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Art Faculty to Feature in Nat'l Ceramics Confab

O'Donnell, Berti to play role at NCECA Annual Conference March 19-22

Thursday, March 13, 2014
Parkland College art faculty talent will be featured on the national stage next week during a ceramic arts educators conference in Milwaukee.

Art and Design faculty Chris Berti and Laura O'Donnell will play a role at the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts' 48th annual conference, March 19–22. O'Donnell, an art history instructor at Parkland, will be the discussion leader for conference topic "The Figure In, On, or Of Clay" while Berti, a sculptor and Parkland professor of ceramics, will serve as curator for a featured exhibit, "The Figure in Clay," to be held in conjunction with the conference.

O'Donnell's session will explore why the human form has remained such a fascinating subject and concept for thousands of years in ceramic art. "The figure in, on, or of clay is an expression of both its subject matter and its physical medium," O'Donnell said in a statement about the session. "The past decade has witnessed a proliferation of ceramic artists using the figure. What do they say about contemporary society?"

O’Donnell has an MA in Art History and an MFA in Ceramics both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her writing has been published in Ceramics Art and Perception, Ceramics Technical, and Critical Ceramics, as well as in several exhibition catalogues. Her artwork appears in 10 of Lark’s 500 Series books featuring ceramic art, and she exhibits regularly at Cinema Gallery in Urbana.

As part of the conference, “The Figure in Clay” exhibition, curated by Berti, will be held at the Tory Folliard Gallery in Milwaukee March 19–April 19. This showing examines the work of an international group of contemporary artists who use clay as a medium to interpret the figure as both subject and content.

Berti is an active NCECA exhibitor with works in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; and the Frederick Meijer Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids. 

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