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Susan DeMay, 'Divergent Practices: A Career in Ceramics'

Friday, August 09, 2019,

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  • Location: Cohen Memorial Hall • 1220 21St Ave S • Nashville, TN 37212
  • Room: 203

August 9 at 5:00pm

Talk with Q&A, held in conjunction with DeMay's Fine Arts Gallery Exhibition
Reception to follow

Cohen Memorial Hall, room 203
1220 21st Avenue South

Susan DeMay began pursuing ceramics as a graduate student at what was then called the George Peabody College for Teachers, where she studied art from 1977 to 1979. After earning her M.S. degree and establishing a pottery studio of her own, she was invited to return to the Vanderbilt campus to teach. Nearly forty years later, she will be celebrating her retirement as a professor in Vanderbilt’s Department of Art. This exhibition surveys ceramics DeMay produced over decades of teaching, running her own production line, and creating artwork in clay.From June 13–September 9, 2019, the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery presents Susan DeMay, "Divergent Practices: A Career in Ceramics,” an exhibition showcasing selections from three bodies of work that DeMay has developed over the years. The first are pieces made for classroom demonstrations, which underscore technical methods as well as aesthetic considerations. The second group represents the colorful production works that DeMay fabricated while running a pottery business, with the help of up to nine assistants. The third includes a suite of ceramics that are slab-constructed forms with unique surface treatments and hard, glassy glazes. These artworks are inspired by a wide-ranging set of visual references, as well as traditional ceramic practices. 

At this closing talk, held in conjunction with the artist's exhibition at the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, DeMay will discuss her work and life, expanding on why making and teaching ceramics were not “just for fun”—a phrase she encountered often in her long and multifaceted career.