Art professor oversees annual ceramic institute at Otterbein

Posted Aug 27, 2019

While Otterbein’s students were on summer break, Jim Bowling, co-chair of the Department of Art and Art History, was still hard at work in Otterbein’s ceramic studio.

Bowling was overseeing the 2019 Otterbein Summer Ceramic Institute: Creatures and Characters with featured artist Erika Sanada from July 29-Aug. 9.

The Otterbein Summer Ceramic Institute (OCIS) is an annual two-week summer intensive studio program designed for intermediate to advanced level clay artists. Established in 2006, the institute offers the opportunity to work in a hands-on environment with nationally renowned ceramic artist, and is offered for credit.

“The goal of OCIS is to support the growth, knowledge and experience base of all participants in the institute,” said Bowling. “It also increases participants’ awareness of what is “happening” in the contemporary ceramic art world, exposing them to different ways of thinking about their own work.”

Participants leave the institute with an invigorated since of themselves as artists with new ways of thinking about their own work.

Sanada, this year’s guest artist, is a clay sculptor working in San Francisco. She was selected for her unique approach to the use of animal forms as vehicles of expression of human emotions and her own personal life experiences.

“Each invited artist is nationally and/or internationally recognized for their work in clay, but I also try to select artists who work well as demonstrators and instructors in a group setting,” said Bowling.

Past OCIS participants often return annually, which speaks to the depth and impact of the experience and to its ability to provide continued and expansive learning experiences. In many ways, the program has helped identify the important role the Otterbein Art and Art History Department plays in the central Ohio ceramics community, as well as the broader arts community.

See more photos from the Summer Ceramic Institute in our Flickr photo gallery.