Clay 4: Perspectives

Featuring Heather Nameth Bren, Sandra Jean Ceas, KyoungHwa Oh, & S.C. Rolf

Date Thursday, March 31
through Sunday, May 22, 2011
Location Olson Gallery

Event Description

Show Events

Artist Talk with Heather Nameth Bren and S.C. Rolf
March 31
6 p.m.
Eastlund Room, CLC Building, 2nd Floor
Opening reception following the talk

Clay: 4 Perspectives includes the work of four artists who work with clay from distinctly different approaches, ranging from functional to concept-based ceramic works. S.C. Rolf's ceramic works pay deep attention to functionality and the experience of using ceramic vessels in every day life. The nature of KyoungHwa Oh's work explores the intersection of sculptural yet functional ceramic pieces. Conceptually based and laced in humor, Heather Nameth Bren's ceramic sculptures and installations question the idea of how we as a culture assess and assign value. Sandra Jean Ceas' work expands outside of the gallery space into public spaces around the world. She has been casting small palm-sized porcelain doves since 2006 and placing them randomly around the world as an anonymous gift for discovery.

About the Artists

Heather Nameth Bren is a studio artist who has been working with ceramic sculpture for fifteen years. She received a Masters of Fine Arts in Ceramics from the University of Kansas in 2003. Shortly after graduating, Bren received a Jerome Foundation Artists Project Grant through Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis. Bren was named an Emerging Artist by Ceramics Monthly Magazine. Most recently, Bren was awarded the 2010 McKnight Foundation Fellowship for ceramic artists. In addition to her studio practice, Bren has been an Assistant Professor of Art for the last three years at Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minn.

Sandra Jean Ceas is an artist, educator, and international speaker for the arts. Much of her work is for public installation or intervention. She works in a variety of materials with an affinity for clay. The motive behind Sandra's art-making is to create contemplation and discourse within the public sphere. Her work projects spiritual emotions that cross the everyday ethos of the times. Sandra holds an M.F.A. in new genres from the San Francisco Art Institute, a B.F.A. in sculpture from Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design in Denver, Colo., a A.A.S. in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, and is presently finishing up a M.A. in Religious Studies at the Denver University. Sandra exhibits her art in many traveling exhibitions throughout the world and continues her public Blessing Dove interventions internationally. She lives and works from a home studio in the mountains of Colorado.

KyoungHwa Oh was born in Seoul, Korea, where she spent her childhood and naturally developed a connection to traditional Korean ceramics (Koryo Celadon). She studied fashion design in Korea and worked for five years as a designer before coming to the United States to gain more design experience. While in the United States, she became interested in working with clay and changed her plans to study ceramics. She received a B.F.A. in ceramics from Washburn University in Kansas in 2004. Then in 2005 she was accepted into the M.F.A. program at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., where she completed her degree in August 2008. She have been working as a Visiting Resident Artist at Midwestern State University since 2009. Her life experiences and cultural background inspire her ceramic pieces. Her work consists of functional and sculptural carved porcelain. First, her pieces are thrown on the wheel, and then altered by cutting, adding clay and carving to create new forms. Through the carving process she strives to depict positive and negative space uniting the ideas of fullness and emptiness. She creates ceramic objects that reflect traditional Korean culture and western contemporary style. Eastern and Western cultures are symbolically expressed through this language. Like Yin and Yang, her work encompasses the influence between traditional Asian values and modern Western society. 

S.C. Rolf lives and works as a studio potter in River Falls, Wisc., creating one-of-a-kind functional pots. His work reflects an ongoing search to unite his ideas with the generosity and the intimacy that the functional pot offers. "I continually play with shape and surface within parameters set by the intended purpose of the pot. These parameters open a world of exploration for me." S. C. Rolf holds an M.F.A. from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, a B.F.A. from the Kansas City Art Institute, and a BS in Broad Area Arts from the University of Wisconsin River Falls. He also apprenticed under Wang Hui Ming, a master painter and wood engraver. Rolf exhibits his work throughout the United States and has received a number of national and international awards. He also lectures and teaches workshops throughout the country. His work resides in noted private and museum collections, as well as numerous kitchen cupboards.


Michelle Westmark
Gallery Director and Assistant Professor of Art