American Studio Ceramics: a survey of the collection

Squash Pot
Squash Pot, 2000
Greg Kuharic
Ceramic
Gift of Alan and Cindy Patrick
From the functional to the fanciful, the American Studio Ceramics exhibition features works from a number of celebrated twentieth century artists.

“This is the first opportunity in a number of years we have been able to bring together our considerable collection of studio ceramics, many of which were made by artists with a Ball State connection,” said Director Peter Blume. Among those artists are Linda Arndt, a former Ball State professor of art, and Ball State alumnus Alan Patrick, painter and ceramic artist whose work can be found in many museums and private collections.

Another is Ball State University assistant professor of art, Ted Neal. Neal shared the story behind the creation of the teapot on display in the exhibition.

The teapot is surrounded by a metal cage. The cage was originally used as a light shield in a Geneva Steel plant in Utah. Neal was working in Utah at the time the plant went bankrupt and, before the plant was sold for scrap, he was able to broker deals for millions of tons of brick to be sent to various schools and potters. After the salvage, a non-profit organization took up the reclamation efforts.

When Neal came to work at Ball State, he made a call and asked that some of the last bricks be sent here. The bricks were used to build an outdoor kiln in which the teapot was fired. It is now surrounded by the light shield from Geneva Steel. One man’s story, held in a teapot, wrapped in a light shield.

Other artists represented in the exhibition include Byron Temple, Wayne Higby, and Maija Grotell. “These are artists who moved ceramic media from a purely utilitarian craft into the realm of fine art,” Blume said.

Exhibition Date: May 22, 2008 - September 28, 2008