Pottery-centric exhibition part of NCECA Twin Cities show


March 11, 2019 - The University of Wisconsin-River Falls Art Department is presenting a public pottery-centric exhibition, Abstracting, using the works of five contemporary studio potters to communicate the relevance and function of abstraction as it relates to the way that pots are carriers of culture and/or human identity(s). The free exhibition is open through April 3 in Gallery 101 in the Kleinpell Fine Arts building.
Abstracting is an official NCECA exhibition, part of Claytopia, the 2019 NCECA Conference taking place in the Twin Cities region March 27-30. The exhibit is curated by UWRF Art Department Associate Professor Mike Helke. Artists include Rebecca Chappell, Giselle Hicks, Jordan McDonald, Brooks Oliver and Joanna Powell. 
Chappell received her M.F.A. from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2008 and her B.F.A. from the Cleveland Institute of Art in Ohio in 2003. She has participated in solo and group exhibitions across the U.S. She was awarded the Evelyn Shapiro Foundation Fellowship in 2010. Chappell resides in Philadelphia, Penn.
Hicks received a BFA from Syracuse University, New York, and an MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Hicks has participated in various artist-in-residence programs including the Anderson Ranch Art Center in Snowmass Village, Colo.; the Arts/Industry Program at the Kohler Company in Kohler; The Clay Studio in Philadelphia; The Greenwich House Pottery in New York; and The Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Mont. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Belger Arts Center in Kansas City, The John Michael Kohler Art Center, The Bellevue Art Museum, and the Southwest School of Art.
McDonald studied ceramics at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, and received his BFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, Canada, and in 2011 his MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. McDonald utilizes a wide array of techniques and materials in his work - primarily pots that are rooted in the history of ceramics and explore the relationship between objects and function.
Powell is a sculptor and painter born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Through installation, she contextualizes common objects with personal meaning. Her work is the result of thinking about longing, privacy, history and sexuality. In 2012, she received her MFA in ceramics from The University of Colorado at Boulder. In 2008, she received her BFA from The University of North Texas in Denton. Powell has exhibited her work throughout the United States. In 2011, she was a LEAP finalist at The Center for Contemporary Craft. Powell was a finalist in the 2014 Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics and received Honorable Mention. Recently, she was named a 2015 NCECA Emerging Artist. Powell lives in Helena, Mont., and is a full-time studio artist and travelling lecturer.
Oliver is a studio artist and a ceramics instructor and program coordinator at the University of North Texas, Dallas. He recently completed a long-term residency at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Mont. He received his MFA from The Pennsylvania State University, his BFA at Southern Methodist University, Texas, and completed his post baccalaureate studies at Syracuse University. He taught in Jingdezhen, China, in 2016 with West Virginia University and he regularly teaches workshops in and out of university settings.
Supplementing Abstracting are select works from current UWRF Art Department Studio Ceramics (ART 327) students including Casey Beck, River Breda, Abby Christensen, Jame Cofield, Elliot Corbett, Alicia Davila, Katie Erickson, Kate Herron, Alex Hintz, Brecken Johnson, Kate Johnson, Heather Kennedy, Anjelica Kinney, Rylie Lonetti, Haley Macklem, Carley Norton, Brit Rutzen, and Matt Wilhelm.
An artist reception is Wednesday, March 20, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in Gallery 101. It is free and open to the public also.
Gallery 101 regular hours are Monday-Thursday from 2-7 p.m., and Friday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. with Spring Break (March 25-31) hours: Monday-Tuesday from noon–5 p.m., Wednesday from 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Thursday–Sunday from noon–5 p.m.

For more information, call the UWRF Art Department at 715-425-3266 or email

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