Mic Stowell received his MFA from University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and his MA from Saint Cloud State University. After twenty-six years of full-time teaching, he is now able to move toward fully investing his days in his studio practice. Stowell’s work has gone through multiple iterations —from slipcast geometric teapots to tightly painted plates and organic forms— and can be found in collections across the globe from Sanbao Ceramic Art Institute, Jingdezhen, China; to the Polish National Museum, Wroclaw, Poland; to the Appalachian Center for Craft in Cookeville, Tennessee.
His current work reflects an interest in surface, shape, and forms rooted away from functional pottery, but still strongly connected to the processes unique to ceramics.
“I am most interested in that which I do not know. Slight oddities of the natural world are my intrigue; the tree that grows out of a rock cliff or the branch that grows in the wrong direction. I look at such phenomena, but I am not trying to recreate them. My attempt is not to make objects that imitate but rather to create works that have a life of their own.”
Describe your work in 15 words or Less
I coil-construct earthenware sculpture. Contrasting surfaces and the technical possibilities available in ceramics interest me.
Who are some of your influences
Early on I was influenced by the surrealist Rene Magritte. I like his clever sense of humor. The Minneapolis Institute of Art has a sculpture by Constantine Brancusi. Brancusi continues to amaze me. His attention to both form and surface is remarkable
Describe your evolution as an artist
In the beginning I thought that I would be a painter, because artists paint. A pottery class changed my mind. Eventually I changed from throwing to hand building and created painted 3-D forms. I still do hand-building but no longer do specific imagery. Although the surfaces are fired on, I still think of them as paintings.
Do you recall the first artwork you ever created?
As a kid I broke and trained horses. Riding along a creek I discovered clay in the bank. I would make wavy forms from this clay. They were not that different from what I do today.
What do you like to do when not working in the studio?
I work in the studio quite a lot, but I do find time for cross-country skiing. In the summer I try to bike most days. But more importantly I like to eat, which means you can frequently find me in the kitchen.
View the Mic Stowell Exhibition August 11 – September 11, 2020.
FREE WORKSHOP WITH MIC STOWELL
In conjunction with this exhibition there is a free workshop led my Mic in the parking lot of the Center for the Arts. August 20th 5:30 pm.
Underglaze Workshop: Paper Stencils and More. Explore underglaze-painting techniques including: paper stencil, paper stencil/wax inlay,paper stencil/wax resist/ line inlay.
For beginners and advanced participants.
Participation is FREE and limited to 15 participants. Email director@hutchinsonarts to reserve your spot.
Mic Stowell is a fiscal year 2019 recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
The Visual Arts Exhibition series is made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.