Virginia Commonwealth University

Craft / Material Studies

Visiting Artists | Christina Miller

Craft/Material Studies + Radical Jewelry Makeover Presents 

Christina Miller, Executive Director of Ethical Metalsmiths 

Lecture | The Ethical Jewelry Movement | Thursday, March 27th |12:00pm at 609 Bowe Street, RM 535

EM_CM_300dpi_8.5x11_Cm at Aurelsa with miners


image: Christina Miller speaking with miners of AURELSA (a Fairmined certified artisanal mine) Relave, Peru.

BIO: Christina Miller, executive director and co-founder of Ethical Metalsmiths (EM); Founded in 2004, EM leads jewelers and consumers in becoming informed activists for responsible mining, sustainable economic development, and for the use of verified, ethical sources of materials in jewelry making. In 2013 EM successfully and broadly introduced Fairmined gold to the US in collaboration with 23 independent jewelers. Radical Jewelry Makeover, EM’s popular jewelry re-use project, co-designed Christina Miller and Susie Ganch, continues to engage communities around the country in conversations about jewelry and consumption. Miller presents internationally on the topic of ethical jewelry, transparent sourcing and activism through art. Prior to assuming the directorship of EM, Miller was an assistant professor of jewelry and metalsmithing at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, where she had received her BFA prior to receiving an MFA from East Carolina University. She received a Distinguished Civic Leadership award while at teaching at Millersville for her work with Ethical Metalsmiths. 



Visiting Artists | Joshua Enck

Tuesday, March 25th @ 12:00pm

609 Bowe Street, RM 535


image: Joshua Enck Oxide Turnout Corten weathering steel, rust, and mahogany Dimensions: 19.5 high x 21.5 wide x 112 long August 2007


BIO Born in Illinois and now residing in Massachusetts, Joshua creates sculptures that capture the tension between the spontaneity of the artistic process and the restraint of meticulous craftsmanship. He draws inspiration from the visual language of obsolescence, from antique dress forms to vernacular barn roofs and railroad oil cans. Joshua uses sketching to investigate the essence of forms without working out every detail on paper. He then takes the ideas that excite him into the studio where they grow through improvisation as he embraces the unforeseen possibilities that arise when building by hand.

Joshua’s sculptures embrace a raw awkward sensibility that emerges through their making, and while they are beautiful forms, they often challenge the prevailing notion of beauty. They are asymmetrical, quirky and animated, but one thing they all have in common is the attention to detail.


The labor-intensive metal fabrication and woodworking techniques he uses to realize challenging compound curves and angular geometrics are what makes Joshua’s pieces so exceptional. His attention to details early on in the process are continued to the finish of these beautiful pieces. Joshua experiments with metal oxidation, burnished paints and repetitive tool markings suggest histories not fully available to the viewer. His finished sculptures are striking, idiosyncratic objects that celebrate the perfection of the imperfect.




Visiting Artists | Michael Rogers

Tuesday, February 25th @ 12:00pm

1000 W. Broad Street, RM 238

The Murmur of Bees detail


image: Michael Rogers, The Murmur of Bees

Michael Rogers is currently a Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology’s School For American Crafts in New York where he has taught for the past nine years in the Glass Program. Previously he spent 11 years in Japan where he was head of Aichi University’s Glass Program.


His work is in several international permanent collections, including the Suntory Museum in Japan and the Corning Museum of Glass in the United States. Recent exhibitions include “Art on The Edge” at the New Mexico Museum of Art, Art Santa Fe with Bullseye Gallery, “Messages and Written Narratives” at the Chautauqua Institute, NY, “Palimpsests and Ephemera” at the Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA, and “Voice of Glass” at the Academy of Art in Riga, Latvia.


This past year Michael has lectured at North Lands in Scotland, the New University of Lisbon in Portugal, Aalto University of Art and Design in Helsinki, Finland and Toyama Institute of Glass Art in Japan. When not teaching or traveling Michael lives and maintains his private studio in the countryside outside Honeoye Falls, NY. 


Visiting Artists | Melissa Cameron

Thursday, February 20th @ 12:00pm

609 Bowe Street, RM 535


Melissa Cameron

Melissa is an Australian-born artist jeweller who lives and works in Seattle, WA. She holds a MFA in jewellery and metalsmithing from Monash University in Melbourne and BA with honours in interior architecture from Curtin University in Perth. She has been the recipient of several grants and awards, including the gold prize for metals and jewellery at the 2011 Cheongju International Craft Biennale in South Korea. Her works are in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), the Arts Centre Melbourne (Australia), The Powerhouse Museum, (Sydney, Australia) and the Cheongju City Collection, and her pieces have featured in the publications Jewel Book, Art Jewellery Today 3 and Lark Books’ 500 Silver Jewelry Designs.




CANCELED |Visiting Artists | Brad Schwieger

Thursday, February 13th @ 2:0pm

1000 W. Broad Street, RM 238


Brad Schwieger has been teaching at Ohio University since 1990 and is presently a Professor of Art.  Prior to that he was an Associate Professor at Vincennes University in Indiana (1985-1990).  Brad received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Utah State University in 1983 and his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa in 1981.  Brad has shown his ceramics nationally and internationally.  His work has been included in exhibitions through out the U.S.A., Japan, Korea, Taiwan, England, Germany, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Spain.




Visiting Artists | Elissa Auther

Wednesday, February 5th @ 11:00am

609 Bowe Street, RM 535

Elissa Auther

Elissa Auther

Elissa Auther is Associate Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and Adjunct Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver. Her book, String, Felt, Thread and the Hierarchy of Art and Craft (University of Minnesota Press, 2010), examines the innovative use of fiber in American art and the impact of its elevation on the conceptual boundaries distinguishing “art” from “craft” in the post-war era. Her latest publication, West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977 (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), is co-edited with Adam Lerner and focuses on the diverse visual and performative expressions of the American counterculture. Auther has also written about and published on, among other topics, the criticism of Clement Greenberg, the history of the decorative, artist-produced wallpapers, and the film installations of Isaac Julien. She was the co-editor of the April 2007 special issue on feminist activist art for the National Women’s Studies Association Journal. Her scholarly work has been supported by major research grants from the J. Paul Getty Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and Research Center, among others. In 2009 she was awarded the University of Colorado’s President’s Diversity Award for a multi-year series of lectures and workshops for undergraduate students that highlighted the work of underrepresented minorities in the areas of contemporary experimental music, visual art, performance, and curatorial practices. This project was co-organized with her colleague in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Valerie Brodar. In addition, she co-directs “Feminism & Co.: Art, Sex, Politics,” a public program at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver designed to explore feminist issues in popular culture, social policy, and art through creative forms of pedagogy




Visiting Artists: Tracy Krumm

Thursday, November 21st @ 2:00pm

1000 w. broad street, rm 238


Tracy Krumm finished her BFA in 1987 at the California College of Arts and Crafts. Her first major exhibition was in 1988, in the Young Americans show at the American Craft Museum in NYC (now the Museum of Art and Design). Her work has been included in over 150 exhibitions, many of them international, including the Belgian Betonac Prize in 1996, which toured for two years and the Lodz Triennial in Poland in 2004.  She has been honored with the selection of her work for the National Museum of Women in the Art’s third biennial, which opens in the fall of 2012. She received two grants from the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe for Big Fiber Human Tools in 2007 and 2008, where four site-specific installations were done with the help of public participants.  Her work is included in hundreds of private collections and has been collected by such venues as Ford Motor Company, Bloomingdale’s, the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, the Denver Art Museum and the Museum of Fine Art in Santa Fe.  Krumm currently maintains her studio practice in St. Paul, Minnesota.





Visiting Artists: Marc Petrovic

Tuesday, November 12th @ 1:00pm

1000 w. broad street, rm 238


Marc Petrovic graduated from the Cleveland institute of art in 1991. He was the recipient of the top Agnes Gund Memorial scholarship. Marc works out of his private studio that he shares with his wife Kari Russell-Pool near their home in Essex, Connecticut. He has acted as an glass instructor for workshops at the Harbor Front Center in Toronto, the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, the Corning School of Glass in New York, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Rhode Island School of Design, as well as numerous Glass Art Society Conferences. 


Visiting Artists: Mathew McConnell + Linda Lopez

Tuesday, October 22nd @ 2:30pm

609 Bowe street, rm 535


Top: Mathew McConnell; Bottom: Linda Lopez


Mathew McConnell holds an MFA from the University of Colorado—Boulder in 2009, and a BFA from Valdosta State University in Georgia in 2004. He has had numerous solo exhibitions, and his works have been included in group exhibitions in China, Australia, New Zealand, and in many venues across the United States. In 2012, Mathew was granted an “Emerging Artist” award from the National Council on Education in Ceramic Art. He has also been a resident at the Archie Bray Foundation, where he was awarded the Lilian Fellowship in 2011 and the Sage Scholarship in 2007. In 2010, Mathew was the Artist in Residence and Guest Lecturer of Contemporary Craft at Unitec in Auckland, New Zealand. Currently he oversees the Ceramics area and 3D Design courses at The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.


Linda Lopez (b. 1981 Visalia, California) received a BFA in ceramics and BA in art education from California State University of Chico (2006). She received an MFA in ceramics from the University of Colorado at Boulder (2010). Lopez has exhibited her work in New Zealand and throughout the United Stated including Robischon Gallery, Denver; Vertigo Art Space, Denver; The Clay Studio, Philadelphia and the Center for Emerging Visual Artists, Philadelphia. She has been an artist in residence at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia and has been featured as an Emerging artist in Ceramics Monthly (2012). In 2013, Lopez was a summer resident at the Archie Bray Foundation and in October 2013 will have a solo exhibition at Greenwich House Pottery in New York, NY.