OFA Ceramics Program appoints new leadership and will open new studio
Harvard University will open a new ceramics facility in September 2013 at 224 Western Avenue, Allston, MA, to include a public gallery directly fronting the street. It will be the new home of the Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts at Harvard (OFA), which has been active in Allston for 26 years at 219 Western Avenue.
“The OFA Ceramics Program is a long standing arts and cultural resource in Allston,” said Kevin Casey, Harvard’s Associate Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications. “With its new home in Barry’s Corner, the Ceramics Program will be a more visible and accessible part of the Allston community, serving as a touchstone for the arts for residents and Harvard affiliates alike.”
This change also marks a transition in program leadership. On July 1, Shawn Panepinto, Acting Director since 2010, was appointed Director of Studio Operations and Outreach and instructor Kathryn King in the new role of Director of Education. Together they will oversee all aspects of the Program’s development as it begins its new chapter at 224 Western Avenue.
“Shawn Panepinto and Kathy King will be a superb leadership team at an exciting transition in our program’s history,” says Jack Megan, OFA Director. “The range of gifts and experience they together bring is extraordinary—in teaching, educational innovation, artistry, and community involvement. Their combined expertise will have national and international influence and continue our leading profile in the field. We are absolutely thrilled.”
The Galante Architecture Studio, Inc., a Cambridge-based firm, is redesigning the former Verizon building for this new artistic purpose. The studio façade will be flush with Western Avenue, providing easier access for Harvard and community participants. Another University tenant, to be announced, will share space within the structure. Information on the project is at the Harvard University Construction Mitigation website.
The new directors will together create an annual season of programming that will build upon the success of the existing programming, and will include visiting artist series, exhibitions, and community initiatives. As Acting Director, Shawn Panepinto conceptualized the new studio working with the architects, Harvard Real Estate, and the construction company, Columbia Construction. In her new role she will oversee the studio relocation, finances, resident artists’ use of the Studio, kiln firings, the Quincy House ceramics studio, tuition awards and college internships. She will continue her long-standing oversight of the annual December and May Show and Sales, which feature the work of more than 60 artists from the community and attract thousands.
With Kathryn King, Panepinto will spearhead collaborations with Harvard’s iLab, and will also lead collaborations with the University’s Allston Education Portal and community partners such as the recent “Empty Bowls” project (in support of the Allston Food Pantry and Harvard Square Homeless Shelter); the popular Halloween studio/haunted house known as “Barry’s Corner Treat and Greet”; and “Hands in Clay,” a four-week program for neighborhood students. An exhibiting ceramic artist and beloved teacher, Panepinto will continue teaching in a range of subjects, from throwing and hand-building to mixed media, with a special focus on surface decoration.
Kathryn King, Director of Education, will guide the program’s educational vision, including courses for the public and Harvard community, visiting artist programs, and labs for various faculties. King has taught at the Harvard Studio since 2010 specializing in printmaking techniques on clay, clay and glaze chemistry, and ceramic art history. She was Associate Professor in the School of Art and Design at Georgia State University from 2000-2007 and has also taught at the School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts College of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, and University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth. Known for her narrative work in ceramic vessels, tile work and printmaking, she has lectured widely and also specializes in production techniques. King has juried numerous national ceramic exhibitions including the National Council on Education for the Ceramics Arts Student Juried Exhibition in 2012 and will travel in August to Jingdezhen, China as part of the Jury Committee of the 2013 (2nd) China Kaolin Grand Prix for International Ceramic Art.
For more information about the Ceramics Program and its new leadership and facility, read the press release.