One hundred percent of School of Visual Arts students who graduated in the past five years with a BFA in Studio Arts with an emphasis in Ceramics are working in their field. This week, the SVA blog highlights one of those graduates, Catie Miller.
Miller graduated in the spring of 2013. In addition to her studio art degree, she also received a BS in Art Education. The day after graduation, Miller was on the road to Kansas CIty, where she had secured an artist residency at Red Star Studios.
Red Star Studios is located in a new, state-of-the-art facility. It includes a gallery, the Lawrence Lithography Workshop, a ceramic studio, and a ceramic supply company called Crane Yard Clay. MIller comments, “It is huge, new, and very beautiful with lots of windows overlooking Kansas City skyscrapers!” In addition, there is a second teaching studio located half a mile away.
Miller is one of five “foundation residents” at Red Star Studios. The foundation residency is specifically for recent graduates who are pursuing professional opportunities. A “career residency” is also offered to an artist with at least five years of experience. The residency is unpaid, but includes free firings and a semi-private studio space. Once a week, each resident monitors the studio for 6 hours. Residents’ responsibilities include helping studio members, loading/unloading kilns, cleaning, mixing glazes, and weekly 1 1/2 hour meetings.
In addition, Miller is working closely with the educational programming at Red Star. “I developed the programing for three weeks of summer art camp. This fall I am teaching kid and parent/kid classes. We also have a program called Make-Mobile. This mobile classroom allows us to go to schools and do clay projects with students.”
When not teaching at Red Star Studios, Miller substitute teaches in Kansas. She prepared in advance of graduation to secure a Kansas teaching license and can substitute teach from Kindergarten to 12th grade. “I sub in a variety of classrooms, but have made some connections with art teachers. I get a lot of repeat requests from the same teachers, making the challenge of subbing easier.”
Catie Miller has also received national recognition for her undergraduate work at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Shortly after graduating, she was selected as one of five students chosen for an undergraduate showcase in Ceramic Monthly magazine. The magazine’s editors wrote of the featured students: “Inquisitive research, creative solutions, an interest in craftsmanship and technique–the works by the students chosen for this year’s showcase demonstrate all of these traits. Pretty impressive, not to mention way beyond the work many of us here on the staff of Ceramics Monthly were making as an undergraduate student.”
Art Education professor, Brad Bachmeier, attributes Miller’s success “to her curiosity, intelligence, willingess to take risks and fail, but more than anything an insatiable work ethic.” Ceramics professor, Kelli SInner, concurs: “She understood that to be a successful artist you have to do more than just make good artwork. She was a skilled ceramic artist, but also developed her writing skills, used social media for networking, and took advantage of opportunities to sell her work and get her name out into the public arena.”