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Happening now: Prestigious ceramic-art exhibition at UND

Hughes Fine Arts Center hosts ‘50 Bowls, 50 States, 50 Woodfires’ traveling exhibit, previously shown in American Museum of Ceramic Art

porcelain bowls
Porcelain bowls from the ’50 Bowls, 50 States, 50 Woodfires’ exhibition are now on exhibit in the Hughes Fine Arts Center. Contributed image.

What: 50 Bowls, 50 States, 50 Woodfires porcelain bowl exhibitionThis travelling exhibit was displayed previously in the American Museum of Ceramic Art.

Who: Artist Elaine Olafson Henry. She will be on campus on Thursday, Feb. 29, to attend the exhibit’s closing reception, which will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Hughes Fine Arts Center.

When: The exhibit is now on campus, and will run through Thursday, Feb. 29.

Where: Hughes Fine Arts Center, Colonel Eugene E. Myers Art Gallery.

Background: Members of the UND and Greater Grand Forks Communities are invited to attend an exhibition of 50 porcelain bowls, created by artist Elaine Olafson Henry. The bowls are now on display in the UND Hughes Fine Arts Center, and will remain there through Thursday, Feb. 29.

The exhibit is called 50 Bowls, 50 States, 50 Woodfires, and is Olafson Henry’s investigation into how woodfire can change the outcomes of finished porcelain pieces. For this exhibit, she created 50 bowls using the same clay, shaping and glazing process. She then shipped a bowl to a local artist in each state, for wood firing. The result of the firing process are porcelain bowls, striking in their uniqueness, despite being made from the same material.

From the American Museum of Ceramic Art’s website (AMOCA), Olafson Henry explains:

“The raw materials are the same, but the experience of the firing is unique to each site,” she said. “The kiln type, the wood species, the length of the firing, the goal temperature, the weather; all contribute to the end result. Each bowl is unique, even though it started out with many nearly identical siblings.”

About Olafson Henry (from the AMOCA website):

“Elaine Olafson Henry is a ceramics artist, curator, writer, proofreader, and local volunteer. She is the former Editor and Publisher of the international ceramics journals Ceramics: Art & Perception and Ceramics TECHNICAL. She earned a BFA from the University of Wyoming, an MFA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and an MA in English at the University of Wyoming.”

A UND student ID is not required for this event. Details can be found on the UND Events Calendar.

For more information, contact: Wesley Smith, wesley.smith@UND.edu, 701-777-3362