Eastern Michigan University and Henry Ford College host "Resonance," dual exhibitions showcasing ceramics artwork at both institutions until Sept. 30

Showings honor the work of students who studied under former EMU art professors Susanne Stephenson and John Loree

YPSILANTI/DEARBORN – Eastern Michigan University and Henry Ford College are hosting “Resonance: Eastern Michigan University Ceramics Alumni Under the Tutelage of Susanne Stephenson & John Loree,” a dual exhibition showcasing ceramics artwork running co-currently at both EMU and HFC from now until Friday, Sept. 30.

The exhibition in EMU's Ford Gallery features the work of 30 artists who studied ceramics under retired EMU art professors Susanne Stephenson and John Loree between 1962-91.

The EMU “Resonance” exhibition is in the Ford Gallery, which is located in Ford Hall on EMU’s main campus in Ypsilanti. The Ford Gallery hours are Monday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The exhibition reception is Friday, Sept. 30, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The HFC “Resonance” exhibition is on display in the Sisson Gallery, located on the first floor of the MacKenzie Fine Arts (Building F on the main campus). The Sisson Gallery hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The closing reception is Friday, Sept. 30, from 6 to 8 p.m.

“Resonance” is co-curated by EMU Gallery Program Director Gregory Tom and HFC ceramics instructor Steve Glazer. Both “Resonance” exhibitions feature the artistry at both locations of 30 artists who studied ceramics under retired EMU art professors Stephenson and Loree between 1962-91.

A remarkable artistic influence

"Between the two of them, a remarkable cadre of students studied clay under their tutelage, with many going on to influence the field of art and ceramics on both the national and regional levels as they became important artists and educators," Tom said.

“I have used many of the techniques they’ve taught me in my classes. This is a great way to honor these two phenomenal art professors,” said Glazer, a 1976 alumnus of the EMU program.

In fact, “Resonance” is the brainchild of Glazer. He came up with it when HFC hosted Michigan Mud 2015, the Michigan Ceramic Art Association (MCAA) biennial conference. He wanted to honor Stephenson and Loree in light of all the students under their tutelage who went on to become prominent artists and/or art educators in their own right.

The exhibition includes the work of Tom Venner, a professor of art at Eastern who recently retired as dean of of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Among the other artists in this joint exhibition:

  • Joe Zajac, who recently retired after 40-plus years leading the ceramics program at Wayne State University;
  • Tom Phardel, head of the ceramics program at the College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit;
  • Robert Piepenberg, retired head of the ceramics program at Oakland Community College (OCC)–Orchard Ridge;
  • Pi Benio, who recently retired after 40 years of heading the ceramics program at Adrian College; 
  • John Murphy, an internationally-renowned artist who teaches ceramics at Schoolcraft College in Livonia;
  • Ray Katz, who has taught sculpture and welding at OCC–Auburn Hills for 40 years;
  • Sandy Happel, OCC’s Manager of Art Dept.;
  • Prominent secondary school teachers Gail Piepenberg, Dan Parrish and Catherine Rehbein, all of whom are art educators at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Milford High School in Milford and Jefferson High School in Monroe, respectively;
  • Local prominent studio potters Darcy Bowden, David Nelson and Steve Olszewski;
  • Gail Kendall, head of the ceramics program at University of Nebraska;
  • Anat Shiftan who teaches at State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz;
  • Mike Padgett, a studio potter who’s taught for years in North Dakota and Minnesota;
  • Mary Coss, of Seattle, an internationally-recognized artist as well as Ford Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts grant recipient;
  • Todd Johnson, of Knoxville, TN, who has taught at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Tennessee (U-T);
  • Ed Risak, owner of Risak Pottery in Marquette;
  • Jim Bell, owner of Under the Oaks Pottery in North Carolina;
  • Studio artists Jeff Zischke, of Arizona; Paula Sibrack Mariam, of Connecticut; and Diane Devall, of Florida; and
  • Glazer, who’s taught ceramics for 30 years, 12 of which at HFC.

EMU a hotbed for ceramics study

“EMU was THE place to go in Michigan if you wanted to study ceramics throughout the 1960s and well into the 1980s,” said Glazer. “Professor Stephenson and Professor Loree were truly inspirational people. Along with a lot of ceramic dust, a good portion of magic was produced in the old ceramics studio in Sill Hall at EMU.”

"Resonance" is part of EMU's joint "Celebration Of The Arts," a series of events highlighting the new School of Art and Design at Eastern, and symbolizes the University's ongoing goal of achieving national accreditation for all of its arts programs.

The joint events are free and open to the public. For questions about the EMU exhibition, please contact Gregory Tom at 734-487-1268 or at gtom@emich.edu. For questions about the HFC show, please contact Steve Glazer at 313-845-6485 or sglazer@hfcc.edu.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It serves 22,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. More than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information, visit the University's website.

About Henry Ford College

Henry Ford College, in Dearborn, is a comprehensive public college serving 21,000 students annually in southeast Michigan. HFC is dedicated to preparing students for a rapidly changing world and workplace by offering more than 120 associate degree, career and university transfer programs. To learn more, please visit  www.hfcc.edu.

September 19, 2016

Written by:
Media Relations

Media Contact:
Geoff Larcom