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Birmingham Museum of Art announces The Bunting Biennial Ceramics Symposium

The Birmingham Museum of Art announces the debut of its international ceramics symposium, The Bunting Biennial Ceramics Symposium, to be held every other year beginning in 2013. The Museum will host the inaugural Symposium during the weekend of February 22-23, 2013, with the theme Clay Embodied: Ceramics and the Human Form.

The 2013 theme, Clay Embodied, will explore the relationship between ceramics and the human body by considering the subject in a broad array of historical and geographical contexts. Ceramics of all periods and cultures share a relationship with the human body. Whether utilitarian, ritualistic, decorative, or artistic in function, all ceramics interface with the human body in their design, manufacture, decoration, or use. Indeed, the very nomenclature used to describe a ceramic pot – the lip, mouth, neck, shoulder, belly, and foot – is derived from the human form.

The Symposium weekend will offer a slate of guest speakers representing the global ceramics community. Magdalene Odundo, an internationally acclaimed ceramic artist known for her hand-built, reduction-fired ceramics will serve as the keynote speaker on Friday evening. Odundo will talk about her own work and experience with creating some of the most recognized ceramics produced today. Saturday’s program will begin with Garth Clark, writer, critic, and collector. Clarks’ presentation will focus on the vessel form – its past, present and future. Other speakers include Bonnie Kemske, Ph.D., ceramic artist and editor of Ceramic Review; Jeannine O’Grody, Ph.D., Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Birmingham Museum of Art; Julie Pierotti, Associate Curator at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, TN; Meghan Tierney, a Ph.D. candidate at Emory University in Atlanta; and Emily Hanna, Ph.D., Curator of the Arts of Africa and the Americas at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Hanna will talk about the Museum’s recent acquisition of the Dick Jemison Collection of African Ceramics, a 400+ collection of clay vessels and figures from all parts of Africa. –