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Alfred University professor McConnell exhibits in Washington state

Walter McConnell prepares his installation, Itinerant Edens (photo courtesy Belleview Art Museum)

Walter McConnell prepares his installation, Itinerant Edens (photo courtesy Belleview Art Museum)

BELLEVUE, WA – Walter McConnell, professor of ceramics in the Alfred University School of Art and Design, has an installation of his work on exhibit at the Bellevue Arts Museum.

The installation, Itinerant Edens: A Measure of Disorder, displays figures made from unfired clay, sealed in terrarium-like enclosures. It is modeled on McConnell’s recent project, Of Fable and Facsimile, which featured a sculptural, inter-generational portrait of the artist, his father, and his nephew rendered in fresh clay.

McConnell and his assistants were on site for two weeks creating the component parts of the unfired clay installation. Among the assistants were students from Kate Roberts’ intermediate ceramics class at the University of Washington. Roberts earned bachelor’s (2010) and master’s (2015) in fine arts degrees from Alfred University and is a lecturer in the School of Art, Art History and Design at the University of Washington.

Belleview Art Museum Facebook post shows time-lapse video of installation.

The figures in the McConnell’s installation are digitally scanned and prototyped from live models, which are then cast and pulled from molds. Itinerant Edens, which opened Oct. 20 and runs through February 11, 2018, offers a look at intersections between analogue and digital processes in the service of art, illustrated through the device of the human figure. McConnell’s earthen forms -- sustained momentarily in their fictional landscapes -- appear fragile and ghostly, positing impermanence as the inevitable condition of natural systems. Indeed, due to the changing nature of the raw material, the works will slowly transform throughout the course of the exhibition.

McConnell earned a master of fine arts degree in ceramic art from Alfred University in 1986.