Ceramics, Jewelry Sale Benefits VSU Art Students – Valdosta State University

Top: Jewelry by Holly Roddenbery / Bottom: Bowls, Cup by Brittney Tanner

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University’s Department of Art will host its 13th annual Christmas / Holiday Ceramics Sale from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, through Saturday, Dec. 6, in Room 1054 of the Fine Arts Building. This year’s show will also feature jewelry and small metal objects.

All of the pieces available for purchase were created by Michael T. Schmidt, head of the Department of Art and professor of art specializing in ceramics; Abigail W. Heuss, assistant professor of art specializing in jewelry, small metals, and three-dimensional works; and students currently enrolled in advanced ceramics, jewelry, and metalsmith courses. Several hundred “beautiful, functional, and affordable” items are for sale, including teapots, vases, utilitarian cups, bowls, plates, and jars, as well as sculptural forms, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and other wearable art.

“It’s a great opportunity for community members, students, faculty, and staff to visit the Fine Arts Building and step inside the ceramics studio,” Schmidt said. “We have great faculty and outstanding student work. Events such as this within the Department of Art compliment the many events held in the gallery or the theatre or the musical and symphony performances; the ceramics lab is right around the corner from all of that. Visitors get a chance to talk with the students — and faculty — ask questions about ceramics and metals, and see the equipment and the end results of their hard work and dedication to a difficult craft. Plus, they can buy something handmade, beautiful, and useful. It makes a great gift, too.”

Thirty percent of all sales will benefit the Department of Art’s Visiting Artist Fund. Schmidt said the department uses these funds to bring visiting ceramics artists to the campus for one- or two-day workshops and lectures, a tradition at VSU.

Previous visiting artists have included Julie Guyot of Tallahassee, Fla.; Mark Knott of Atlanta; A.J. Argentina of Roswell; Brian Jensen of Utah Valley University, Utah; Brooke Cassidy of Charleston, S.C.; Suzannah Zucker of the University of Georgia; Stephen Heywood of University of North Florida; Beau Raymond of Atlanta; Chuck Johnson of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania; and Ryan Fitzer of Southern Methodist University, Texas.

Funds from the sale will also benefit student travel to the annual National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts Conference. Schmidt said students who attend the conference have the opportunity to see high profile ceramics exhibitions and artist demonstrations; interact/network with other students, faculty, and artists from across the United States and around the world; investigate graduate schools and residency programs; and experience much more. The 2014 conference was held in in Milwaukee, Wis., Schmidt’s home state, and VSU had two students in attendance. The 2015 conference will be held March 25-28 in Providence, R.I.

Schmidt said that the community’s and university’s “support is truly appreciated.” He encouraged everyone to “just stop on in, listen to some music, and see what’s happening in the world of clay at VSU.”

VSU’s Department of Art offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) with a major in art, with a major in interior design, or with a major in art education, and the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) with a major in art. Individuals seeking instruction in ceramics are exposed to a variety of methods and concepts, such as coil, pinch, slab construction, extruding, and wheel throwing techniques in a traditional studio environment. Emphasis is placed on the creation of functional and sculptural forms, employing a wide range of materials, like stoneware and porcelain, with an exploration of techniques, such as electric/oxidation, raku, soda firing, and high fire reduction. Advanced ceramics students gain exposure to methods and concepts, such as plaster mold making, multiples, sets, installation, and digital transfers.

Contact Michael T. Schmidt at mschmidt@valdosta.edu or (229) 333-5835 or visit www.facebook.com/michaeltschmidtceramics for more information about the Christmas / Holiday Ceramics Sale, a fundraising event.

Call (229) 333-5835 or visit www.valdosta.edu/art to learn more about VSU’s Department of Art.

Note: The Fine Arts Building is located at the intersection of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street.

Jessica R. Pope

Communications Specialist