Friday, October 31, 2014

Visit to Wichita State University

 "In an effort to raise awareness of food insecurity in the Wichita area, the WSU Hunger Awareness Initiative, in collaboration with the WSU Ceramics Guild, will center its October 2014 Hunger Awareness Month on the “Empty Bowls Project.” An international grassroots movement that enlists potters to create handcrafted bowls, Empty Bowls has raised millions of dollars towards the fight against hunger. Conscious Clay is the start of our conversation, an exhibition examining innovative solutions to hunger awareness through clay, community, and conversation. This exhibition features works by American ceramicists Steven Young Lee and Jennifer Hansen Gard, two ceramic activists who strive to make a difference in their respective communities."
I recently had the honor of being an invited artist to participate in Conscious Clay at Wichita State University. The flights were miserable with several delays and an unexpected night stay in Chicago but the people were incredible. It was a warm welcome from everyone on my first day. I started with my artist talk in the morning and in the afternoon I did a short demo with some building processes and surface techniques. I walked off the plane and went directly to my artist talk asking for only one thing- that I could brush my teeth! I made a quick stop in the restroom and even had time to change my cloths before getting started. The following day my good friend Gunyoung Kim, who is the current artist in residence at Lawrence Arts Center, came to visit and we got to relax and watch Steven Lee's workshop! In the evening we attended the opening reception of Conscious Clay at the Ulrich Museum of Art which Steven and I both had work in(my first museum show, yippe)! Followed by a panel discussion that we were apart of for World Food Day. Where we discussed innovative solutions to hunger awareness from our own perspectives, projects, and stories. The Empty Bowls event took place on Saturday morning and Gunyoung and I each purchased a few bowls that I managed to carefully pack up and bring safely back to Ohio. I want to give a special thanks to faculty Brenda Lichman, Ted Adler, and the graduate students who went above and beyond. It was refreshing to be in an environment where people were invested in the same issues and questions I am asking. Wichita is a special place and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a GREAT graduate program. They have a positive and supportive community with dedicated faculty!
Brenda and I at the Empty Bowls event / pre-panel with Steven Lee
Schedule of events.
Panel presentation and discussion.
Empty Bowls event with Gunyoung.
I continued my trip through Kansas with a visit and artist talk at K-State University with the amazing faculty Amy Santoferraro and Andrew Casto. Also a place I HIGHLY recommend and ending with a demo at Lawrence Arts Center with my best friends Lindsay Scypta and Gunyoung Kim!

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