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Art professor delivers keynote at international symposium
10/04/13

John Gill, professor of ceramic art in the School of Art & Design at Alfred University, delivered the keynote address at an international symposium organized by the 2013 Gyeonggie International Ceramic Biennale  (GICB) on Sept. 27 in Incehon Cerapia, Korea.

The theme for the symposium was “Co-Existence,” and was based on the GICB theme, “Community, With Me, With You, With Us.”

Gill said his talk was based on seven “stories” about what influences his art. “I think in stories,” he explained. “Those who know me, like my students, realize that the critique I give will be a parable of an idea that I see in my mind as a story.”

Some of the stories Gill told are based on tales he remembers from childhood; others are “invented” by him. Each, he said, is an allegory for the creative process he employs.

A member of the Alfred University School of Art & Design faculty since 1984, Gill received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Kansas City Art Institute, in 1973 and his MFA in 1975 from Alfred University’s acclaimed masters program in ceramic art.

Gill has been recognized internationally as an artist and teacher.

His work has been shown at the Dorothy Weiss Gallery, San Francisco; the Grace Borgenight Gallery and the Kraushaar Gallery in New York City and the Hadler-Rodriguez Gallery in Houston, and is included in the collections of the Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MN: George Saxe, Menlo Park, CA: Helen Drutt Gallery, Philadelphia; the Taipei Museum; the Brooklyn Museum and the Neward, NJ, Museum, as well as private collections.

Gill is the recipient of numerous awards, grants and fellowships, and is frequently invited to deliver lectures and workshops.

He received the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2009.

Gill has taught a wide range of classes, from the team-taught Freshman Foundation course to sophomore wheel and hand-building classes to glaze calculations and raw materials. He has also advised a number of students in Alfred University’s Master of Fine Arts program in ceramic art, which has ranked at the top of U.S. News and World Report’s “Guide to Best Graduate Schools” each year that art programs have been ranked.

“The quality of his teaching is matched by the quality and recognition of his art,” wrote William LaCourse, professor of glass science and former head of the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in nominating Gill for the SUNY award. Gill’s art is “seen all over the world,” its distinctive qualities making it instantly recognizable as his work. In spite of the time he puts into his teaching, Gill has remained active as an artist, maintaining “an impressive record of art presentations with 33 gallery shows in the past 10 years.”

He taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Michigan, Colorado State University, Kent State University, and the University of Washington before returning to AU in 1984. He was also an instructor with the Archie Bray Foundation.