SuMFA Food for Thought Lecture Series: Walter McConnell

Walter McConnell earned his MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and  currently teaches there in the ceramics department. He often uses unfired ceramics in his time-based installations that resemble terrariums. In them, the unfired clay object slowly returns to dust.

To find out more about McConnell’s work, watch this behind-the-scenes video (about 2 minutes long) from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It shows a time-lapse of McConnell building his work, Calling Earth to Witness. McConnell also spoke about his work at the University of Colorado; watch him lecture on his work in this video from 2000 (about a half-hour talk).

You can also find out more about this ceramic artist through the University of the Arts Libraries. The following articles are all available through WilsonWeb (if you are off-campus, you will have to log in with your name and library barcode to access them).

McConnell's Theory of Everything (White version)
McConnell's Theory of Everything (White version)

Glen Brown’s “At the Daum Museum: Walter McConnell,” (in issue 76 of Ceramics, 2009) is a terrific article on McConnell’s work, particularly focusing on the commercial-mold mass sculptures and terrarium-like unfired clay works on exhibit at the Daum Museum in 2009. Brown discusses the similarities and contrasts of desire that resonant between the two types of work.

In “Encountering Abundance: Multiplicity in Clay” (Ceramics, issue 63, 2006), Holly Hanessian mentions McConnell’s work in discussing with five other artists who work in multiples in clay. In particular,his piece Theory of Everything (Blue Version) is noted.

Mitchell Merback’s “Cooled Matter: Ceramic Sculpture in the Expanded Field” (Ceramics, issue 39 2000) reviews the revised and updated version of the 1999 NCECA Conference exhibition, Cooled Matter. Merback details the work of the six sculptors included in the show, among them McConnell.

Find out more information on the Summer MFA Food for Thought lecture series. Lectures are about an hour long, free and open to the public.

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