshop
Donna showed work at the 10th Invitational Ceramics Exhibition in Ford Gallery at Eastern Michigan University.
Donna attended the 4th International Ceramics Symposium in Toronto, Canada.
Nancy Zick’s Donna’s Peruvian Stargazer was exhibited in the 88th May Show at the CMA.
Lab fees were collected with course fees for the first time instead of paying them after the class began.
Field trip to the Canton Art Institute to see the work of Tom and Ginny Marsh.
Field trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Tom Turner taught Ceramics II
We had no holiday sale


Advanced class:  Joe Chiofolo (Blue Sky), Paul Gavins, Warren Harrison, Nanette Kozma, Jim Kraus, Kathy Pandrea, Suzanne Sell, Catherine Sellmeyer, Vanessa Smith, Liz Starcher and Ptah.
Scott Wallace curated an exhibition:  Akron Area Artists:  Art for Interior Spaces.  16 artists including faculty and students from the University of Akron participated.  We took a field trip to Spaces and to the Cleveland State University Gallery.
Eva Kwong had an exhibition of her work in the Emily Davis Gallery and gave a lecture.  Ceramic students provided a pot luck lunch.
Michael Chipperfield, ceramist and faculty member at Ohio State had an exhibition at the Akron Art Museum.
Scott Wallace also offered a course:  Mid Century Modern:  Decorative Arts of the 1950’s as a Noncredit course for the University of Akron Continuing Education.  Scott graduated  with a BFA emphasis painting and applied to graduate school in spring of 1986.

In March Donna received a memo from Stephanie Hosey saying that the Potters Guild fund had been very inactive with the last transaction occurring in December, 1984.  The balance was $202.75 though she threatened to make the funds inactive, a phone call to Ms. Hosey revealed that we could leave the money in place.  We resolved to have a holiday sale the following December.  The great thing about the Holiday Sale was the practical experience that it provided.  The negative aspect of the sale was that it became difficult for students to remember to push them selves, to take risks and to keep the art making process in mind.
Vanessa Smith began working for Claudio Zeber making porcelain jewelry; She also worked in Claudia’s gallery at 828 W. Market Street and helped Claudia take her work to craft fairs.
Mitchell Kahan became the director of the Akron Art Museum.  We celebrated his twentieth year as director in 2006 while watching the beautiful new Akron Art Museum being built.  The museum was the first public building in the United States designed by the internationally celebrated architecture firm, COOP HIMMELB(L)AU.

In May Donna Webb received promotion to Associate Professor of Art and tenure as announced by Dean Caesar A. Carrino.

Donna and Earl Ertman attended the CAA conference in New York City to interview candidates for the metals position.

SUMMER of 1986

Donna had a faculty summer research grant to create a new series of vessels.  The result of the grant was an exhibition at the Emily Davis gallery the following November.  Vanessa Smith worked for Donna on her Faculty Research Grant:  Integration of Form, Surface and Meaning in Ceremonial Vessels.  Vanessa helped to make molds, glaze and fire kilns.
June 1986 Donna’s work was included in the American Ceramic National sponsored by the Institute for Design and Experimental Art.
Michael Simon, Antony Gormley, Jacqui Poncelet, Richard Deacon and Toshiko Takaezu lectured at the Blossom Festival at Kent State University.  Kirk Mangus and Eva Kwong invited us to their public lectures and have continued to extend hospitality to the ceramics department at the University of Akron on a regular basis.

FALL 1986

Fall 1986 advanced class:  Joe Chiofolo, Brett Faidley, Paul Gavins, Nanette Kozma, Jim Kraus, Kathy Pandrea, Susi Sell-Barger, Vanessa Smith, Ptah, Evangeline Sadi, Kim Myers, Kati Sellmeyer (ind study)

Fall 1986 Donna taught Ceramics II at the same time as Advanced. The class included Kathleen Branham, Lisa Catsoulakis, Lori Clevidence, Dean Fenn, Andrea Pries and Tom Stanford

In September Kirk Mangus exhibition at the Emily Davis Gallery. Ceramic students hosted a potluck lunch.
In November Paula Dubaneweitz gave a  workshop and Donna Webb Recent Ceramic Works was held in the Emily Davis Gallery.
A Ceramics and Metals Sale of Hand-crafted Jewelry and Pottery was held Dec 2 9am-7pm at the Summit Lounge (Akron University Student Center) and Dec 3, 9am-7pm in Folk Hall (Art Building on Exchange Street).
Students saw Luke and Roland Leitske’s jewelry at the Akron Art Museum and went to the Cleveland Art Museum to see Blood of Kings, Joyce Kozloff and Lucy Lippard spoke about Art as Public, Art as Private at the Wooster Forum, college of Wooster and we went out to Hale Farm to watch alum, Michael Martell fire the salt king there.
Christina Depaul became the new metals faculty at the University of Akron.

The New American Craft Museum opened in New York City.

Spring 1987

Advanced Class:  Lisa Catsoulakis, Joseph Chiofolo, Lori Clevidence, Paul Gavins, Nanette Kozma, Jim Kraus, Andrea Preis, Jim Ramold, Vanessa Smith and Arthur Webb (Ptah). Joyce Parker, Katie Sellmeyer, Evangeline Sadie, Liz Victor (grad credit), Tom Stanford (Ind study), Marc Baker (grad) Marc did sculpture based on Tai Chi

In January Alleen Rose Donohoe and Brett Wayde Faidley, Suzanne Marie Sell-Barger, William Dean York graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

In January the University issued a News Release:

“Donna Webb, Associate Professor of Art and Coordinator of Ceramics in the Art Department is one of 59 artists out of over 300 entries whose work has been accepted in the “27th Ceramic National Exhibition:  Ceramics Now”  held at the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY.  The jurors were Barbara Haskell, Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art; Henry Hopkins, Director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: and Michael McTwigan, Editor of American Ceramics.”

In February Margaret Ford gave a workshop.  She instructed us to accumulate construction materials such as wood, branches chicken wire, Styrofoam clothe plaster string wire etc.  She asked us to each make a mask to wear while participating in the workshop.

“Once you put on the mask you will be that persona so choose its character thoughtfully”

In February students heard visiting artist, Edgar Heap of Birds, an internationally known artist and activist who spoke about his art and about contemporary Native American Art and Culture.
Minutes from a meeting of 3-D faculty in1987 reveal that our goals were to get technical assistance in the 3-D areas and a student gallery.

“ I can remember moving an old copy machine and mat cutting equipment out of what is now the Projects gallery and installing student work for the first time.”

On April 22, 1987 The Ohio Arts Council sent out a post card to Donna Webb, on her birthday, which said that the contemporary crafts Panel has met and reviewed all of its applications.  “You have been recommended for a $4,500 Ohio Arts Council Aid to Individual Artists Fellowship for fiscal year 1988.”

Ceramics II was taught at the same time as advanced ceramics.
Spring 1987 Lori Clevidence started as a studio assistant in ceramics a job she held thru spring of 1988.

Ptah exhibited his ceramic work at the Gallery Kent Student Center.

In April, more ceramic artists were in the May show than artists using any other media, including work from University of Akron Faculty Sandra Amitay, Jean Appleby and Donna Webb.
The headline of Dorothy Shinn’s column in the Plain Dealer “Crafts steal the May Show Again”.  May 23, 87.

In the spring Tom Radca had an exhibition at Studio 828 located at 828 W. Market St. and owned by Claudia Zeber.  He also gave a Special Workshop at the University of Akron during the exhibition.

The Art Department at the University of Akron becomes the School of Art.

Donna and students attended the Wooster Functional Workshop at the Wayne Center for the Arts where they saw Virginia Cartwright, Richard Zakin and Robin Hopper.
The 1st Annual Vox Gallery Postcard show was held in June.  The Vox Gallery was located at 356 S. Main St. between Exchange and Cedar Streets.
In May the Akron University Potters Guild held a Mothers’ Day Ceramic Sale


In July Dr. Wallace Williams begins as Dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts.

FALL 1987

Joyce Parker an advanced ceramic student during the spring of 1987 and her husband Don who is a watercolorist and medical doctor went to Georgia to live with a group helping refugees from Central America to learn English and get to Canada.  Their group is also against the Death Penalty.  They were part of the Hunger Project of the Church of the Brethren in Tallmadge
In 1988 Joyce and her husband were in Costa Rica helping run a medical clinic.
Fall 1987Advanced Ceramics:  Lori Clevidence, Nanette Kozma, Julie Litt, Andrea Preis, Heather Protz David Reid, Thomas Stanford, Monica Wachter, Allard Webb, Ingeborg Wegner, Joy Kiser (2 cr hrs)
Fall 1987 Beth Lindenberger taught Ceramics II

On Sept 30 Don Nakamura gave a Workshop at University of Akron.

On December 2, ceramic students rented Summit Lounge for the Holiday Sale.
Albert Paley gave a lecture at University of Akron

In October there was an exhibition of Robert Arneson’s ceramic sculpture at Cleveland Museum of Art.
Also in October The symposium, CRAFT AS CONTENT along with an accompanying exhibition was held at the Myers School of Art.  Organized and curated by metalsmith Christina De Paul the event was the first of its kind to address the issue of craft and its meaning.  Symposium speakers were Bruce Metcalf who spoke for the possibility that careful craftsmanship can be part of the meaning of the work.   Hiroko Piganowski spoke about the meaning of craft in Japanese art as a discipline akin to meditation.  Karl Bungerz described his work as a model maker for industry and how those standards and processes inform his work.  Carol Kumata told us that her work allows the act of building the piece and the revelation of the ideas to be coincident.  Michael Dunas described the possibility of working solely to express craft with no contamination from individual expression.  Ceramic students in the audience heard the lectures and participated in the discussion in the afternoon session

In November Akio Takamori gave a Workshop at Cleveland Institute of Art.

November 1987

Virginia Scotchie and her husband, Greg Pitts held a hand-building workshop in the ceramic studio.  They talked about terra sig, gave a critique of student work and showed slides.  Virginia was teaching ceramic sculpture at West Virginia University at the time.
Ptah entered the MFA program at San Francisco State University.

Individual and Collaborative Work Judith Meyer and Donna Webb at Studio 828 on West Market, Street, Akron.

Creative Schizophrenia, (funded by an NEA Grant) a lecture series in the Art Department at the University of Akron.  Each speaker discussed the benefits, influences, conflicts and compromises involved in juggling two parallel activities to survive as an artist.  Artists included:         Mitchell Arisman, Len Jenshel, Jenny Holzer, Buster Simpson, Benny Adrews, Patti Warshina, and Albert Paley.
Patti came and stayed two days.  She gave a lecture on the topic and a lecture on influences on her work.


Advanced ceramics:  Lori Clevidence, Nanette Kozma, Julie Litt, Andrea Preis, Heather Protz, David Reid, Tom Stanford, Monica Wachter, Allard Webb and Ingeborg Wegner.  Joy Kiser took independent study for 2 credit hrs.
Catherine Campbell was Donna’s student in Introduction to Ceramics.  Catherine later funded a lecture series for Art History that became the Catherine Campbell Lecture Series.

In January Tom Stanford and Laurie Clevidence showed slides and demonstrated on the potter’s wheel at Medina High School for teacher Eloise Deril.
In February the painter and ceramist Stanley Boxer flew to Akron and then changed his mind and decided not to lecture to the students and went back to New York on the next plane.  Though he had told Donna he would be happy to come for airfare only, he changed his mind when he arrived.
Heather Protz was studio assistant in ceramics.
Julie Litt took a plaster cast of her face and made thirty five impressions from it.  She used several kinds of clay and fired them in different ways.  The expressions on the faces took on subtle differences.  She placed them in a grid high on the studio wall.  You would swear one was smiling, one frowning, one very sad and one angry.  The piece stayed up until 2002 when the studio was painted.

The trash used to be kept in a large yellow barrel near the front door.  One evening Donna was on the phone when she counted seven mice scurrying around in the trash barrel.  Though she thought mice were cute, this seemed a little creepy.  She told the students about the situation the next day and Monica Wachter said that she had a cat she could bring to the studio.  The cat’s name was Athena.  It was near the end of the semester.  The mice were driven out but it soon was clear that Athena was pregnant and she proceeded to deliver her kittens in one of the cupboards in the advanced student room.  The kittens grew up a little and were adopted.  Beth Lindenberger took one she called Raku, Heather Protz took one she called Dog and Donna took one that Anna named Ty.  Ty and Athena came to live at 729 Chitty Ave.

Donna Webb recipient of the Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship.

In April  Donna was included in “A New Generation of Ohio Artists” at Kent State University Art Gallery.

We took a Field trip to Cleveland Museum of Art to see Chinese Tomb Sculpture.
In April Donna Webb and Judith Meyers were visiting artists at West Virginia State University.  They gave a workshop demonstration and slide lecture. On the way home Donna spilled a cup of coffee down between the windshield and the dash board of her new Aerostar.  Soon an alarm bell set of by the coffee was ringing loudly.  Judith said that she couldn’t ride all the way home with that sound.  It was nearly 5pm on a Friday evening.  They stopped at a gas station.  The attendant there called a Ford dealership.  Donna explained the coffee spill and the ringing alarm.  A man with a southern drawl asked “Mam was that Regular or De-caffeinated?  And then said that we should just start driving home and the ringing would stop in about a half hour, which it did.  Donna and Judith received a research grant for artistic collaboration in ceramics and painting.  They worked on combinations of painted furniture and ceramics.
Donna moderated the topic.  “The Meaning of Craftsmanship in Ceramics” at the National Council on Education for the ceramic Arts Conference in Portland, Ore.
Donna’s work was also shown at the Avanti Gallery in Cleveland in April.

Spring 1988

Beth Lindenberger taught Ceramics II.  In January her exhibition, Sculptural Ceramics opened at the Canton Art Institute.

In April ceramist Patti Warashina gave a  lecture.  There was a party for students and faculty after at Donna’s.

In May we took a field trip to Sprig Art craft Building Studio Sale and Open House to see artists Anna Arnold, George Bowes Catherine Butler, Laura Klaus, Leslie Nichol, Dan Postotnik, Angelica Pozo and Andrea Serafino.

Summer 1988

Joseph Blue Sky worked for Donna making molds.

FALL 1988

Advanced class:  Andrea Preis and who else?  Can someone fill this in?
Andrea Preis created a moving and memorable installation of her fabulous dinnerware in memory of her grandmother.   She wrote,
”I built myself a little house for my dishes and they are very happy living there.  It’s like a little stage and they’re all lined up taking a bow.
The name of this piece is “This is Not Pandora’s Box”. I think it reveals a pre-occupation with feminine (not feminist) issues.  Creating something shiny, beautiful, and even opulent, from the humblest of earth materials, clay.  Working with one’s hands to create pieces which present nourishment to mankind.  It is, in a sense, a symbolic representation of woman’s nature to nurture, and to beautify even the most prosaic of activities.  It is proud and boastful and conceited about something which is mundane unless raised to a level of celebration, ceremony, or glory.
It’s almost a realization of my myth:  an ascendance from the humblest labor to a state of grace.
Andrea Garson Preis.”
In November William Daley gave a workshop (cost, $250 from speakers committee and $200 from ceramics budget).

In November Magazine of the Beacon Journal, Beacon, Dorothy Shinn wrote an article, The Fine Art of Crafts, for the Beacon Journal Magazine, the Beacon.  The article was a review of the Ohio Perspectives exhibition organized by Barbara Tannenbaum at the Akron Art Museum.  Shinn says that there are “some accepted definitions of craft and art.  Craft, it is alleged, is preconceived production; the craftsman knows when he or she begins what the finished work will look like, how it will be done, how much time will be put into it and how much material will be used.  Art, on the other hand is never preconceived.  Art is research, like a scientific experiment, if you please.”…….. Shinn then praised the participants, Lisa Norton, Nancy Crow, Richard Harned, Bruce Metcalf and Donna Webb, concluding with, “So these works are not mere craft, but grounded in craft, and not yet high art, but thinking about it, poised upon it, balanced at the very edge, sometimes tipping over.  The tension is stupendous.”
In a second art review of the same exhibition Shinn’s headline “Exhibit does nothing for craft art”.   The review begins, “There are areas of craft that sort of shimmy along the edge of art.  Those currently involved in this “craft art” are readily identified by their predilection for making self-involved, useless objects and for a chameleon-like talent for reflecting some of what’s already appeared in the hottest movements.”

“Shinn, like most critics of the time failed to see the incongruity of the special categories she was supporting.”
Donna Webb

Fall of 1988

Donna taught two Intro to Ceramics classes; Fred Nelson and Betty Taylor among others were in those classes.

There was a Fibers Invitational in the Emily Davis Gallery.

Heather Protz was studio assistant in ceramics.

In October ceramic artist William Daley gave a Lecture, Demonstration and critiqued student work.  There was a pot luck supper afterwards at Donna’s house on Chitty.


Spring 1989 Donna was on sabbatical.  Eva Kwong was a sabbatical replacement faculty during Donna’s leave.  Beth Lindenberger taught intro to ceramics and was responsible for ordering materials, maintaining equipment and for keeping order generally in the studio.  Heather Protz was studio assistant
22- March 15 Main St. Lecture series. Sculptors visited throughout the semester (Dennis Adams, Houston Conwill, Erickson Zeigler and Alfredo Jarr)
April 1989 Donald Lipsky lecture.
January 17 thru May 15 1989 Beth Lindenberger was the Studio Manager for the ceramic studio
Jim Klein graduated with a BFA, emphasis in ceramics.

Announcement for Jim Klein’s senior exhibition

 Summer 1989

Jim Klein and Dave Read went to Italy with Eva Kwong and Kirk Mangus through the Studies Abroad Program, University of Georgia.

FALL 1989

Fall of 1989 Faith Albert, Kathy Ilg, Kathy Sapeinza, Sandy Fox, Dave Derrig, Monica Fuhrman, and Jon Horn among others were in Donna’s Intro to ceramics class.
Fall 1989 Advanced Ceramics Kyle Dick, Kurt Fennell, Brian Hedges, Stacy Hunter, James Klein, Julie Litt, Linda Nagy, Charles Pillitiere, Andrea Preis, David Reid and Ingeborg Wegner
Ceramics II was taught at the same time as advanced ceramics.
Kyle Dick was in advanced ceramics from fall of 1989 till spring of 1992.  He worked as the lab assistant beginning in the fall of 1987.  One of his responsibilities was for fire kilns and to help Ceramics II students with their firings. He eventually graduated with a double major in photography and ceramics.  He attended and received his MFA in photography at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.  Kyle made everything from tableware, to a life size figure in clay.  His work was often tricky and he was accused of being as much magician as artist.  As James Klein said of Kyle, “If Kyle wanted to he could be the best artist in the world”.
In Clay:  Life and Times a national ceramics invitational of more than 20 contemporary narrative works by 10 leading artists was exhibited in the Emily Davis Gallery.  In Clay was organized by Don Ehrlichman, associate professor of art at Bowling Green State University.  The artists were:  Robert Arneson, Jack Earl, Bill Farrell, Christine Federighi, Michael Lucero, Kirk Mangus, Berry Matthews, Judy Moonelis, John H. Stephenson, Susanne G. Stephenson and Patti Warashina.  In her review of the exhibition Dorothy Shinn said

“What links them is the notion that clay can do anything any other art medium can do and then some—become a vehicle for telling a story, comment on the current scene, take a stand on issues……Painting, sculpture, move aside.  Clay is on your doorstep.”

Fall 1989

visiting artist and guest lecturer, Jun Kaneko, ceramic sculptor brought in with the help of the U of A Speakers Committee and Kent State University School of Art in April 1989. June Kaneko Lectured at the University of Akron.  Next day he met with advanced students, talked, gave crit, slides.  Saturday he went to Kent State for a workshop there.
(Cost $1000 from the Speakers committee and $200 from ceramics budget).  Jun stayed at Harry Pinnick’s Bed and Breakfast on Copley Road on Thursday and Friday nights.  On Saturday morning he continued his workshop in the Ceramic Studio at Kent State University.  Jun’s visit was made possible through cooperation between the Schools of Art at the University of Akron and Kent state University.   Japanese born sculptor, Jun Kaneko was trained at Chouinard and the Clarmont Graduate School at Scripps.  His studio was at the Bemis Foundation in Omaha, Nebraska where he makes large ceramic sculpture and tile installations.  Kaneko received a $100,000.00 percent for arts commission to create one of these tile installations for the Polsky Building on the University of Akron campus in 1993.

Visiting artist and guest lecturer, Jack Earl, ceramic artist, brought in with the help of the gallery director, School of Art
Visiting Artists and lecturers, John and Susanne Stephenson, brought in cooperation with the gallery director, school of Art.  Pot luck supper for John and Susanne Nov.8. Donna studied with both John and Susanne.
The advanced ceramic students took a field trip to see Cleveland Art Comes of Age, Cleveland Museum of Art in Sept.
Took advanced ceramic students to Penn State University to attend the conference, Clay in the East, Nov 7 and 8 l989.
Three visiting artist critiqued advanced student work, Mark Soppeland, Oct l989, Eva Kwong, Nov 6 and Sandy Amitay Dec 13.
We photographed student work and entered the Juried Student Exhibition sponsored by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts.  The student were elected to participate in this exhibition held in Cincinnati at the national conference in spring of 1990,
Alum, Heather Protz was included in “The Emerging Artist, Young Ohioans Exhibition which traveled to five Ohio cities.  She also began the MFA program in ceramics at Ohio University.
Ceramic students received special mention by the jurors of the Juried Student exhibition at the School of Art University of Akron.
Fall of 1989 Students field trip to the New Art Forms Exposition in Chicago.
Lisa Naymik went too.  Lisa had an internship in San Francisco in spring of 1990 and applied to attend Arrowmont in summer of l990.
Against Nature:  Japanese Art of the 80’s opened at the Akron Art Museum.

November 1989

Jim Sherman was hired as the technical assistant for the Art department   the position was part time.  His duties were described as follows:  Maintenance of studio facilities and equipment located in woodworking lab, jewelry, metal fabrication and welding lab, bronze foundry area; mold making lab, carving, modeling and assemblage studio and ceramic studio; includes building tables, shelves, benches, display stands, etc.  & repairing equipment such as potters wheels, pug mills, kilns & power equipment for wood and metal; oversee disposal of hazardous waste for the School of Art.
He worked 10-2pm Monday thru Friday


This article was written by: Donna Webb

  1. 2 Comments

    • Dub Osborne says:

      I was very impressed by how casual your entries were of the history of the ceramics department at the University of Akron. It reminded me of minutes from a club meeting from days gone by. It gives a sense of how things have changed and again how in many ways they are still the same. Your history provides an excellent link from the past to the present. It makes me wish I had kept notes from my teaching career especially club functions and activities. I teach criminal justice, not art. My son (Ryan Osborne) just finished his MFA at Kent State University (2014) and I have been very impressed with the ceramics community in Northeast Ohio.

      • Donna Webb says:

        Hi Dub,
        Did you think that the entries in the History of Ceramics were too casual? I’ve never written a history before. It was written from primary sources in my files. So I added events as I discovered information about them; exhibition announcements, class lists, memo’s syllabi etc. Though I did make overall comments about each decade, it will probably fall to someone else to draw conclusions about the nature of our program and perhaps of the nature of art education during this time period.
        What is your area of interest?
        Donna Webb

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