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Enriching Tradition: Making History Current

  • 18 Apr 2015
  • 10:00 AM
  • 19 Apr 2015
  • 5:30 PM
  • The Glassell School of Art, 5101 Montrose Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77006


Enriching Tradition: Making History Current

A gathering to celebrate the rich history of the Japanese aesthetic and its profound influence on contemporary America ceramics.


A two day symposium with demos and lectures with Randy Johnston and Tim Rowan. MFAH curator led lecture on the contemporary Japanese ceramics featured in the MFAH’s Unfolding Worlds: Japanese Screens and Contemporary Ceramics from the
Gitter-Yelen Collection

Saturday, April 18 – Sunday April 19, 2015

The Glassell School of Art

5101 Montrose Boulevard
Houston, Texas 77006 

Free and open to the public

Schedule of events as of 3/6/15.

Saturday, April 18:

10a.m.-10:45a.m.     Anna Walker, Windgate Foundation Curatorial Fellow for Contemporary Craft- Lecture focused on the ceramics from “Unfolding Worlds: Japanese Screens and Contemporary Ceramics from the Gitter-Yelen Collection.”

10:45-11:a.m.           Morning Break

11a.m.-12:30p.m.     Artist Talks by Randy Johnston  

                                            and Tim Rowan

12:30-1:45p.m.         Lunch Break   

2:00-5:30p.m.           Demonstrations 

Sunday, April 19:

10a.m.-1a.m.           Panel discussion with Randy and

                                Tim with Joe Havel as Moderator

11-11:30a.m.           Morning Break

11:30-1:30 p.m.       Demonstrations

1:30-2:30 p.m.         Lunch Break

 2:45-5:30p.m.         Demonstrations



Randy Johnston has had an illustrious 45-year career in ceramics. He is recognized internationally as an artist who has pursued functional expression and brought a fresh aesthetic vision to contemporary form, and for his many contributions to the development of wood kiln technology in the United States. He is currently a professor and department chair at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, where he teaches ceramics and drawing. His work has been exhibited internationally and he is the recipient of numerous awards including the Bush Artist Fellowship granted by the Bush foundation in Minnesota and two Visual Artist Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Johnston received his MFA from Southern Illinois University and a BFA in Studio Arts from the University of Minnesota where he studied with Warren MacKenzie. He also studied in Japan at the pottery of Shimaoka Tatsuzo who was a student of Shoji Hamada. Johnston has presented hundreds of lectures and guest artist presentations worldwide. He has work in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert, London, Minneapolis Art Institute, Boston Museum of fine Arts, Los Angeles County Museum, Nelson Aitkins Museum and numerous International Public and Private collections.



Tim Rowan was born in 1967 in New York City and grew up in Connecticut along the shore of Long Island Sound.  His art education began during college, receiving a BFA from The State University of New York at New Paltz before journeying to Japan for 2 years to apprentice with ceramic artist Ryuichi Kakurezaki. Upon his return he worked briefly in studios in Massachusetts and New York before receiving his MFA from The Pennsylvania State University.

He established his kiln and studio deep in the woods of the Hudson Valley in 2000, where he lives with his wife and son. He has worked as an artist-in-residence at several studios, including the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, ME, and the Fuping Ceramic Art Village, Shaanxi Provence, China. His works are are seen internationally in solo and group exhibitions and in museum collections, including the Currier Art Museum in Manchester, NH, and the Fuller Craft Museum, in Brockton, MA. Most recently, Tim was awarded the prestigious Janet Mansfield Ceramic Award from the International Ceramic Magazine Editors Association, 2013.


Anna Walker is the Windgate Foundation Curatorial Fellow for Contemporary Craft at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) where she is responsible for researching and writing on the collection as well as proposing acquisitions and developing a long-term collection strategy for craft. Prior to joining the MFAH, she was the Curator at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) where she organized exhibitions including SPRAWL (co-curator), Ctrl+P (traveled to The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design), and Beyond Useful & Beautiful: Rethinking Domestic Craft. Her most recent writings have included essays for Metalsmith and the Ctrl+P catalogue. She has lectured widely on craft and is on the selection committee for the 2016 Renwick Craft Invitational at the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Joseph Havel has exhibited extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe including solo museum exhibitions at The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead U.K., The Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis, The Museum Of Fine Arts, Houston, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, The Center for Contemporary Art, Kiev, The Huntington Beach Art Center, California, The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard, New York, and The Dallas Contemporary. He has had recent solo gallery exhibitions at Yvon Lambert, New York, Hiram Butler Gallery, Houston, Galerie Gabrielle Maubrie, Paris, Talley Dunn Gallery, Dallas and upcoming at Anthony Meier Gallery, San Francisco. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including the 2000 Whitney Biennial of American Art.  His work is inpublic collections in the U.S. and abroad including The Whitney Museum, New York, The Modern Museum of Fort Worth, The Pompidou Center, Paris, The Academy of Art, Honolulu, Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium, The Ministry of Culture, Paris, The Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis, The Menil Collection, Houston, Fundacion Rouge, Paris, The Portland Museum of Art, The Dallas Museum of Art and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  He has been at the Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Houston directing the Core Program since 1991. He was appointed Glassell School Director in 1993. He lives and works in Houston, Texas.  He has received numerous awards including a National Endowment of The Arts Fellowshipin 1987, a LouisComfort Tiffany Fellowship in 1995, Artadia Award in 2004, and the Dallas Contemporary Texas Legend Award in 2008. He was the Art League Houston’s Texas Artist of the Year in 2010 and is the 2013 Texas Visual Artist as recognized by the Texas Legislature and the Texas Commission on the Arts. He is the Director of the Glassell School of Arts where he has directed the Core Program since 1991.   


Sponsors:  ClayHouston

                   Museum of Fine Arts Houston

        Glassell School of Art

        Ceramic Store



PO Box 667401
Houston, TX 77266

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