Tag Archives: ceramics

School of Visual Arts Abuzz with Student Activities

There are myriad opportunities for students in the School of Visual Arts to engage with their art interests outside of class as well as through class activities that interact with the campus and greater art community.  Here are some of the activities taking place just this week!


Print and Ceramics Sale

Biannual Print and Ceramics Sale.  Twice a year, students in the Works on Paper Guild and the Ceramics Guild sell their work in the Roland Dille Center for the Arts.  This spring’s sale took place on Monday and Tuesday, and, as always, was a very popular and successful event.


Mini Madness

Mini Madness Juried Exhibition.  Students enrolled in Art 498 Exhibition design and carry out a number of exhibitions.  Mini Madness consists of artworks by faculty and students, each no larger than 3″ x 3″ x 3.”  Students in the class selected 32 works for the display from the large number entered.  Opening is tomorrow at 5 pm, outside the Critique Room (CA 172).

Annual Freshman Field Trip to the Twin Cities.  Each year, freshman rise bright and early for a full-day trip to Twin Cities museums and galleries.  Highlights of last week’s trip included the Hopper exhibition at the Walker Art Museum.

Caricature Drawing.  Students in Introduction to Illustration will be setting up in the student union tomorrow and drawing caricatures for members of the campus community.  Stop by and get your caricature drawn–free!

This is only a small sample of the ongoing creative energy in the School of Visual Arts.  Student groups include Dragons Den Comics, Painting Guild, Works on Paper Guild, Photo Guild, Ceramics Guild, and National Art Education Association MSUM Student Chapter.



School of Visual Arts Offers Distinctive Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program


Catie Miller, works on exhibit, MSUM Roland Dille Center for the Arts, 2012.

The School of Visual Arts offers a unique portfolio development opportunity for students who have completed a BA or BFA from a studio art program. The Certificate in Studio Research is an intensive, one-year program of study designed to prepare students for professional work in the art world.  Students exiting the program have a cohesive body of work, which prepares them for myriad professional opportunities, including applying for graduate school, residencies, or grants; developing a strong web presence for freelance work; approaching galleries for exhibition opportunities; and more.

Some of the exciting success stories of previous students who completed extended study in the School of Visual Arts include Elise Parsley, Catie Miller, and Kaylyn Gerenz.  Elise Parsley graduated in 2011 with a portfolio in illustration; she has already secured a book contract with a major publisher (see story here).  Catie Miller, ceramics, graduated in 2013, and is currently working as an artist-in-residence at Red Star Studios (story); Kaylyn Gerenz completed study in sculpture in 2011, received a Career Development Grant in 2012, and is currently working as the Programming Associate and Registrar at the Rourke Museum in Moorhead, Minnesota (story).

To apply for the Certificate in Studio Research, applicants must have an overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75. and 3.0 in art.  Applicants must also present a portfolio of works and complete a written proposal.

For more information or to request application forms, contact Sherry Lee Short at shortsh@mnstate.edu.

Deadline for the 2014-2015 year is April 1, 2014.

End-of-the-Semester Kudos to SVA Students

A number of majors in the School of Visual Arts had significant achievements this semester.  Hats off!


Ashley Strazzinski.

  • Ashley Strazzinski, who is graduating with an emphasis in Photography this fall, received a Work Scholar Internship at Aperture magazine in New York City.  She starts her internship in January.
  • Several students had their work selected by faculty to show at a Minnesota State Colleges and Universities alumni event in Saint Paul in December.  The students were:  Marissa Van Vleet, Katelyn Hanson, Shalene Cole, Kai Paulus, Brooke Stewart, Becca Larsen, Chai Vang, Yvonne Wegscheid, Katie Mikkelsen, Cara Allbee, and Jesse Suppa.
  • Bertha Vasquez (Sculpture), Takara Geck (Photography), Chantel Fugere (Illustration), Shannon Hokstad (Art History), and Linnea Fittererand (Art History) presented papers at the Red River Women’s Studies Conference in Grand Forks, North Dakota, on October 4. (For the full story, click here).
  • Jesse Suppa (Sculpture) is serving on the College of Arts, Media, and Communication Student Advisory Board to the Dean.
  • Courtney Johnson, who is graduating with an emphasis in Photography and a minor in Business Management this fall, had two pieces accepted into the national juried exhibition, Reflections of Autumn, in Romeo, Michigan. Her work, Red Sweep, received second place in the exhibition.
  • Meghann Hlibichuck (Painting) and Megan Brabec (Painting) participated in the Autumn Art Auction at the North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks.  Their works were featured in the color catalog.
  • Sam Williams

    Samuel Williams.

    Samuel Williams (Illustration) is working as a freelance illustrator for Institute of Domestic Violence in the African American Community in Minneapolis.

  • Painting students Alex Nelson, Carly Lengstorf,  Meghann Hlibichuk, Megan Brobec, Katelyn Hanson, Megan Quiring, and Cara Allbee participated in 2013 Annual Area Invitational Show at the Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Fergus Falls.  Katelyn Hanson received Merit Award.

2013 Ceramics Grad Receives Residency, Featured in National Magazine

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.

Catie Miller.

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.

Catie Miller

Catie Miller assisting a girl trying out wheel throwing in the Red Star Studios booth at the Plaza Art Fair in Kansas City.

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.”

"Hoard Cups," earthenware with colored slips, 2012.

Ceramics by Catie Miller: “Hoard Cups,” earthenware with colored slips, 2012.

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.”

To view Catie Miller’s work see her website and Etsy page.

Annual Ceramics Installation on View in Great White Hall

East and West walls of the Great White Hall in the Roland Dille Center for the Arts.

East and West walls of the Great White Hall in the Roland Dille Center for the Arts.  Students whose work is shown, from left to right: Caroline Juel, Britney Lietha, Meagan Hargreaves, Dar Eckert, Chris Alveshere, Grace Clark, Eryn Anderson, Jorddan Kleindl, Ellen Fee, Bertha Vasquez, Olivia Bain, Spencer Johannes.

The annual display of ceramic installation works by students in Intermediate Handbuilding is now on view in the Great White Hall in the Roland Dille Center for the Arts.  This year, thirteen SVA students participate.

I get a lot of positive feed back from people who work in the Center for Arts about this project. This project makes the building come alive and feel like a creative space. It makes a nice entrance to the gallery, and serves as an exciting backdrop for all the gallery openings. –Professor Kelli Sinner

The concept for each student’s project was to create an installation of multiple ceramic pieces that successfully addressed issues of scale and presence.  The process was intensive.  Although the actual installation only took a few hours, students worked on their projects for two months before final installation.  After creating a design, each student made clay positives.  The clay positives were then used to create molds from which multiples were produced.  Students also mixed and tested glazes, experimented with other surface treatments, and explored mixed-media possibilities.  In addition, they had to create hanging devices as well as paper templates to prepare for the day of installation.

Working on an intensive project prepares students for their future as professionals in the art world.  Professional artists must be able to solve complex problems on a deadline.  School of Visual Arts major, Britney Lietha, whose piece, Tufts, is included in the display observed, “It was a trial and error process.  Time management is the key.”

Kelli Sinner, instructor for Intermediate Handbuilding, comments that the “students know that this is a high traffic area, and a lot of people are going to see these pieces, and so they put extra effort into the project so they can be proud of what they installed.”

Installation in progress.

Installation in progress.

The display will be on view until March.  The Great White Hall is entered from the main doors on the North Side of the Roland Dille Center for the Arts.

Olivia Bain installing her piece, "Moose Landing."

Olivia Bain installing her piece, “Moose Landing.”

"Octopus," by Emme Ness.

“Octopus,” by Emme Ness.