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Ceramics students bring regional show to Athens

Feb. 4, 2005

By Cassie Lynott

Second-year graduate students from the School of Art's ceramics program in the College of Fine Arts have teamed up with graduate students from universities in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to exhibit their work in "Exchange: Ohio University Regional Ceramics Show."

Unveiled Tuesday, Jan. 11, the show runs through Saturday, Feb. 5, at the Ohio University Art Gallery in Siegfried Hall. The exhibit is sponsored by the School of Art, the Gallery Fund and the ceramics program, which U.S. News and World Report ranked fifth in the nation for its graduate program in 2003.

The show's creators, Colleen Toledano, Lea Zoltowski and Tannaz Farsi, are second-year graduate students in the ceramics program.

"It's a pretty good show," Toledano says. "There is a great representation of functional, sculptural, installation and mixed media ceramics exhibited." Toledano's favorite submission is her "Polar Attire" collection, a collection of polar bear outfits constructed using mixed media ceramics.

Mixed media ceramics, according to Toledano, combine ceramic parts and materials, such as metal-casting and fabrics, to form finished pieces.

Seventeen second-year graduate students from Kent State University, Ohio State University, Bowling Green State University, West Virginia University, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and Ohio University have contributed artwork. Each student exhibits two pieces and was granted $50 for shipping and travel expenses.

The exchange culminates with a daylong symposium kicked off with a lecture in Siegfried Hall's Mitchell Auditorium from visiting artist Laura Jean McLaughlin at noon on Friday, Feb. 4. A reception will be held later that day from 5 to 6 p.m. in the gallery.

A Pittsburgh native, McLaughlin is a full-time ceramic artist whose work is sold in over 80 galleries nationally and internationally. She teaches workshops at several universities and is a recipient of the Maggie Milano Memorial Award from the Carnegie Museum, as well as three residencies from Kolher Company in Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.laurajeanmclaughlin.com.  

Brad Schwieger, faculty adviser for the event, says he was impressed by his students' eagerness to create the show.

"They've taken this whole idea and taken it upon themselves to do all the adverting and fund-raising," Schwieger says. "I think they deserve all the credit. They've taken this on very professionally and the outcome is quite exceptional. All I'm doing is enjoying the show."

Cassie Lynott is a student writer with University Communications and Marketing.

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