Presented by: Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts at Harvard
Location: Harvard Ed Portal, 224 Western Ave., Allston, Massachusetts 02134
After you have voted, join us in welcoming artist, author and educator Dr. Sharif Bey as he shares his body of work and the influences behind it.
“For years I have struggled with the challenge of producing works that were ornate, colorful and made with the utmost care yet suitable for the kitchen of inner city families. I felt an equal responsibility to the purpose my work served in the black community as well as the mainstream art/contemporary craft scene. The influence of my pots was never felt at the kitchen table to the extent that I hoped, but my current work seeks other alternatives of promoting thought and dialog. … This series of work combines my interest in African, Indian, Pre-Columbian, Native American, and Modernist sculpture while still applying the rigid functional criteria I acquired as a potter.” (This quote is from Sharif Bey’s Artist’s Statement for his 2007 exhibit at the Hickory Museum of Art, Hickory, NC.)
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Dr. Sharif Bey is an Associate professor of art education at Syracuse University. Bey had a transformative experience in ceramics as a high school student while attending the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild's (MCG) apprenticeship program in Pittsburgh, PA. After completing his MFA, Bey returned to MCG where he was then employed in the Youth Development Program as the Ceramics studio coordinator where he supervised a staff of teaching artists, offered curricular support to Pittsburgh Public School teachers, conducted teacher training workshops and ran an after school art program. These formative experiences ultimately led to his pursuit of a doctoral degree in art education which he completed at Penn State. As a doctoral student Dr. Bey was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship where he conducted research on post-socialist art education reforms, as a scholar and artist in residence, at The Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia. Subsequently he has published numerous articles in academic journals. Bey has extensive experience in ceramics and art teacher training and has facilitated collaborative opportunities in the visual arts for adults and K-12 students in museums, arts centers, schools and universities throughout the United States. In addition to being an active scholar, he continues to exhibit nationally and internationally.
Over that past 10 years Bey has served as a resident artist at The McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, North Carolina, Hunter College in New York City, Vermont Studio Center, and most recently at the John Michael Kohler Art Center, in Wisconsin. Bey¹s studio work ranges from decorative/functional pottery to conceptual wearable ceramic sculptures, which are influenced by ritual and identity.