The University Record, October 31, 1994

Exhibition celebrates work of ceramist John Stephenson

A two-part, simultaneous exhibition opening Nov. 4 will celebrate the work of ceramist John Stephenson on the occasion of his retirement from the School of Art.

Stephenson, the Catherine B. Heller Distinguished Professor of Art, has been a faculty member for more than 35 years, serving as interim dean of the School in 1991–93.

“After the Fire, A Retrospective” will be on view both at the Slusser Gallery in the School of Art and the Museum of Art. Opening receptions will be held Nov. 4 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Museum and at 8 p.m. in the Slusser Gallery. Stephenson will also present a slide lecture in conjunction with the exhibitions. “John Stephenson: Clay in the Mind’s Eye” will begin at 8 p.m. Nov. 10 in Chrysler Center Auditorium.

Stephenson, with degrees from the University of Northern Iowa and the Cranbrook Academy of Art, has also taught at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Penland School, the Univer-sity of Iowa, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Maryland Institute and the Centro Sperimentale d’Arte in Switzerland. He joined the faculty in 1959.

His work in ceramics has brought him numerous awards and grants, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, as well as grants from the Michigan Council for the Arts, Rackham Research Grants, and a Faculty Recognition Award. He also received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Grand Valley State University in Allendale.

Stephenson’s works are included in the collections or have been exhibited at the Smithsonian, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, the Faenza Museum in Italy, the Waterloo Museum of Art, and at Pewabic Pottery in Detroit.

“Now as he assumes emeritus status at the U-M,” says Allen Samuels, dean of the School of Art, “moving from the classroom to full-time in the studio, it will be a time for him to focus on his work without interruption and on exhibitions of his work which will, I am sure, continue to engage and influence all of us in how we see and think.”