1990-1999 Ceramics Myers School of Art, History of Ceramics Program, Myers School of Art AkronHistory of the Ceramics Program Part Four
Stephen Csejtey, Cathy Vogel and Lisa Papp among others took Donna’s Introduction to Ceramics class.
Donna taught Ceramics II: students included: Faith Albert, Jon Horn, Kathy Ilg, Susanne Rowan and Sandy Fox
Advanced Ceramics: Kyle Dick, Kurt Fennell, Brian Hedges, James Klein, Andrea Preis, David Reid, Ingeborg Wegner, Charles Pillitiere, and Stacy Hunter
In March advanced students took a Field trip to NCECA in Cincinnati
Donna was nominated by Judy Moonelis and participated in the Emerging Talent Panel at the NCECA Conference.
Charles Pillitiere, Jim Klein, Dave Reid and Andrea Preis exhibited their work in the NCECA juried Regional Exhibition, in the Tangeman Gallery, University of Cincinnati.
On Wednesday Feb 14 we began work on the new salt kiln. Later the kiln was completed by Bob Yost and his continuing education students.
On April 1 A New Generation of Ohio Artists opened at the Kent State University School of Art Gallery.
On April 4 advanced students gave Pot luck supper for Deborah Horrrell.
We took a Field trip to Baldwin and Wallace College to see Steve Bradford’s exhibition. Steve participated in the final critique for the advanced students.
On Sat April 21 there was a Studio warming party at Donna’s new studio on Chitty.
On April 10, 1990 this memo came from Dean Wallace Williams:
“It is with sincere regret that I have accepted the resignation of Professor Earl Ertman who has given dedication and vision in building a very strong school of art. Mr. Ertman has given over twenty years of professional service to the university and through his efforts and that of the faculty; we have one of the best art facilities in the state.”
Dave Reid had his senior exhibition. He applied to graduate schools and was accepted to Cranbrook.
July Hui Chu Ying held a printmaking workshop for female faculty. Donna did etching and silkscreen.
May 1990 Donna Webb and Joseph Blue Sky were married.
August 27, 1990 Dean Wallace Williams recommended to Interim Provost Ruebel that Associate Professor, Andrew Borowiec be appointed Acting Director of the School of Art.
Advanced Ceramics: Faith Albert, Kyle Dick, Kurt Fennell, Sandra Fox, Jon Horn, Charles Pillitiere, Susanne Rowan, and Ingeborg Wegner.
Ceramics II was taught at the same time as advanced ceramics.
In September the Speakers Committee combined $4000 from the Myers Fund with grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment to fund The Main Street Project. This was a project in which artists made an initial visit to Akron to look at our Main Street. Each returned to give a lecture and a proposal for use or transformation of that downtown space. The included artists were Dennis Adams, Kate Ericson, Mel Ziegler, Houston Conwell and Alfredo Jar.
Advanced student Stacy Hunter said in her artist’s statement: “Further evidence of the lack of recognition of ceramics is in any Art History book. For example, I leafed through Jansen’s History of Art and found ancient pottery represented with a few pictures of Cycladic, Minoan and Greek pots, but not a single mention or picture of any ceramic art in the 2500 years following. In my modern art history class, the “craft movement” was barely touched upon, and that was only mentioned to illustrate briefly the reaction against the industrial revolution. “
In October Advanced students took field trip to SOFA and to the Art Institute of Chicago. We saw the exhibition From Poussin to Matisse and went to the observatory on top of the John Hancock Center. The first night in Chicago we stayed with Kurt Fennel’s parents, Star and Ralph in Warrenville Illinois. The second night we stayed at the Holiday Inn down near the pier where the SOFA exhibition (Sculptural Objects and Functional Art.). Those on the trip included: Faith, Ingeborg Wegner, Charles Pillitiere, Susi Rowan, Kyle Dick, Bob Yost, Heather Protz, Joe Chiofolo, and Donna Webb
On October 15 we installed our work in the gallery we now call the Projects Gallery for a critique with visiting artists in conjunction with Shaanzi-Ohio Exhibition in the Emily Davis Gallery, Dang Ronghua, vice Director of the Shaanxi Cultural Bureau, Tchai Tsinghu Deputy Head of the Baoji Municipal Cultural Center, Peng Li, faculty of the Xian Art School and Wang Jin interpreter.
Students worked with Bob Yost to build a catenary salt kiln within the fenced in “kiln patio”. Those who worked on the kiln included students from Bob’s continuing education class.
During the years from 1991 thru 1996 those in the ceramics program saw attitudes in the art world change and saw those changes incorporated by the School of Art. 1993 was the Year of American Craft. Henry Ford Community College held a forum discussing “The Potential Place of Ceramics in the Mainstream of Art. Donna and nine students attended. The Akron Art Museum exhibition Ohio Perspectives: Ceramics showed the work of six important Ohio ceramic artists and invited William Hunt, editor of Ceramics Monthly to talk about Where is Clay Today and where is it going?
Newsweek’s Jan 1994 issue said that “The art scene can’t support all the MFAs the system produces.” The author Peter Plagens speculated that many art graduates were in debt; with out the training to do anything marketable.
In this climate art schools were under pressure to be sure that they were relevant.
The art departments of the MAC-10 schools: Bowling Green University, Ball State, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Central Michigan University, University of Toledo and the University of Akron held a conference to discuss the roll of the 3-D programs. We held a joint exhibition and discussed the issues common to those doing work in three dimensions. There was agreement that we had much in common.
In the school of art at the University of Akron Bob Huff, Christina DePaul and Donna Webb presented a joint project on the idea of containment for the advanced classes.
The School of Art underwent its bid for reaccreditation by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The self study for the ceramics area concluded that “the Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in ceramics meets all of the NASAD standards except perhaps not enough emphasis is put on ceramic history or on business practices in ceramics. The self study goes on to ask about how we use the NASAD evaluation to improve the program. Donna’s answer suggests that looking at the success of our students and alums is the best way to strengthen the program. A school wide exhibition of student work was the focus of a Panel on Excellence put together by the Speakers Committee chaired by Donna Webb. The Keynote speaker was Mitchell Kahan, Director of the Akron Art Museum and four school of art faculty, Pat Bishop, Dennis Kleidon, Christina DePaul and Don Harvey, known for their high standards for student work. Each presented a way of approaching quality. The Speakers Committee also put together an Alumni Lecture Series with the goals of seeing how our most successful alums were doing and to give current students a chance to interact with them. Finally the Speakers Committee sponsored a History of Craft lecture series.
By 1996 ceramics was no longer isolated. They were firmly aligned with other 3-D areas both in the school and throughout the region.
Advanced Ceramics: Faith Albert, Deb Conner-Yoders, Kyle Dick, Sandra Fox, Monica Fuhrman, Jon Horn, David Lewis, Lisa Papp, Susanne Rowan, Kris Stadelman, Cathy Vogel, Ingeborg Wegner, Marta Weist, Kurt Fennel, Charles Pillitiere and David Lewis.
Ptah completed the three year MFA program in sculpture at San Francisco State in April 1991.
December of 1991 Charles Pillitiere had his BFA Exhibition, Sculpture/Architotemics.
Deanna Policy took Independent Study.
Susie Rowan had an exhibition at the Signature Frame Gallery in Munroe Falls.
Aspects of Ethnicity opened in the Emily Davis Gallery.
The students had aField trip to Canton Art Institute to see the National Ceramic Invitational.
Chuck McWheeny, ceramic sculptor and professor at Ohio University Athens came for a lecture and critique.
The Advanced students exhibited together in the Projects Gallery.
Intro students also installed work in the Projects Gallery. The project was called “Clay on Wires” and involved small pieces of glazed clay suspended on wires.
We had a nude model in the intro class. One student dropped out of school because she was upset about the nudity.
Millworks, Akron’s Alternative Art Galleries presented UNCENSORED a totally uncensored show at Canal Place 540 South Main, building #17.
Ceramics II was cancelled due to low enrollment.
Art without Walls exhibition was held at Canal Place.
Donna wrote an Educational Research and Development Grant and was awarded $1500.00 to pay for a University maintenance crew to make a hole through the sheet metal roof over the salt kiln for the chimney and to pay for the electric shop to complete the hook-up of safety devices.
We asked the Timken Company to give us free used brick. They responded that their insurance company would not allow us to go to the yard to pick up old brick. They did build us a double walled stainless steel chimney which is still in place today. Thank you!
Heather Protz had her MFA thesis exhibition at the Seigfred Gallery, Ohio University, June 1991, Confessions of Observations.
Bob Yost won the Robert Mann $1,000 Award for Ceramics at the Cleveland May Show
Andrew Borowiec was Acting Director of the School of Art
7/3/91, To Christina/Bob/Donna
Subject: 3D work display cases.
You’ve probably noticed that there are new cases for displaying three dimensional work next to the auditorium. They were exorbitantly expensive costing over 5% of our entire annual operating budget; I hope the expense was justified. Could you please make sure that there is work in them before school starts on September 3? Thanks Andrew.
Spring 1992 Diane Archer among others was a student in Intro to Ceramics class.
Marta Weist was in and out of advanced ceramics from spring of 1991 thru fall of 1997 when she became pregnant with her son Solomon. Her functional work especially her decorated bowls were always intriguing. Her paper, “The Idea of the Head” fall 1997 was memorable.
Advanced Ceramics: Faith Albert, Kyle Dick (advanced plus 3 cr. of Ind, Study),Sandra Fox, Monica Fuhrman, Lisa Papp, Susanne Rowan (plus 3 cr. hours of independent study), Ingeborg Wegner and David Lewis.
The Ceramics II class was taught at the same time as advanced. There were 15 students in Cer II plus 8 in advanced made for a large class.
Rinda Metz came up from Ohio Wesleyan to do a workshop
Faith Albert had her senior exhibition at Tomorrow’s Treasures on West Cedar St. with paintings and ceramics.
Advanced Ceramics: Marianne Dias, Sandra Fox, Frankie Gearhart
Shirley Nourjian, Lisa Papp, Timothy Patrick Purk, Susie Rowan, Meg Slinker, Ingeborg Wegner, Judy Zetts, Katie Kramer, Faith Albert (1 cr. hr),David Lewis (2 credit Hr.), Heather Protz (1 cr. Hr.) Kyle Dick (1 cr hr.)
David Lewis worked as an advanced ceramic student from spring of 1991 to spring of 1992 and then disappeared. His work was about the goddess and the work that he left behind in the studio continues to interest the students who see it.
Ceramics II was taught at the same time as advanced ceramics. Orianna Webb was in the class. http://oriannawebb.net/
Students in advanced and ceramics II rakued at Warren Harrisons house in May.
In March Donna Webb Ceramics was the exhibition at Ohio Wesleyan University Gallery, as part of the exhibition Donna was a visiting artist at Ohio Wesleyan at the invitation of Rinda Metz.
Faith Albert took 1 cr hour of independent study this spring. She was pregnant with her due date in June. Sandy Fox had a baby shower for her. Donna and Orianna Webb made a little set of porcelain plates with blue and red flowers on them for the baby.
More than a thousand people showed up for Millworks Gallery’s opening reception of its “Spring” show. There was a full acre of innovative art, mostly by local artists at the Akron gallery. In all, there were more than 70 artists represented, including John Communale, Saffron Twocats, Bruce Gates, Donna Webb, Joe Blue Sky and Greg Karkarwski. The exhibition organized by Michael Owens at Akron’s Canal Place, one of B.F. Goodrich’s former factory spaces, Building 17, 530 S. Main. Owens, Jack Baker and Jill Bacon curated this and most of the other exhibits that took place at Canal Place and at Millworks Gallery from 1989 thru 1992.
Donna had a retrospective exhibition:
May 3- 26 Donna Webb: Ceramics 1989-1991
William Busta Gallery.
Ceramics I students had a live model in class and also did raku firing.
Advanced students attended the NCECA conference in Philadelphia. We rented a large van and drove. We also visited Henry Mercer’s home and his Moravian tile works on the way home. Ingeborg Wegner and Lisa Papp went to NCECA. Who else went?
Sandie Fox was the studio assistant in the spring of 1992 and did a great job. She successfully completed her BFA Exhibition in April and returned to ceramics in fall of 1992 for post bac. Credit. Sandie explored raku and strike firing of her lustrous, metallic vessels.
Advanced Ceramics: Neil Baumann, Marianne Dias, Jennifer Flecksteiner, Sandie Fox, Don Houk, Shirley Nourjian, Kathy O’Conner, Patrick Purk, Andy Rice, Susie Rowan, Meg Slinker (advanced ceramics and 3hrs of Ind study) Marta Weist, Judith Zetts (ad cer plus 2 cr hrs ind study), Ingeborg Wegner, Lisa Papp, Lea Lawson (Skaroupka). Ceramics II was taught at the same time as advanced. Marina Yakubik and Mary Lutz-Hoyt among otherrs were in the class. Lisa Papp acted as the aid for the class.
Bob Huff, Christina DePaul and Donna Webb presented a discussion of Containment to be the theme of a joint exhibition. Patty Bilsky of the U. of A. Police talked to the students about the problems of outdoor installation on campus. This was the result of an installation behind the ceramics building of a piece by Patrick Purk. Patrick used chicken bones in a ceremonial way. The police office thought that the installation was based on a satanic message.
Students in the 3-D areas created a juried exhibition on the theme of Containment.
Amy Craft took Introduction to Ceramics as a graduate student and wrote a paper about Museums with important permanent collections of contemporary ceramics.
Sandy Amitay enters the MFA program in ceramics at Kent State University.
Rod Bengston became Interim Director of the University Art Galleries
On September 19 Donna held a “3-D party in her studio on Chitty Ave. All the students and faculty from sculpture, metals, ceramics and 3-D were invited.
On Friday September 25 L. Dominico and D. Archer had at opening at Grand Exchange Gallery run by Heather Protz.
Saturday October 17 Lisa Papp married Mike Wohlwend.
November 1992 Donna Webb and Joseph Blue Sky exhibited Dragon Vase in Out of Clay: an Exhibition of Contemporary Ceramics, The Clara Kott von Storch Gallery in Dexter, Michigan. juried by Ruth Butler, editor, Ceramics Monthly. And a guardian Head with Vase in Architectonics, Rensselaer, Indiana, juried by Emily Kass, Executive Director, Fort Wayne Museum of Art.
The kilns in use were the Amaco, Econo, salt kiln and the three Alpine kilns.
No Holiday Sale was held
Advanced ceramics: Phyllis Bowman, Marianne Dias, Kathleen O”Conner, Sharon Pulling, Patrick Purk, Leea Skaroupka, Shirley Nourjian, Ingeborg Wegner, Chris Winnans, Judy Zetts, Andy Rice and Marta Weist. Seven of these students were also taking three credit hours of independent study in ceramics. Ceramics II was offered at the same time as the advanced class. Ceramics II students often sat in to hear advanced students proposals and critiques.
1993 was the Year of American Craft
Henry Ford Community College held a forum discussing “The Potential Place of Ceramics in the Mainstream of Art (Current and Future) Panelists were Mitchell Merback, Historian, Kristin Poole, Curator, Maria Porges, Critic, Tony Hepburn, ceramic sculpture, Ronald Kuchta, Everson Museum Director. Several galleries mounted exhibitions: the Sisson Gallery, Pewabic Pottery, Swidler Gallery and Cranbrook Academy of Art. Donna and nine students attended: Andrew Rice, Marta Weist, Ingeborg Wegner, Lisa Papp Marianne Dias, Shirley Nourjian, Susanne Rowan, Patrick Purk and Sandie Fox.
After a year in ceramics, Patrick Purk left to pursue a degree in math and then switched to medicine.
Mark Gordon did a workshop with students. Mark Gordon has traveled throughout the Mediterranean and Caribbean documenting traditional potters and brick makers. He had recently taught at the San Francisco Art Institute and at the University of California, Davis. Gordon was Visiting Assistant Professor in Ceramics at the University of Michigan.
In May Charles Pillitiere had his MFA Thesis Exhibition Ever Fresh, at the Seigfred Gallery, Ohio University Athens, OH.
Also in May Vanessa Smith received the Master of Fine Arts Emphasis in Ceramics, Sculpture and drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Susie Rowan was accepted into graduate school at Indiana University but decided not to addend.
In April : Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s new eight-story wing opens with a wide variety of artwork in its 250,000 square foot structure. The theme of the hospitals project was “Through the Eyes of a Child. About one-half of one percent of the building’s $70 million cost was devoted to creating the art collection. Many of the nearly 400 pieces of art in the hospital’s collection were created directly by, or in cooperation with, faculty members of UA’s School of Art.
A major piece in that collection at 9 foot high and 24 feet wide is the sea mural inside the hospital’s West Exchange Street entrance. It was a group effort led by Donna Webb, professor of art, and her husband Joseph Blue Sky. Area students contributed special tiles and students such as Ingeborg Wegner, Marianne Dias, Lisa Wohlwend and Pat Bishop helped with the installation which took about two weeks. The backbone of the help came from the group of artists who made up Group See an informal group of ceramic artists and University of Akron alums who got together to propose this project. They were: Donna Webb, Joe Blue Sky, Heather Protz, Warren Harrison, Beth Lindenberger and Vicki Staiger
Heather Protz opened the Union Image Gallery at 933 W. Exchange. Over a period of several years she showed local artists on a regular basis including an exhibition: Group SEE: Collaboration.
I’m in a haze
When it comes to glaze
Too thick, too thin,
I just can’t win.
-Phyllis Bowman, advanced ceramics student
In the spring of 1993 there were no prerequisites for Intro to Ceramics. Though most of the 30 students in the two intro to ceramics classes were art majors there were also a chemistry major , an industrial management major, an occupational therapy major, a biology major, an anthropology major and two undecided.
The Intro to Ceramics Class created a mural using raku tiles for the retaining wall in the front of the ceramics building.
Christine Pettis Took ceramics II for graduate credit. She organized a Saturday field trip for elementary school students to visit the University of Akron ceramic studio. She also worked with the 5th and 6th grade art club students to design and construct a tile mural to be installed in the lobby of their school.
Kathy O’Conner created a series of metal and ceramic figures with the theme of Bound Figures dealing with gender issues for her senior exhibition in spring of l993. Kathy may have been the last person to graduate with an emphasis in Crafts.
Kathy’s Artist’s Statement
This work is about woman bound. What is woman bound by?
She is bound by expectations and stereotypes of society.
She is bound by the world of violence around her.
She is bound by bias.
She is bound by her own inner daemons, her neurosis and psychosis.
She is also bound by love, tenderness, and caring.
The binding comes from within and without. It is both positive and negative. It can either make us closer to others or alienate us from them.
The bindings are physical, mental, and spiritual.
Much of what binds women is perceived rather than actual: it is self inflicted.
To free her spirit, woman must refuse to accept that which is forced upon her. She must deal with the issues that bind her and resolve her own inner conflicts. Only by confronting and dealing with them can she throw them off and begin on the road to self actualization, to freeing her spirit. It is a goal not easily reached. It is won in baby steps. It is a lifelong effort and journey.
Woman does not fail by not winning. She only fails by not trying.”
May 1993 Donna Webb and Lisa Wohlwend attended the Tile Heritage Foundation meeting in Westerville, OH. They visited Epro Tile, the Edward Orton Jr. Ceramic Foundation, and the Ross C. Purdy Museum of Ceramics. They also saw the offices of Maloon, Maloon and Barclay at 475 East Town Street to see a solarium with tiles, floor to ceiling with fireplace, mantel and grate, window surrounds, flower boxes, fountain and three glorious murals all custom made for the site by Rookwood Pottery. The room was designed in Italy and the plans taken to Rookwood for fabrication in l919. On the last day of the conference we visited Greenfield, Ohio to see McClain High School “A haven of Arts and Crafts Ideals”.
Kilns in use included Amaco, Econo, He Who, Rosie, Pereco, and the three Alpines.
Jim Klein and Dave Reid started KleinReid, a production pottery studio. They live and work in Williamsburg a neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. With two assistants they produced 2000 pots a month for 200 stores. They offered students a new role model for a small studio making mass-produced pottery. Outlets for their work included Aero and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum store in Manhattan, Breukelen in Brooklyn, Barneys in Tokyo and Harrods in London.
Andrew Borowiec was Director of the School of Art
Advanced Ceramics: Marianne Dias, Sandi Fox, Susan Isles, Shirley Nourjian, Tim Sanker (left to go to culinary school), Eric Schweitzer, Ingeborg Wegner, Lisa Wohlwend, Lea Skaroupka, Mary Lutz-Hoyt, Patrick Purk, Any Rice, Kate Utlak and Ji Hui Kim, a post bach ceramics student, Ji Hui Kim enrolled to improve her English so she could attend Kent State as a graduate student.
Ceramics II was taught at the same time as advanced.
The intro to ceramics class included a major in mortuary science, a Spanish language major, herbology and holistic medicine, nursing biology
Advanced students are required to demonstrate throwing to the ceramics II students.
Mary Barringer gave a work shop and slide lecture in Oct.
Shirley Nourjian gave a workshop for Wayne county School art teachers on Techniques in clay Surfaces at the University of Akron.
“You are invited to a party in celebration of Bonnie’s (Donna’s mother-in- law) last day at work at the Academy of Court Reporting and first day as a real estate agent, Joe and Donna’s new house and HALLOWEEN* at 69 Edgerton 7pm – midnight.
In November Carl Thornton of 3-M came to set-up a train the trainer class to teach faculty and staff how to use respirators.
During an afternoon class Donna turned off the vent fans in the kiln room in order to talk to the Intro to Ceramics students about the kilns that were firing. She did not turn the fans back on. The next morning Eric Sweitzer came to check the kilns he felt dizzy and was barely able to get to the front door. When Donna arrived a little later there were three safety vehicles parked at the door of ceramics. The carbon monoxide level had risen to dangerous levels due to three gas kilns firing with no fans on.
A new ventilation system was installed in the kiln room. High temperature fans and an air return were installed as well as electronic controls tying the ventilation system to kiln use. The cost of this system was over $20,000.00. It never quite worked correctly and had to be disconnected to fire the kilns. The studio had signs and rules to prevent firing with no fans.
Tom Webb was director of the School of Art.
January 1994 Donna moved her clay studio from chitty Ave to the 943 Dopler to accommodate anticipated architectural tile work. Donna and Joe began work on a fountain for Metro-Health Hospital in Cleveland.
Advanced students: John Dietsch, Sue Isles, Mary Lutz-Hoyt, Shirley Nourjian, Shonda Ross, Eric Schweitzer, Leea Skaroupka, Margaret Slinker, Kate Utlak, Marta Weist, Lisa Wohlwend, (also took 3 hours of glaze calc), Frank Regan, Ingeborg Wegner, Andy Rice, Marianne
Advanced students were required to demonstrate throwing for one of the Ceramics II students.
There were about fifteen communal kiln firings. The schedule of these firing was posted near the kilns during the first week of classes. Each advanced student was responsible for two gas kiln and two electric kiln firings.
Students had a Pot luck in the Ceramic Studio for Jun Kaneko. At 7:40 he gave a Lecture Sponsored by the School of Art and the Student Art League March . Jun’s honorarium was $200.00 from Speakers Committee and $200.00 from Student Art League.
The School of Art completed a self study for the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The self study for the ceramics area concluded that “the Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in ceramics meets all of the NASAD standards except perhaps not enough emphasis is put on ceramic history or on business practices in ceramics.”
The study asked “how do we use the evaluation to improve the program?
“In the past five years, students have graduated from the following graduate schools: San Francisco State, Ohio University (2), Chicago Art Institute. Cranbrook and Alfred University. I evaluate the program by observing my alumni. I see how they use their education to function in the world. The program is successful in that my graduates continue to be active in ceramics. All the graduates however would be doing better with even stronger foundation in ceramics. My goals and objectives are based on observing these needs. No student has a full time college or public school teaching and no student is supporting him or herself by doing ceramics full time. A high quality program will eventually produce students who are contributing in these ways.”
Donna went on to list some other concerns:
Students show little interest in current issues in the field
Few men (22%) and fewer minorities (9%).
No history of craft class
One full time faculty member in ceramics
Few majors (30%0 of the advanced students
Inadequate maintenance program
Inadequate budget for equipment and maintenance.
Little work done in mold making due to the lack of a suitable workspace for plaster.
Need stronger work in student exhibitions.
As a result of ongoing concerns about ventilation. The fans for the kilns were successfully connected to the use of gas in the kilns. No fans-no gas.”
In January Courage: A National Juried Exhibition, was held at Art at the Powerhouse & E.I.O. Gallery Powerhouse/Nautica Complex, Cleveland. The jurors were Amy Sparks, Writer and Critic and Andrew Stypinski (professor of Aesthetics, PhD.) Group See organized the exhibition of works of art about courage. This exhibition featured works from 55 artists from 18 states as was installed at the Art at the Powerhouse Gallery in Cleveland from January to February
Lisa Wohlwend was in Advanced Ceramics for six semesters and graduated with the BA in spring of 1994. She worked for Donna in her studio in the summer of 1991. She was a studio assistant in 92-93 firing kilns and responsible for studio organization. She visited the Mercer Tile Works and the Pewabic Pottery She made more that thirty tile molds, developed a beautiful palette of glazes and produced hundreds of tiles.
InApril Eva Kwong did a workshop and lectured on her work
Also inApril Ed Eberle came from Pittsburgh to do a workshop and lectured on his work as part of Arts Awareness Month.
Akron Mud Hens visited U of A ceramic studio for texture in clay demonstration by Shirley Nourjian April 9, 1994.
In March faculty from the 3-D areas of the Mac-10 conference schools met in Bowling Green Ohio. They discussed issues common to the teaching in all of the 3: D areas. It gave everyone “a better understanding of the diverse visual levels of media occurring throughout the MAC-10” They discussed the “Present Status of 3-D Arts” Topics included Muiti-Cultural Recruitment, New Genre/Multi-Media Directions, Public Outreach Programs and Public Art Exhibitions.” We agreed to inform each other of workshops, visiting artists and exhibitions. We also exchanged slides representative of the entire 3-D faculty in our respective institutions. We planned an exhibition at Bowling Green University art Gallery of 3-D faculty from the MAC-10 schools. (University of Akron, Ball State University, Bowling Green University, Miami University, Western Michigan University, Kent State University, Eastern Michigan University, University of Toledo, Ohio University and Central Michigan University.).
We all received a copy of an article from January 24, 1994 Newsweek Magazine, School is Out, Far Out by Peter Plagens. “In Yale’s current M.F.A. sculpture program, the favored form of artistic labor is no longer carving or welding, but research.”
“Four semesters of the M.F.A. program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago will leave painter Merriellen Johnson, 30 almost $16,000 in dept. Since all her daubing and theorizing hasn’t trained her to do anything marketable, she’ll probably have to get a clerical job to start paying off her student loans. “A student from the Art Institute described her self as over-educated and under qualified”
“The art scene can’t support all the M.F.A.s the system produces. But it does need a select few new artists from the group. They’ll become the new gallery faves. Some might scandalize a future Whitney Biennial or two. A couple will eventually get museum retrospectives. And one might even set a new price record for a living artist at Sotheby’s.”
In the spring of 1994 the intro class had two radiology students, clothing and textiles, accounting physical therapy, history, mechanical engineering and English majors in the class.
Ceramics II was taught at the same time as advanced.
The Third Annual Japanese Tea Ceremony: Simplicity & Spiritual Tranquility hosted by Donna Webb and Mikiko Tanaka with eighteen potters and twelve staff members from the local Japanese American community.
Wayne Reitz took an independent study and worked in Donna’s studio on Dopler
In October Don Drumm exhibited Masters, Mentors and Marvelous Craftsmen Bonnie Gordon, Luke and Rolland Lietzke, Annette McCormick, Tim Mather, Donna Webb, Joseph Blue Sky, George Whitten were the clay artists.
Advanced ceramics: Bonnie Cohen, Kristsen Conti, Marianne Dias, John Dietsch, Brian Hedges, Shirley Nourjian, Margaret Slinker, Ramona Unstott, Kathleen Utlak, Frank Regan and Ingeborg Wegner. Wayne Reitz, Leea Skaroupka and Paulette Smith took independent study.
Meg Slinker graduated Summa Cum Laude and began to apply to graduate schools.
The class took a field trip to the Cleveland Museum to see the exhibition of Japanese and Korean ceramics. We also attended the Robert Brady lecture at the Manchester Craftsman Guild in Pittsburg and a workshop by Tim Mather at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Donna and nine ceramic students went to the opening reception for Contemporary Ohio Ceramics at the Ohio Craft Museum in Columbus Ohio in September. The exhibition featured works by 22 artists.
Mary Ann Scheer did a work shop for the metals students in October
The 8th Annual Holiday was help on Tuesday and Wednesday December 5 and 6.
Kevin Machesky took one hour of Independent Study in raku fired ware from Donna
Donna taught Ceramics II and John Dietsch acted as an aid in the class.
The ceramics II class did a raku firing at Warren Harrison’s in October.
The Speakers Committee discussed beginning the distinguished alumni series by inviting Mary Myers to be our first speaker. Christina DePaul described her as an”art advocate, collector, past president of the Akron Art Museum, on the board of the Whitney and a panelist for the NEA”.
In addition the committee discussed inviting alumni who had recently competed graduate school to talk about their work. Suggested alumni included Jim Klein, Dave Reid, Ptah, Fred Nelson and Kira Louscher. The committee agreed to provide $250 for Ron Desmitt to speak to students as part of his exhibition at the Davis Gallery in October. Finally a lecture series on the History of crafts for spring semester was discussed. One possibility was for a craft historian to visit for a week, giving evening lecturers and critique student work in the afternoon. Suggested speakers were Bruce Metcalf, Michael and Sarah Bodine and Bill Hunt. Christopher Hoot suggested that the history of type had parallels with the crafts and might be included in the lecture series.
The budget for the year for the Speakers Committee was $5665.15 (includes $900.00 carried over for 93-94).
At the September 29 meeting the committee agrees to invite the group of alums who have recently graduated. The committee also agreed to pursue a lecture series on the history of crafts for spring. They discussed the possibility of grants. Bruce Metcalf was interested in coming in April to do a series of 5, 2 ½ half hour long lectures on the History of crafts. He would be at the school for five days and would like $500.00 per lecture. He would talk to students and do crits in the afternoons. We decided to call Sarah and Michael Bodine to see that they might be interested in doing. Donna reported that Melissa Paul, our new continuing education coordinator was interested in helping to sponsor the History of Craft lecture series. We gained the advertising that continuing education did within the community, help in paying the speaker’s fee and students could get in free with their ID.
Donna reported that Mary Myers is reluctant to be our first Distinguished Alumni Lecturer. She is very busy and is not sure students would be interested in hearing her speak.
Tyrone Geter reported on a traveling exhibition currated by Bing Davis and supported by an NEA grant on contemporary African American Crafts.
At the October 6 meeting we decided to invite Sarah Bodine and Michael Dunas to do our Craft History lectures. They are teaching History of Crafts at Philadelphia College, Tyler and Moore College. Sarah was editor of Metal Smith Magazine. http://www.snagmetalsmith.org/Publications/Metalsmith/ They felt they could condense their historical lectures into five two to three hour sessions. They did group crits during the day and were paid $2000.00 for the series. They sent the following for us to include in Dialogue Magazine*:
Sarah Bodine & Michael Dunas are independent scholars, writers, lecturers and curators in the fields of craft, art and design. For the past dozen years, they have jointly lectured on craft history and criticism at universities and art schools in the United States and Canada, including Cranbrook Academy of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Cleveland Institute of Art, SUNY, New Paltz, The College Art Association and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. In the summer of l989, they were visiting critics at the ceramic art program at Alfred University, Alfred, NY. In l988, they developed a course “Modern Craft: A Critical History” that they teach at the University of the Arts and Tyler School of Art, in Philadelphia, PA.
* Dialogue was an art magazine founded and published in Akron, and later Columbus, Ohio. It covered the arts of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, western Pennsylvania, Kentucky and northern Illinois. Founded in 1978 by artist Don Harvey and museum executive and former Artforum editor John Coplans, it began having financial troubles in 2002, changed hands, and ceased publication entirely in June 2004. Wikipedia
Their collaborative articles, essays and reviews have appeared in magazines such as Metropolis, American Ceramics, Metal smith, and The New Art Examiner and in catalogs of international solo and group exhibitions.
“modern Craft: A Critical History” spans a century of craft, from William Morris to the present. It is designed to engage the studio artist in the issues and ideas of craft through a loosely chronological survey of the practitioners and work. The emphasis of the course in on defining the field of craft through its particular concerns, including labor, function, virtuosity, materiality and the intimacy of the object.”
On October 19 the committee announced that Bruce Metcalf has agreed to come to give two lectures on Wed. April 26. the first at noon was on his work. The second lecture in the evening was on Issues in the Crafts. These were the final lectures in our history of craft series. Bruce was paid $250.00 from the Speakers budget, $125.00 from ceramics and 125.00 from ceramics.
October 1994 Christina DePaul and Donna took students to The Great Lakes Regional Symposium on Craft: The Craft Artist in the context of Late Twentieth-Century American Culture at the Detroit Institute of Arts and The Center for Creative Studies College of Art and Design.
Ellen Dissanayake spoke on “The Pleasure and Meaning of Making”.
And Mary Douglas spoke on “The Craftsman as Yeoman: Myth and Cultural Identity in American Craft”.
Oct 1994 Work by Donna Webb and Joseph Blue Sky is included in Contemporary Ohio Ceramics curated by William Hunt, former editor of Ceramics Monthly.
Eva Kwong taught advanced ceramics and ceramics II while Donna had creative reassignment to work on a thematic Fountain at Metro-Health Hospital.
Paulette Smith was in Eva’s class and was accepted into graduate school at Kent in fall of l995.
Meg Slinker acted as a teaching assistant for Eva while Meg’s applications for graduate school were processed
Donna organized the Panel on Excellence in Art which was held on Wednesday March 1 at the School of Art. The discussion was timed to coincide with the exhibits of student work that were up in the halls for the NASAD accrediting team. This work was the “background” for the discussion about excellence. Mitchell Kahan was the keynote speaker. He discussed the idea of excellence in art in general. Following Mitchell four faculty, Dennis Kleidon, Pat Bishop, Christina DePaul and Don Harvey each spoke ten minutes on the topic. Questions put to the speakers included: How do you define excellence in a cultural climate that emphasizes diversity? How can we set standards in a learning environment? How do we strike a balance as we evaluate personal growth of students against our standard of excellent work? How do standards from one culture apply to another? Define what art education should provide and what competencies an excellent student has?
Donna and Joe completed The Magic Fountain a permanent tile installation and fountain at the Metro-Health Hospital in Cleveland in May of 1995. The commission was for $16,000.00. Alums Marianne Dias and Warren Harrison worked on the project also. The tiles took nearly a year to complete and the installation took forty days (and forty nights)
The Fountain was part of the Michael J. Bohdan Tree House at the Center for Education and Research, MetroHealth Medical Center. The Tree House fulfilled the wish of Michael to create a play area with an atmosphere to help comfort and add joy during the time that children are hospitalized.
Mark Soppeland also created a piece for the Tree House.
Kevin Machesky took Independent study with Eva Kwong
Jim Klein and Dave Reid began a licensing relationship with Dansk International. They went on to create four popular collections for the manufacturer: Craftmark (97), Vesi (98&99), Wild Willow (2000) and Liinea (2000). More than 90 individual pieces were designed for these collections.
Marianne Dias’ senior exhibition; Unity, Duality, Singularity, A series of ceramics and printmaking relating to the many sides of “The Goddess was held in the Projects Gallery, Folk Hall.
Andy Rice left to study in the Czech Republic.
Donna received a Faculty Summer Fellowship to complete a tile mural for the front of the ceramics building. The Fellowship was for $5500.00. Joe worked with Donna to design and make the tiles. Student, Mikiko Tanaka was hired to help make glazes, fire and install tiles. The wall depicts the story of the history of ceramics. A discussion of the wall provides an introduction to the history, techniques and forms of ceramics.
Shirley Nourjian created a project for the Governors Institute for high school students. They began at the end of June and by the middle of July had completed a mural on the ceramics building underneath the front window.
Was this Christina’s first year as director?
The School of Art celebrated its 10th year at Folk Hall with a Reception on Sunday December 11. Marianne Dias created star shaped ceramic center pieces for the tables and Mikiko Tanaka created the floral arrangements.
Advanced Ceramics: Carolyn Evey, Sarah Hersman, Karyn Ludlam(6 cr hrs) Mary Lutz-Hoyt, Mikiko Tanaka, Kathleen Utlak (6 cr hrs), Brian Hedges, Ingeborg Wegner, Frank Regan, Marianne Dias ( working on an incomplete), and Monica Furman (working on an incomplete).
In response to the History of Craft lectures in the spring of 1995, Advanced Ceramic students each presented the ceramic art of a decade in our own ongoing lecture series.
Ceramics II was taught at the same time as advanced.
I believe that Fred Massaro was the 3-D technician this year.
Bob Yost opened Yost Tile Co. at Canal Place.
Bob had taught in the continuing education program at the University of Akron since 1990. During that time the program had grown. Bob plus his group of 10 to 15 students met once a week in the evening for five weeks at a time. The students tended to sign up for more than one class. Several of the students continued on a regular bases for several years. There were many positive effects of having the continuing education students in the studio. There was more work produced and more kiln firings as well as more activity in the studio in the evening. Eventually however difficulties developed over maintenance of the studio. Donna was responsible for a growing number of people working in the studio. This was not an official part of her job and as the ordering of supplies, maintenance of equipment, cleaning and numbers of works to be stored increased tensions increased also. Eventually many of the continuing education students followed Bob to his new studio in Canal Place where he set up a studio in which he taught classes.
Sarah Hersman was the lab assistant in fall of 1995.
Kevin Machesky took Independent study in Raku making pots. with Donna
Mikiko Tanaka invited Donna to be a judge at Ikebana International 1995 Flower Exhibition at the Quaker Square Hilton.
Advanced students took a field trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art to see Early Ceramics from Japan and Korea in September. We also visited the Canton Art Museum to see the Maher Ceramic Collection in October.
Marianne Dias graduated in December of l995 and became a border at Donna and Joe’s large house shortly after. She also worked in their studio on Dopler. She became a regular participant in their tile installations.
Introduction to ceramics installed an exhibition of hand built dinner ware in the projects gallery.
Donna gave a slide lecture at Buckeye High School in Medina/
Advanced metals and ceramics students hosted the seventh annual holiday sale this year. This sale provides valuable experience for students in producing and selling their handmade objects.
Donna Webb and alum Marianne Dias traveled to Youngstown state to recruit talented high school students for the School of Art.
Donna visited Fairlawn elementary school to gain information about the successful teaching that Shirley Taylor was doing there.
Donna visited Norton Middle School to gain information about the successful teaching that Virgil Villars was doing there.
August 1995 Bob Wright was hired as the technician in sculpture. He also did a lot of work for the ceramics. He rebuilt the clay mixer, attended Ceramics II to get an idea of what was going on in ceramics. Repaired potters wheels and kilns and programmed the controller for the salt kiln,
Donna taught Advanced Class: Brian Hedges, Travis Kinnebrew, George Burian, Ingeborg Wegner, Mikiko Tanaka, Monica Fuhrman, Kara Hammett, Sarah Hersman, Kate Utlak, Karyn Ludlam, and Rebecca Banig.
Ceramics II was taught at the same time as advanced.
Ohio Perspectives: Explorations in Clay exhibition opened at the Akron Art Museum. The exhibition featured ceramics by Mary Jo Bole, George Bowes, Steven Parker Bradford, William Broillard, Kristen Clifffel, Jack Earl, Dana Goodman, Kirk Mangus, Charles McWeeny, Angelica Pozo, Denise Romecki, Brad Schwieger and Robert Yost. It was sponsored by the Mary and Louis S. Myers Foundation with additional support provided by Mrs. Milton Radney for the Firestone High School Ceramics Project and by Dorothy May Compbell.
On the occasion of Ohio Perspectives, a Ceramic Invitational the Museum hosted a panel discussion of the future of ceramics lead by William Hunt on February 18, l996. William Hunt, teacher, critic, artist and former Editor of Ceramics Monthly moderated a discussion to answer the questions “Where is Ceramics Today? Where is it Going?”
Spring 1996 Mikiko Tanaka trained ceramic students for five weeks in the practice of the Japanese tea ceremony. She trained us to handle the tea ceremony objects, make the tea, serve the tea, receive the tea and clean the tea bowls. Each person in the advanced ceramics class made a tea ceremony utensil. In May Mikiko and a group of her friends cleaned the atrium space installed the tatami mats, flower vase and hanging scroll. Dressed in kimono’s, Donna, several students and Mikiko and her friends served tea to many people. This was the 4th Annual Tea Ceremony. An honored guest was Mikiko’s own tea ceremony teacher, Chie Ozaki who came from Japan.
Mary Lutz dropped out of advanced ceramics at the end of fall 1995 and worked at Donna’s Dopler studio in spring of 1996.
January 1996 sixty art teachers explored ceramic techniques during an in-service session at the University Of Akron School Of Art. Teachers did a hands-on raku session.
Donna was a panel member for What is contemporary Art at the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art in January 1996.
In March of l996 Donna and Heather Protz gave a tile workshop at Miller South School for Susan Yingling’s students.
Donna and Joe made a mosaic Floor for the Southern Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Columbus. The project which was collaboration with sculptor, Charlotte Lees was a $13,000 commission completed in spring of 1996. Part of the project was to do a workshop with patients in the forensic wing of the hospital. Kate Utlak was the studio assistant in ceramics she helped Donna prepare tiles for the patients to do drawings on.
“We went together to Columbus. Few tools were allowed in with the patients. Kate and I had trouble figuring out who was a patient and who was staff. When we left one of the clay knives we had taken in was missing and a search of all the patients was undertaken. We don’t know what happened to the knife. On the way home Kate’s alertness kept me from driving into the back end of a truck. Even so, when I slammed on the breaks, the tiles in the back seat all moved towards the front. These tiles were later incorporated into the floor designed by Donna and Joe. Marianne Dias, Lisa Wohlwend, Frank Regan and Anna Webb helped with the installation.’
Monica Fuhrman graduated this spring!
Donna included a nude model in the ceramic classroom to allow integration of the figure and the vessel forms.
Donna was chair of the Speakers Committee. With the help of other committee members especially Rod Bengston, Chris Hoot and Tyrone Geter the lecture series, Speaking of Black Art was planned. In April, six black artists and arts professionals shared their expertise with our students. Three of the artists, Barry Gaither, Robert Collescott and Fred Wilson were funded by the Mary Myers’ Lecture Series. Barry Gaither, Curator/Director of the Museum for the Historical Center for African-American Art, in Roxbury MA. Presented an opening statement and overview for the lecture series as well as a discussion of Black Art: Historical and contemporary at the Emily Davis Gallery. Robert Colscott lectured on his long painting career and met with students. Charlyne Haynes, director of Public Relations at the Museum of Modern Art New York, lectured about African American Artists in the Mainstream. Willies “Bing” Davis Department Head/Artist at Central State University, Wilberforce, Oh, lectured on African American Crafts. He curated an exhibition, “On the Shoulders of Our Ancestors” at the University of Akron, Black Culture Center. Fred Wilson artist, New York City, lectured on How the Museum Culture Sees Black Art. One of the artists Carrie Mae Weems came in conjunction with the Akron Art Museum. Bing Davis a ceramic artist and faculty at Central State University came and was entertained by the ceramics area. Fifty faculty and students attended a party for Bing at Donna’s house. Students from the community provided singing and readings before Big Davis’ lecture. We installed two exhibitions, “Treasures of Black Art” at the Emily Davis Gallery and “On the Shoulders of our Ancestors” which is an exhibition of ceramics, weaving and woodworking. at the Black Cultural Center. Bill Lewis, director of the Black Cultural Center was instrumental in organized the event.
The Akron Art Museum exhibition, “Faith, Face and Form: Works in the Collection by African-Americans” included work by Carrie Mae Weems and Robert Colescott.
Twelve ceramic students attended the National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts in Rochester, New York. In March of 1996. Meg Slinker was a graduate student at RIT studying with Rick Hirsch.
This was the first year of “Breaking the Boundaries”. Advanced students did out door installations. Intro students did ceramic totem poles.
The most exciting and important event of the period from 1996 through 2000 was the dedication of the Mary Schiller Myers School of Art. Other events are related to increased opportunities provided by Mary Schiller Myers. One trend during this time was for the school to begin to be involved in art at an international level. The Malcolm Dashiell Memorial Travel Scholarship Fund allowed students to propose travel to benefit their own careers as well as the School as a whole. Nichola Kinch went to Penland and Traci Yost (Shar) traveled to China and Barb Gedeon took a course in ceramic restoration at the Instituto per l Arte e il Restuaro in Florence.
Donna and Joe traveled to Amsterdam, London and Lisbon to study tiles. The trip was partially funded through a Myers grant written by Donna Webb and Janice Troutman.
The School of Art received funds for the first time for the Mary Schiller Myers Lecture Series. Russian artists Vitaly Komar and Alex Malamid were artists in residence at the Myers School of Art.
In the summer of 2000 Megan Sweeney offered the first of a series of classes called Cross Cultural Ceramics. Three young Polish ceramic artists came and worked with the summer ceramics class. The culmination of the summer was an exhibition of their work at the Myers School of Art. Alum, Angie White remained in contact with the three and was able to visit with them on a Dashielle funded trip she took to Europe in 2005.
The first 3-D technician trained in ceramics was hired in 1999. Her name is Andrea LeBlond. Lack of adequate ventilation in our glaze room led to an opportunity to design a new facility. Andrea did this with great success.
Another very important development in this period is the beginning of real contributions to the field by our alumni. Bob Yost (85) owner of Yost Tile, teaches in a number of venues, is the founder and president of The Ohio Canal clay Guild. Michael Martell and then Shirley Nourjian were the potters at Hale Farm. Jim Klein and Dave Reid began working with Eve Zeisel on the “Eve” line, a series of vases, pitchers and tea ware produced and distributed exclusively by KleinReid. They also were panelists at the National conference on Education in the Ceramic Arts. Michael Martell along with Claudia Zeber-Martell founded Zeber-Martell Ceramic Studio creating work of their own design.
Fall 1996- Spring 1997 Donna on Sabbatical. George Bowes taught Advanced Ceramics and the two intro classes.
Who taught Cer II?
Donna and Joe along with Penny Rakoff, Mark Soppeland and Don Harvey created a proposal for outdoor sculpture at the Cascade Lock Association. Donna and Joe proposed a tiled gateway to the park. Daniel Buchele and Mary Lutz created a mosaic inset for the pavement and a tiled turtle for the presentation. Donna wrote a Canal Dictionary and proposed that it be illustrated by local artists. Joseph Blue Sky and Don Harvey created drawings for the dictionary proposal.
The Mary Schiller Myers Lecture Series was begun this year. The purpose of the lecture series was to create special educational opportunities for students of the college of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Akron. The funds for the lectures which were at the level of $5000 were distributed on a rotating bases each semester. The rotation began in fall of l996 with the School of Music, spring 1997, Theatre Arts, fall l997 Dance, spring 1998 Communication and fall l998 was the first semester the School of Art received the funds.
I would like to tell you a little story. The old kilns in the studio were breaking down, and there was no money in the budget to buy a new kiln. We, the students, decided that we could raise money by holding every Wednesday a bake and soup sale. Mikiko Kaneko and I had the most free time so we did organize the sale. We had a sign that said “BAKE AND SOUP SALE FOR NEW KILN”. One day CHRISTINA DE PAUL came by and said:”Students should be in the class room and not have to do fundraising for new equipment. I will see what I can do to get you a new kiln”. It did not take long and we had a new kiln. Every kiln got his own name and after a short debate we decided on the name EARL in honor of Professor EARL ERTMAN. He was our best customer, he came by two or three times a day and always bought some sweets. He was lamenting: “I should not eat this, I am getting fat”. I told him :”Earl, don’t worry, because you are getting fat for a good cause”. Every time we fired “EARL” we remembered this wonderful, gentle man we dearly missed after his retirement.
P.S. I think I may hold the record for taking the most ADVANCED CERAMICS classes, 19 exactly, 34 credit hours and two summer workshops with MEGAN SWEENY. For me ceramics at Akron U was a great and unforgettable experience.
I like to thank you for being a great teacher, friend and mentor. I am also grateful to EVA KWONG, BETH LINDENBERGER, GEORGE BOWES, and MEGAN SWEENY, they all pushed me to do things I thought I could not do.
I am now 75 and still not cured of my clay addiction.
2821 Bender Ave
Akron, Ohio 44319
Donna on Sabbatical George Bowes taught Advanced Ceramics and two intro classes.
Advanced ceramics: Santiago Bulguci (Buiguci), Diane Genetti, Brian Hedges,
Janice Hunziker, Nichola Kinch, Mary Lutz-Hoyt, Jill Simon, Deanna Sindelar, Bryan Smith, Bob Spannbauer, Mikiko Tanaka, Laura Urban and Marta Weist.
In January the Akron Art Museum presented Craft in the Machine Age 1920-1945. students saw the work of Eva Zeisel and Victor Schreckengost.
Breaking the Boundaries took place in the spring.
Nichola Kinch took her first Advanced Ceramics class and in the spring of 2002 she was applying for graduate schools.
Advanced ceramics: Sarah Brent, Nichola Kinch, Mary Lutz-Hoyt, Jill Simon, Deanna Sindelar, Bryan Smith, Kelly Sword, Mikiko Taneko, Gordon Tharp, Jen Tuttle, Laura Urban, Marta Weist, Brian Hedges, Karyn Ludlam and Connie Wydick
Students made bowls for the Good Samaritan Hunger Center Soup Sale.
Who taught Cer II? George Bowes?
Speaker Committee budget, $4,500
Earl Ertman retired.
Laura Gelfand joined the faculty to teach art history..
Fred Massaro was the 3-D studio technician.
The Alpine II was new.
Tom Bartel had an exhibition and lecture at the Fireland Center for the Arts in Oberlin.
Intro to ceramics students took leather hard tiles to the Akron Zoo to draw the animals. They also worked in the projects gallery for two weeks building forms inspired by animal “homes”.
Advanced students were invited to give their final presentations at the Blue Sky Gallery, Dopler St. on Friday December 12th.
The Ohio Canal Clay Guild was organized by alum Bob Yost who became its first president
In Sept David Soltenberger and Shirley Nourjian the potters at Hale farm talked to advanced and ceramics II students about the pottery at the farm.
Advanced ceramics: Nichola Kinch, Karyn Ludlam, Bryan Smith, Gordon Tharp, Jack Valentine, Pam Wagner, Angela White, Barbara Gideon and Kara Hammett.
In April Bryan Smith, Jack Valentine, Pamela Wagner, Angie White, Kara Hammett, Nichola Kinch and Donna Webb as well as Carol Ohl, and Hope Dyer-Long attend the Wooster Functional Workshop at the Wayne Center for the Arts in Wooster, OH. Presenters at the workshop were Pete Pinnell from Lincoln. Nebraska. Cynthia Bringle from Penland, North Carolina and Patty Wouters from Brasschaat, Belgium.
Barb Gedeon returned to ceramics in spring of 1998, and stayed thru spring of 2000. She pursued her interest in Maya culture by researching their painted pottery. She developed a range of terra sigillatas that looked very much like those the Maya used. She also studied at the Institute Per L ‘Arte E IL Resttuaro in Florence for which she received a Dashielle Travel Grant. She combined her experience as a scientist with her interest in art to become a skilled restorer of ceramics.
Pam, Jack, Angie, Kara, Bryan, Nichola, Pam Nix and Deb Jarboe were in the Juried Student Exhibition,
Nichola, Angie and Jack received scholarships from the student scholarship exhibition.
Angie and Jack went to Firestone HS to go a throwing demonstration. Jack and Pam went to Highland HS to do a raku demonstration.
Advanced students participated in an exhibition of tableware along with metals students. Each ceramic student was paired with a metals student. Together they designed two or more place settings to be exhibited in the projects gallery.
We met at the Dopler studio to photograph work.
We had a model in ceramics. Advanced students did vessel and figure combinations.
The Art Alumni Lecture Series was part of the 30th anniversary celebration of the College of Fine and Applied Arts at the University. Bob Yost (ceramics 85) spoke as part of the panel discussion on the work of the jurors for the Juried Student exhibition and Ptah (82 ceramics) gave a slide presentation of his work.
Breaking the Boundaries took place on Friday April 24 from noon to 6pm.
In May Russian painters Komar and Melamid held a town meeting at the Akron Summit County Public Library. This visit hosted by the Akron Art Museum allowed the artists to collect suggestions for Akron’s most wanted painting, “People’s Choice” commissioned by the Akron Art Museum. Donna Webb asked that an image of her be in the painting throwing a pot. This image along with many others suggested by the audience was included in a painting that is now part of the Akron Art Museum collection.
Students built a paper kiln for Breaking the Boundaries.
The new Sculpture faculty is Kate Budd.
Sandra Amitay taught life drawing from the 70’s to 1998 at the Myers School of Art. Her own figurative ceramic work and her interest in the advanced ceramic students made her a sought after mentor and critic.
Nichola Kinch won a Dachielle travel grand to go to Penland. She studied with Jim Tanner. She gave a glorious talk to students about the experience.
Advanced Ceramics: Sarah Brent, Doris Crosson, Nichola Kinch, Karyn Ludlam, Mateja Ribic, Kelly Sword, Jack Valentine, Pam Wagner, Angela White, and Barb Gedeon.
Donna taught Cer II
The biggest event of this year was the dedication of the Mary Schiller Myers School of Art. More than 125 faculty, students, alumni and friends gathered Nov 14 at Folk Hall to dedicate the Mary Schiller Myers School of Art. Naming the School of Art honored Mrs. Myers for her many contributions to the arts and for the philanthropic support that she and her late husband, Louis have provided over the years. In addition to being a graduate of the School, Mrs. Myers is well-known and highly regarded through out the art world as an advocate and patron of the arts. She served on the Chairman’s Council for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the National Committee for the Whitney Art Museum in New York City; and is the co-chair of the Museum Council for the Cleveland Museum of Art. She has also served as president of the Akron Art Museum board of Trustees and on the board of the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art; and was president of the Cleveland Society for contemporary Art. Being named is a mark of excellence for the school. The Myers School of Art was the first school to be named within the College of Fine and Applied Arts, and only the second to be named within the entire University.
We were granted a new 30 hour 3-D technician position of which 20 hours /week went to ceramics. Meanwhile Bob Wright worked one day a week for ceramics.
Students contributed 15% of their sales from the Holiday Sale back into the ceramics budget. The amount was $611.00.
Ceramic students worked with Design X 9 to create ceramic cups to be given to clients of Design X 9 for Christmas. $100.00 was paid by Design X 9 to the ceramic studio.
The Malcolm Dashiell Memorial Travel Scholarship Fund was established in the Myers School of Art in memory of the former sculpture faculty. The funding came from the estate of his widow, Janet Dashiell Gardner.
The School of Art received funds for the first time for the Mary Schiller Myers Lecture Series. The School of Art invited five artists to create the lecture series. They were Russian artists Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid. The artists did a four day stay at the School of Art in September of 1998. They met with the students in the auditorium to have a “student town meeting” to generate The Myers School of Art’s Most Wanted Painting”. Komar and Melamid than met with selected classes and other interested students and generated discussion and creative energy about their democratic process of making art. The goal of the residency was for the students to create a piece of artwork under their guidance that became part of the Myers School of Art’s Collection!!
On Sept 8 Komar and Melamid gave a public lecture at the Myers School of Art. There was a Pizza Party after the lecture at Christina’s
On Friday Sept at 5pm there was “The Unveiling”. The Myers School of Art’s Most Wanted Painting was unveiled in the school atrium. On Sept. 12 there was an opening for Komar and Melamid’s painting commissioned by the Akron Art Museum.
In September Bob Yost and Yost Tile Co. with the support of the Ohio Canal Clay Guild hosted a John Glick workshop at Yost Tile on 530 S. Main St.
The School of Art gave a party for Mel Chin and Terry Adkins on October 19 after Mel chin’s lecture Faculty were asked to invite several students each. The party was at Donna’s house on Edgerton Rd.
The Cleveland Museum of Art hosted Contemporary Art: It Figures. with Robert RosenBlum, Alex Katz, and David Salle.
Dave Alban gave a side lecture in March.
Intro to Ceramics students tiled the orange wall in front of the ceramics building with an image of Akron buildings which they raku fired.
In November David McFadden, Chief Curator and Vice President for Programs and Collections at the American Craft Museum continued the Mary Schiller Myers Lecture Series. He discussed Craft, Art, and Design: A New Paradigm. In this talk he looked at the ways in which
“makers of objects in all fields were eroding the boundaries between what were always thought of as separate fields , and the new porosity between fields that makes design and craft so challenging and provocative as we enter the new Millennium”* from David’s acceptance letter July 3, 1998.
The new Myers Artist –in-Residence Program began this year with a two week residency with Terry Adkins. With the help of Bob Wright, the sculpture technician and sculpture students and faculty he created a body of work using mostly found metal objects from the Akron area. This work was exhibited in the Emily Davis Gallery in November.
In November Bob Huff brought in Sculptor Mel Chin who lectured and had critiques with students as part of the Myers lecture series.
Nichola Kinch was the studio tech in ceramics. She created a series of signs in the studio that harangued students into cleaning up after themselves and returning things to their proper place. These signs survived and work their magic until fall of 2006.
We set up a new raku area and tiled the wall behind the raku kiln.
Advanced Ceramics: Jack Valentine, Pam Wagner and Traci Yost. Independent Study was taken by: Nichola Kinch, Angie White, Deanna Sindelar, Ron White, Barb Gedeon, and Anika Tyson.
Cer II was taught at the same time as advanced ceramics.
In May, Aspects of Figurative Ceramics was preseneted at Riley Hawk Galleries in Cleveland curated by Gail M. Brown. Artists included Beverly Mayeri, Jack Earl, Adrian Arleo, Thomas Bartel Kristin Cliffel, Andrea Gill, Indira Freeitas Johnson, Judy Moonelis, Rona Neuenschwander, Janis Mars Wonderlich, Rudy Autio, Steven Parker Bradford, Arthur Gonzalez, Andy Nasissse, and Justin Novak.
The Mary Schiller Myers Lecture Series continued with Kenneth Trapp, Chief curator at the Renwick Museum.
The Myers Residence continued with Jamie Bennett who spent two seeks just before Spring Break working with students and faculty to create an enameled photo collage which became an outdoor installation on the front of Folk Hall.
After Spring Break Joyce Scott along with students in the 3-D areas created a large mixed media installation in the artist-residence studio in room 159 Nichola Kinch and Angie White were a great help to Joyce.
Andrea LeBlond was hired as the 3-D Technical Assistant in May of 1999. She was the first 3-D technician who came to us with a strong ceramic background. She gave a slide presentation of her work on April 14.
Advanced students Angie White, Nichola Kinch Traci Yost, Pam Wager and Jack Valentine, Ceramic technician Andrea Le Blond and ten former students: John Dietsch, Warren Harrison, Meg Slinker, Jim Klein, Beth Lindenberger, Joseph Blue Sky, Bob Yost, Marianne Dias and Shirley Nourjian attended the NCECA conference in Columbus, OH. Traci Yost, Pam Wagner, Nichola Kinch and Angie White exhibited work in the NCECA National Juried Student Exhibition.
Four Ceramic students won scholarships: Angie White $2599.00 Folk Scholarship, Pam Wagner, $1500 Folk Scholarship, Judy Lynn $1500 Folk Scholarship, Nichola Kinch $1000.00 Folk Scholarship.
Traci Yost won a $400.00 travel grant to go to China. She paid special attention to ceramics and kiln sites and gave a great talk when she returned. Nichola Kinch was chosen to participate in a panel discussion at NCECA about the student exhibition. She was the only undergraduate to participate in the panel. She gave a slide presentation and talked about her work.
Jim Klein and Dave Reid began working with Eve Zeisel on the “Eve” line, a series of vases, pitchers and tea ware produced and distributed exclusively by KleinReid.
Pam Wagner exhibited her “Elvis” cup at Cut VII a National Cup exhibition in Carbondale, ILL.
Jim and Dave were panelists at the National conference on Education in the Ceramic Arts. The panel was “Studio Slip casting Renaissance”.
Donna and Joe did a storefront installation for NCECA in Columbus titled “The Fourth Man in the Fire”.
Karyn Ludlam worked with George Sacco at the Plum creek Pottery.
“After Hours Passes” are required to work after 9pm in the School of Art studios.
Traci Yost won the McKiernan Scholarship in the Juried student exhibition.
We built the Goddess and Fired her in a paper kiln for breaking the Boundaries.
Kathy King gave a lecture on her work.
Kenneth Trapp, curator at the Renwick Gallery lectured in April.
John Gaskins gave a throwing demonstration in April.
Introduction to ceramics students made four porcelain tiles depicting the phases of the moon.
Dale Chihuly lectured on his work at the Raddison Hotel. Sponsored by the Akron Art Museum and in conjunction with his exhibition there.
Summer of l999
Donna along with Janice Troutman was awarded a Myers Grant for $5,000 and a Faculty Summer Research Grant for $8000.00 to attend the 8th International Ceramic Symposium in Amsterdam. Joe and Donna traveled to Amsterdam and Lisbon to look at ceramic tiles. The research on tiles led Donna and Janice to research and make the tile bench, “More Beyond” located in the Myers School of Art and another bench built by Jim Williams and tiled by Donna and Janice located in the ticket office lobby of E.J.Thomas Performing Arts Hall.1
Meg Slinker taught a summer raku class at the school of art.
Donna had a party for each of the artists at her house.
Nicholas Wood did an exhibition of his ceramic paintings at the Emily Davis Gallery (Nov 17)
The Holiday sale was Dec 7-9
Megan Sweeney taught both Intro to Ceramics classes. Kevin Snipes taught Ceramics II
Nichola Kinch and Jack Valentine were student assistants.
Andrea LeBlond was the 3-D technician in both ceramics and metals.
Barb Gedeon took two part course at the Instituto per l ‘Arte e il Restuaro in Florence where she studied ceramic restoration. She also made contacts with archeologist at Maya conferences to help with her work in recreating ancient Maya ceramic forms. Barb received a Dashiell Student Travel Grant to travel to Florence, Italy in the fall of 1999 to attend a ceramic restoration course. Barb also had bachelors in science in Chemistry from the University of Akron and a Masters in Polymer Science.
Leah Scharville was a studio technician in ceramics.
The University was doing a search for a public art piece. The finals, Vitto Accunci, Tom Otterness and Ron Fisher came to talk about their work at the School of art in September.
Ron White on the art faculty at Barberton High School took ceramics for graduate credit.1
Karim Rashid the designer lectured on his ideas and work in September.
In November Pam Wagner gave atalked about her trip to NCECA. Later in the month Traci Yost gave a talk about her trip to China and the ceramics she saw there. Both Pam and Traci were Dashiell Travel Grant Recipients. In November Donna Webb talked about European Tiles as a follow up to her trip to Amsterdam, London, and Lisbon funded in part by a Myers Grant. (A Student Art League Lecture). We used the new Alpine gas kiln (Alpine II) for the first time this semester.
A group of pots called the Ennis Bequest came to the Myers School of Art.
The School of Art hired a new figurative painter, Laura Vinnedge.
The School of Art sponsored a bus to take students to Pittsburg to the Carnegie Museum to see the 1999/2000 Carnegie International and to the Mattress Factory. Students saw a room by Yayoi Kusama, Rolf Julius’ Red, James Turrell’s Catso Red, and a garden by Winifred Lutz. The Mattress Factory is a museum of contemporary art that commissions, exhibits and collects site-specific installations. Located in the historic Mexican War Streets of Pittsburgh’s North side since l977.
Judy Lynn was elected president of the Holiday Sale and did a great job of organizing it.
Advanced class: Ami Chevali, Diana Cook, Jenise Corron, Judith Dowdell, Nichola Kinch, Carol Ohl, Mateja Ribic, Ken Richey, Jack Valentine, Angela White and Traci Yost. Barb Gedeon worked on an incomplete and Pan Wagner and Leea Skaroupka took Independent Study.
Advanced students focused on function, tried to define it and worked on traditional forms such as bowls, cups covered jars and finished up with an installation that illustrated their idea of function
Who taught Ceramics II?
We kept track of time spent by students in the ceramics studio using a sign in and sign out sheet. Advanced students were averaging 6 hours per week in the studio out side of class. Jack Valentine averaged almost 42 hours per week.
Pam Wagner’s exhibition, My Cups Runneth Over was held at Cheryl’s Gaily Grind in February.
On Feb 21 Lisa Lou began her artist in residence.
Students attended the Wooster Functional Ceramics Workshop where they watched the three featured artists, Richard Burkett of San Diego, CA, Andrea Gill of Alfred, NY and Ben Owen III of Seagrove N. Carolina. Students who attended were: Ami Chevali, Judy Dowdell, Carol Ohl, Meteja Ribic, Ken Richey, Angela White and Traci Yost.
Heather White’s metals, flatware class invited the ceramic students to sell our bowls with their spoons and chili
Students participated in Breaking the Boundaries 2000: Time, Space, Mass Energy
Students participated in the scholarship exhibition. The following won scholarships:
The Speakers committee presented a lecture series: Edification: Editors on Art.
Three editors came to lecture this semester: Frank Lewis, Metal smith; Leslie Martin, Aperture and Kathryn Hixson, New Art Examiner.
Nichola Kinch, Angela White Judy Dowdell and Pam Wagner exhibited their work with advanced painters at the Stark Kent Branch of Kent University.
January 2000 Jim Klein and David Reid were featured in the House and Home section of The New York Times.
January Donna and Joe received a contract to create an entrance way for the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts; this was a Percent for Arts Project
In June the Cross Cultural Ceramics class. Adam Abel, Maciej Kasperski and Ebereth (Bertie) from Poland were the artists in residence. The class was taught my Megan Sweeney. The artists all stayed at Megan and Dave’s house. Donna had a picnic for the students and artists.
Donna and Joe made the tiles for the Shawnee State University Percent for Arts Project.
Advanced ceramics: Ami Chevali, Diana Cook, Jenise Corron, Colette Harold, Nichola Kinch, Carol Ohl, Jack Valentine, Angela White, Traci Yost. Christen Andrea, Mateja Ribic, Ken Richey andPam Wagner (Pam “disappeared” this summer and later moved to South Carolina. Everyone missed her).
Intro to Ceramics still had no prerequisites . Most were art majors, one was in public relations, modern languages, three in interior design, criminal justice, nursing and engineering.
Dave Alban taught Ceramics II
November 2000 The Myers School of Art Myers Residence hosted a performance, ALAS@SEE.ARG by Pat Oleszko and the D’Akron Cast-off Thousands. Ceramic students and faculty are beguiled into participating in Pat’s extravaganza. Pat talked about her experiences working in the nude but felt that she was not young enough to do that any more. That sentiment did not feel right to Donna. She didn’t feel that Pat was too old especially since Donna is older than Pat. Later when plans were being made and Pat suggested that there be nude mud wrestling the ceramics students and faculty seemed to naturally fall into Pat’s plan. I don’t think Donna or Dave or Traci, Angie or Nichola, Jack or Jenise ever really thought that they would actually perform nude. Donna even took her costume with her that day.
“ It’s a bit hard to explain. Most of us had never been even partially nude in public before. Jenise had been a drawing model and was perhaps the most at ease. I think for me it was a matter of camaraderie. My students wanted to go along with Pat’s idea and I was determined not to let them do it alone. I think in the back of my mind I was also saying that people should be more comfortable with an ageing body. Faculty and students at the School of Art took our partially nude mud wrestling in stride. It barely cased a ripple in the art fabric. I was very thankful for that because I could have caused a lot of unpleasant publicity for the school.” Donna
Class list contains phone numbers and social security numbers.
Advanced Ceramics: Kara Blake, Ami Chevali, Diana Cook, Jenise Corron, Lance Freeman, Brian Hedges, Colette Herold, Angela Kline, Karyn Ludlam. Paul R Miller, Carol Ohl, Mateja Ribic, Kenneth Richey, Jack Valentine, Pamela Wagner and Angela White.
Ind Study Nichola Kinch.
Min Choi taught ceramics II
Andrea LeBlond the first technical assistant in ceramics along with her studio mates had their TerraVista Studios Annual Holiday Sale at 1400 W. 30th in Cleveland
We had a Valentines Dance at the Church. The Church, owned by Donna and Joe was rented to students who not only lived there but offered a number of art events there as well. On this night a fifties band called Just Friends played live music. The students found it very hard to dance to the music but they did turn loose when the band packed up. Some enjoyed the rock and roll and a few even did the polka.
The Myers School of Art conducted a search for a new metals professor. Students got to listen to the proposals given by the three candidates invited to interview.
The first assignment for advanced students was to consider the problem of designing a piece of public art for the Robinson School wall site. They visited the site, did research and generated ideas.
The second assignment was to enter the scholarship exhibition and to plan the installation of their work.
The third assignment was to write a travel grant to go to NCECA, Wooster Functional workshop or to a summer destination.
Nina Katchadourian was the artist in residence in sculpture.
Patrick Dougherty also an artist in residence in sculpture created his large sculpture of saplings at the entry to the Myers School of Art grounds.
Students got to see Viktor Schreckengost’s exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
A public Art Forum was conducted by the sculpture program and paid for through the Myers Lecture Series on March 9, 10 and 11. Patricia Phillips, Jorge Pardo and Allan Wexler gave public lectures. They also participated in a panel discussion along with artists in residence Patrick Dougherty, Nina Katchadourian. Dinner for the public arts workshop students was at Christina DePaul’s the first night and there was Pizza & beer at “the Church” 379 South St on the second night.
Nina Katchadourian conducted a two week public arts workshop, Barely Public Art. Groups of sculpture students were given a $100.00 budget to site a project within or on school grounds
In April Karyn Ludlam had an exhibition at the Ice House. The work was sculptural and daring. Though not a lot of people saw it, those who did will not forget the ceramic pieces hovering in the air.
Students entered the scholarship exhibition.
On April 6, 2001 A panel discussion was given by the Student Art League for students undergoing Graduate School applications. Organized by Judy Lynn and Traci Yost.
The Myers School of Art was interviewing candidates for the contemporary art historian position. Students were invited to attend the presentations of those invited to interview.
Brian Hedges presented his senior exhibition: emerge in the upper atrium. It was a mixed media installation featuring his ceremonial vessels.
Cross Cultural Ceramics. A young couple, Ritas Jakimaviciene’ and Dalia Lauckaite-Jakimaviciene’ from Lithuania were the artists in residence. The class was taught by Megan Sweeney.
Students began installing the Robinson wall on July 23 and worked thru August 8. The installation team was made up of Daniel Steiner, H. Joel Rickard, Jenise Corron, Steve Teeters, Carol Ohl, Toni Billick, Ami Chevali, Emily Wilson, Dane Nighswander, Scott Mathews and Jack Valentine.
The students used more than three tons of porcelain to make more than 6000 tiles. In early May large maps of the design were created by Joseph Blue Sky. On May 21 students started making slabs of clay to create the 200 foot long piece. Slab making continued thru May. The earth with its architecture, each of the planets and the moon and the sun were created, painted with slip and cut into tiles. In June the sections were bisque fired and glazed. In early July the tiles were packed to be taken to the site. On the Friday before installation began we had an organization meeting pot luck and pool party at Carol Ohl’s house.
Sherry Simms was hired as the new metals professor and Kevin Concannon was hired as our contemporary art historian.