A more-than-30-year career
- BFA - Kansas City Art Institute - Painting - 1964
- MFA - University of Nebraska - Ceramics - 1969
It is very difficult to condense one's life plus a thirty plus year career into a few very readable paragraphs, but here goes: Both of my parents were artists, who met while working on the WPA Artist and Writers Project in New York City illustrating children's books for the Public Schools of New York City. I was born in the middle of Harlem.
My art career began when I was a child; my mother gave me pencils and paper as well a large lump of Plasticene clay (my favorite toy) - and lots of encouragement. After a four-year enlistment in the Air Force, I figured that Art was the only way to go. I enrolled at the Kansas City Art Institute and became a Scupture Major, which was later changed to painting. Drawing was a very important part of this experience. At that time, there was not a Ceramics Major, but I took several semesters of Ceramics. Some of the major influences I felt there: an introduction to the Baroque and Rococo (which was ridiculed by everyone working in this period of time because they were busy glorifying Abstract Expressionism); so-called primitive art; and giants like Henry Moore. During that time I married a fellow student, Judy Love. After the Art Institute, I worked at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City for a year and nine months. Since Hallmark had a super medical plan, we had a child, Sara Mercedes. This was in the mid 60's, and change was immanent. We "dropped out" and moved to Santa Fe and Madrid, New Mexico for about a year. There, I started making art totally on my own, began to build up a group of works and was invited to attend graduate school at the University of Nebraska where I majored in Ceramics.
Upon receiving my MFA at Nebraska, I taught at Kansas State University for two years, Judy wound up on staff and taught there for twenty-five years. Since then I have been making art as fast as I can mix up clay. When Judy and I divorced in 1974 (we are now very good friends), I went to Vail, Colorado. For several years I lived in a 1950 Chevrolet school bus and set up a studio to ceramic goodies wherever I found myself. I taught at the SummerVail Art Workshop for about twelve summers and most of my later connections derived from those experiences. In 1982 I settled in Denver and worked at Santa Fe Pottery on Santa Fe Drive for 16 years. In 1983 I met Ruth DeOreo and we have been together since.
During the time in Denver I became interested in doing larger works, which include several wall murals, bathroom sink and mirror sets. I built two large fire-breathing dragons, which are installed in Chicago. One was presented on the "Today" show. And more recently I was a featured artisan on the Lynette Jennings Design Show on the Discovery Channel. Theses big pieces are made of sculptureal stoneware, but the vast majority of my work is made of Porcelain, the King of Clay.
My switch to Porcelain came in about 1985 when I realized that to get the bright colors I needed a white background; the same reason watercolorists use white paper.
I have taught at several universities as well as giving workshops featuring my techniques, influences and aesthetics. These workshops are a real pleasure to present. Also, I show and sell my work at about six to seven art fairs and festivals during the year. My building in Denver was sold in 1998 and my rent tripled. I moved my studio and home to Wabaunsee, Kansas in 1999 and lived in an 1890 wooden schoolhouse with an old doublewide trailer for a studio. After outgrowing (and realizing I am NOT a yard maintenance person) I sold this in March 2004 and bought a 6,000 square foot ex-auto dealership building in Beautiful Downtown Lucas, Kansas - the home of the Garden of Eden and Grassroots Art Center - where I set up my studio and gallery.
Lucas is about 16 miles north of I-70, Exit 208 (Wilson exit). Check out the area at www.lucaskansas.com. Highway 232 is a Kansas State Scenic Byway.
Thanks for visiting my web site.
EA - World Renowned Professional Professor of Porkelain Proficiency.