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Ohio Northern ceramic students attend national workshops and conference

ImageApril—Each spring, the Wayne Center for the Arts hosts the Functional Ceramics Workshop and Exhibition attended by potters from all around the country. This year, five Ohio Northern ceramic students and faculty also have a chance to mingle with some of the country’s best ceramic artists.

The three-day regional conference comprised an invitational exhibition, demonstrations, slideshows and over 200 ceramic enthusiasts. The exhibition was on display at the Center from March 23–April 16 with a reception on April 13 at 7:30p.m. The workshops were held throughout the day on April 14–16.

This year, the presenters included Charity Davis-Woodward, Jan McKeachie Johnston and Marty Fielding.

Marty Fielding, a visiting professor in ceramics at Ohio Northern through the mid-2000s, became captivated by clay as an anthropology major at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He continued his study of ceramics, both as a student and teaching assistant, at Penland School of Crafts. His current studio, located in Middlebury, Vermont was established in 1999. His work can be seen in several publications and is represented nationally in craft galleries and exhibitions.

“After moving away from Columbus nearly six years ago, I surprisingly haven’t managed to get back to Ohio for a visit,” said Marty. “I’m excited and honored to be a part of the workshop and thrilled to get back to see some good friends.”

Marty demonstrated his use of terra sigillata, underglazes and inlaid ceramic stains on earthenware. He also lectured on his “cow powered” electric kiln and thoughts on clean energy in a ceramics studio. In 2005, Marty also has exhibited at the annual workshop.

Jan McKeachie Johnston studied at the University of Minnesota, Southern Illinois University and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls before establishing her Wisconsin studio in 1972. She has been featured in Clay Times and Ceramics Monthly, along with her works in many public and private collections.

Jan showed making pottery within traditional concepts using both the wheel and constructed handbuilt forms, as well as using various tools and found objects to impress the surface of the clay, create line, volume and scale. Jan’s views about making pots in relation to function challenged participants to explore these ideas in their own work.

Charity Davis-Woodard has been a full time studio potter in Edwardsville, Illinois since 1999. She fires her limited-production and one-of-a-kind porcelain in a Bourry-box wood fired kiln. In addition to participating in numerous national and regional retail events, she’s a frequent workshop presenter and her work is widely exhibited, winning awards in exhibitions such as the NCECA Clay National, Clayfest 2003, and the Utilitarian Ceramics National.

Charity demonstrated her wheel thrown and altering techniques in porcelain. Of special interest was her method of decorating her work using a variety of mark-making techniques and layering of slips and glazes using various resist techniques.

Wayne Center for the Arts has been offering culturally stimulating arts experiences for over 31 years. The center, formerly known as the Wooster Arts Center, was founded in 1973 on the campus of The College of Wooster. In 1984, through a gift from the Rubbermaid Foundation and with the support of the community, the Arts Center was able to move into the newly renovated Walnut Street School at 237 South Walnut Street, Wooster.

Since its beginning in 1973, the center has continued to grow offering numerous activities throughout the year including classes, special events, performances and exhibits. In June of 1999, The Rubbermaid Foundation donated the Walnut Street building to Wayne Center for the Arts assuring the community that a cultural arts center would continue to thrive in the downtown Wooster area.

The 2010–11 academic year marks the 50th anniversary of the Bachelor of Arts degree in art at Ohio Northern University. Growing from a single-discipline school, the department offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts with concentrations in two-dimensions, three-dimensions and art therapy. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is also recognized in the second and third editions of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2010-11 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.

image: Marty Fielding, a visiting professor at Ohio Northern during the mid-2000s, presented during this year’s ceramic workshop. He also had numerous pieces selected for the annual exhibition.