On the Verge: Contemporary Ceramics
April 25 - August 9, 2009

Erin Furimsky, 'Requisite Swell,' 2007, ceramic, 5 by 11 by 6 1/2 inches, courtesy of the artistAcross human history, ceramics have played a pivotal role in cultural meaning. Whether clay tablets, utilitarian vessels, artifacts of decorative adornment, or objects for sheer aesthetic reward, ceramic works have contributed to material culture. On the Verge: Contemporary Ceramics presents six artists who consider ceramic tradition as they carve out new practices and stylistic modes in ceramic art today. On the Verge is guest curated for the Ulrich by WSU School of Art and Design Assistant Professor of Ceramics Ted Adler. Included in the exhibition are:

-Erin Furimsky, practicing ceramic artist and instructor at Illinois State University, Normal, IL (her work is illustrated at left)
-Del Harrow, Assistant Professor of Ceramics at Penn State University
-David East, Chair of Ceramics at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD
-Patsy Cox, Associate Professor, California State University, Northridge
-Nicole Cherubini, practicing ceramic artist in Brooklyn, NY
-Heather Mae Erickson, resident artist at The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, and lecturer at The University of the Arts and Rowan University

Public Programs

4 P.M., Friday, April 24
210 McKnight Art Center West (WSU School of Art and Design)
Artist Del Harrow takes part in a new wave of clay artists reinvigorating the field. His contribution to On the Verge, the Ulrich exhibition exploring the changing face of todayís ceramic art, will be an installationóa mode of artmaking not at all associated with clay. Fluorescent light, Plexiglas, and electronic equipment have been materials Harrow incorporated in his work as well as concepts from disciplines well outside the craft tradition. Harrow is an assistant professor of ceramics at Pennsylvania State University. His talk will explore the motivations for his dynamic, iconoclastic practice, one that contributes to a redefinition of ceramic art. Free admission.

5 P.M.,Friday, April 24
210 McKnight Art Center West (WSU School of Art and Design)
On the Verge artist Patsy Coxís installations ingeniously represent the urban landscape, mixing issues of culture, race, and identity with commentary on how these factors play out in a metropolis. Her installations include thousands of small ceramic pieces typically in red, yellow, and blue, and recall natural growth patterns. Cox is an associate professor of art, ceramics department head, and associate chair at California State University, Northridge, California. Her talk is sponsored by the WSU Ceramics Guild. Free admission.

7-9 P.M., Saturday, April 25
Join Ulrich Museum Alliance members for an evening of art, food, drink, and great company to celebrate the new spring and summer exhibition On the Verge: Contemporary Ceramics. Meet and mingle with guest curator Ted Adler and exhibition artists Del Harrow and Patsy Cox. To make a reservation (free for Ulrich Museum members and WSU students, $7 for general public), call 316-978-3664 or e-mail ulrich@wichita.edu.

2-6 P.M., Saturday, May 16
FORUM: Ceramics in an Expanded Field
210 McKnight Art Center West (WSU School of Art and Design)
Craft in America has never been more dynamic and in greater transition. In commenting on this moment in the clay arts, critic Rob Silberman suggests we consider ìceramics in the expanded field: unconventional, experimental, ambitious, and occasionally outrageous.î An afternoon of speakers will discuss, debate, and reveal the shifting ground in ceramic artmaking today.

2 P.M. Curator Talk: Catherine Futter, Curator of Decorative Arts, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City
From the Kiln to the Museum: Contemporary Ceramics
210 McKnight Art Center West (WSU School of Art and Design)
From the Arts and Crafts to the Bauhaus, from George Ohr to Russel Wright, from Peter Voulkos to Betty Woodman, ceramic arts have been in transition across the 20th century. Futterís talk will survey the modern movement in clay artmaking. She will address the history from which todayís experimentation in ceramics takes inspiration. Catherine Futter is the Helen Jane and R. Hugh ìPatî Uhlmann Curator of Decorative Arts at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. She is building a remarkable collection of contemporary ceramics for this museum and writes and speaks on the subject regularly.

2:45 P.M. Break

3 P.M. Panel Discussion
210 McKnight Art Center West (WSU School of Art and Design)
Ulrich guest curator and WSU Assistant Professor of Art Ted Adler joins On the Verge artists Heather Mae Erickson and David East, and Kansas artist Conrad Snider, former studio assistant for artist Jun Kaneko, for spirited conversation and active debate on the contributions and changing nature of ceramics in contemporary art. The panel discussion will be moderated by Catherine Futter.

4:30-6 P.M. Reception and exhibition viewing
Continue the conversation with speakers and refreshments at the Ulrich Museum of Art.

About the Speakers

Ted Adler
is assistant professor of art and head of ceramics at Wichita State University. He received his B.A. from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and M.F.A. from Ohio University in Athens. He apprenticed with the internationally renowned artist Toshiko Takaezu. Adler has exhibited his work in more than 60 exhibitions nationally. Committed to the vessel form, Adler also creates innovative installation work.

David East is chair of ceramics at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. He received his B.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, and his M.F.A. from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. East has been a visiting artist at the Kansas City Art Institute, Alfred University; Ohio University; Massachusetts College of Art, and Tainan National College of Art in Tainan, Taiwan. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally and curated noted ceramic exhibitions. Eastís practice is purposefully varied, conceptually centered, and incorporates all variety of media.

Heather Mae Erickson is a resident artist at the Clay Studio, Philadelphia, and lectures at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey. She received her B.F.A. from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and her M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Erickson has been a resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation and was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for research in Helsinki, Finland. Erickson has an extensive national and international exhibition record. She will be a fellow at the International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark in Summer 2009. Morphing utilitarian objects to sculpture assemblages, Erickson marries decorative art history to present contemporary concerns.

Conrad Snider has an independent artistic practice based in Newton, Kansas. He received a B.F.A. from the Kansas City Arts Institute. Snider served as lead studio assistant to the internationally celebrated ceramic sculptor Jun Kaneko for many years. He established his own studio in Newton, Kansas, in 1995. He has continued to work with clay with a primary interest in large-scale work, including public projects, figurative work, and sculptural vessels.

For more information about the ceramics program in the School of Art and Design at Wichita State, visit: http://www.wichita.edu/ceramics.

For more information about the WSU Ceramics Guild, visit: www.wsuceramicsguild.org .

Ceramics in Wichita

Summer 2009 offers a contemporary ceramics extravaganza in Wichita with exhibitions and programs across the city.
On the Verge: Contemporary Ceramics coordinates with the nationally touring exhibition Innovation and Change: Great
Ceramics from the Ceramic Research Center, Arizona State University Art Museum Collection
at the Wichita Art Museum
from May 10ñJune 28, 2009 and Fired Earth: 1945ñ2008, at the Wichita Center for the Arts from March 13ñMay 17, 2009. Be certain to catch word about and attend public programs at all three Wichita art venues.