In Brief

Sugaring Time Again; Former President Writes Autobiography; Alum Signs with Baseball Team; News from the Nursing and Business Administration Departments and more.

Making Their Mark

Learn about how our community members engage in writing, presentations and exhibitions.

Past as Prologue

Explore Haystack, a portal to the history of Colby-Sawyer College.

Colby-Sawyer Courier

Keep up with campus news from students' perspectives through the Colby-Sawyer Courier.


This new literary magazine features creative writing in many genres by current students and alumni, faculty and staff, and a few friends and partners.


Find out what Colby-Sawyer alumni have been up to since graduation.

Giants of Clay

The Studio Potter Collection Features Major Ceramic Artists

Co-curator Jon Keenan explains: The Studio Potter Collection (an exhibition opening at the Marian Graves Mugar Art Gallery Sept. 7) not only represents some of the most important ceramic work being done in the United States over the last 35 years, but also some of America's most extraordinary artists.

Wood and Duchamp

Beatrice Wood and Marcel Duchamp (far left) at Coney Island, New York, June 21, 1917.

Among those included in the show is Beatrice Wood (1893-1998), whose event-filled, 106-year life was the inspiration for the Kate Winslet character in the 1997 Hollywood film, “Titanic.” Wood's work as an actress, painter, friend and collaborator of French Dadaist Marcel Duchamp, and student of Eastern philosophies culminated in her career as a beloved and world-renowned ceramic artist in Ojai, Calif. She was declared a California Treasure in 1984.

A Range of Artists and Styles

Keenan describes another artist in the exhibition, Sana Musasama, as “arguably the most prominent African-American woman ceramic artist.” Based in New York City, Musasama will be represented in the Mugar Gallery show by a wall piece from a series dealing with the controversial African ritual procedure of female circumcision. She will be a visiting artist at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., from January through February 2007.

Other important clay artists in the exhibition include Don Reitz, prominent member of the Abstract Expressionist clay movement; Mary Roehm, a professor at SUNY New Paltz, known for her traditional wood firing; Malcolm Wright of Marlboro, Vt., who works with Japanese climbing kilns both in the United States and Japan and Mary Barringer of Shelburne, Mass., current editor of The Studio Potter, whose work in the show includes a fascinating low-temperature fired texture with abstract imagery.

Don Reitz Platter

Don Reitz (b. 1929), Platter, 1986. Woodfired and salted stoneware, 3 x19" (dia). The Studio Potter Collection. Photograph by Bill Truslow.

A Remarkable Collection and a Great Publication

As a survey of what clay and ingenuity can create, The Studio Potter Collection runs the gamut of ceramic types, from salt-glazed stoneware to slip-decorated white ware to painted porcelain. Starting with teapots, platters, and other useful pieces and ranging to expressionistic vessels and monumental wall plaques, the selection of some 30 works will explore the full variety of the styles, decorative techniques and expressions explored by contemporary artists in clay.

The exhibition will be the public's first opportunity since 1992 to see selections from the legendary Studio Potter Collection. Chosen by the ceramic artists themselves as gifts to The Studio Potter magazine and its parent nonprofit foundation, the Studio Potter Collection is one of the most important of its kind in the United States.

Keenan's co-curator for the exhibition, master potter Gerry Williams, founded The Studio Potter in 1972 as publication for and about America's studio potters---men and women who create pottery and other ceramic art as independent artists.

Williams, who settled in Dunbarton, N.H., in the early 1950s, edited the nonprofit magazine for decades while simultaneously managing careers as a leading ceramic artist, teacher and lecturer. The Studio Potter has become one of the country's leading art publications. In 1998, Gerry Williams was named New Hampshire's first Artist Lauriate for his contributions to the state's artistic culture.

A Teaching Resource

Wood Vessel

Beatrice Wood (1893-1998), Vessel, 1991. Earthenware with gold luster, 10” x 10.” The Studio Potter Collection. Photograph by Bill Truslow.

“I'm looking forward to a spectacular show of what is going on in ceramics these days,” says Rebekah Tolley, director of the Mugar Gallery and assistant professor of fine and performing arts. “Besides the important earlier work, we will be seeing some unique pieces and trends in contemporary ceramics where artists have gone beyond the form and function of traditional ceramics to bizarre forms and innovative designs that make their work truly art objects. I am happy we are able to support such an important organization as The Studio Potter and am very excited about this show.”

“This exhibition is a wonderful opportunity for students or anyone else interested in the world of ceramics,” says Keenan. “I am grateful to Gerry Williams for making this possible.”

There will be an Opening Reception at the gallery on Sept. 14. The exhibition continues through Oct. 5.