AU Press Releases

‘TableSpace’ Lecture Series features noted artists, author

"TableSpace" Lecture Series Nov. 8-10 will bring noted ceramic artists and an author to the School of Art & Design at Alfred University for a three-day event that includes four lectures open to the public, as well as workshops with students.

The lecture series is being held in conjunction with "TableSpace," an exhibition at the Fosdick-Nelson Gallery, Harder Hall, on the Alfred University campus. The exhibition, which features the work of 14 ceramic artists from North America, Europe and the Far East, will be on display at the gallery through Dec. 1.

Andrea Gill, professor of ceramic art at AU, is organizing the related lecture series, which is funded by the Marcianne Mapel Miller Fund for Ceramic Art.

Participating in the lecture series will be Ole Jensen, ceramist and designer from Denmark; Howard Risatti, author of a book that explored the contemporary craft movement; and Mark Pharis, a ceramic artist and member of the faculty at the University of Minnesota. Jensen and Pharis are among the artists whose work is included in the "TableSpace" exhibition.

Jensen, considered to be one of the foremost Danish craftsmen and artists today, opens the public lectures at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, in Nevins Theater, Powell Campus Center.

Jensen, one of the artists whose work is included in the exhibition, lives and works in Copenhagen. His work includes tableware, but also a range of other products, too, from sofa beds and other furniture to lamps, clothing and household implements.

Educated at The Arts and Crafts College in Kolding, Denmark, and at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, Jensen has exhibited his work internationally and has earned numerous awards. His work is found in the collections of the Danish Arts Foundation, the Danish Museum of Art & Design, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, as well as museums in Germany, Sweden and Norway.

Jensen, Risatti and Pharis will deliver a gallery talk at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, in the Fosdick-Nelson Gallery.

Risatti, author of the acclaimed "A Theory of Craft: Function and Aesthetic Expression" published in 2007, by the University of North Carolina Press, will speak at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, in Holmes Auditorium, Harder Hall, on the AU campus. His lecture will focus on the state of contemporary crafts.

In his book, Risatti addresses "fundamental questions about craft and its unique qualities that differentiate it from fine art."

He is a professor emeritus of art history at Virginia Commonwealth University, and is also the author of "Skilled Work: American Craft in the Renwick Gallery," and "Postmodern Perspectives: Issues in Contemporary Art."

Pharis will deliver his talk at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, in Nevins Theater, Powell Campus Center.
A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Pharis returned there as a faculty member in the Department of Art. A studio potter, he focuses on functional work and "has helped define an important movement in studio pottery sometimes identified as ‘mingei-sota’ ware,’ referring to the Mingei tradition in Japanese folk crafts."

Pharis’ work has been included in numerous exhibitions and can be found in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Gardner Museum in Toronto, the Everson Museum in Syracuse and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others.

For more about the School of Art & Design at Alfred University:

For more about the Fosdick-Nelson Gallery and the current exhibition: http://fosdicknelson.alfr...

The exhibition is curated by Linda Sikora, professor of ceramic art at Alfred University, and Albion Stafford, who earned his BFA in 1999 and an MFA in 2007 from the School of Art & Design at AU and is now assistant professor at Illinois State University Normal.