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Artist: Benj Upchurch


Artist: Benj Upchurch
Benj Upchurch, IOWA
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An old understanding is gleaned by taking the aged earth up in your hands. I believe that to be true. Working with clay and celebrating the way humans have been in cahoots with this ancient material has been a wonderful privilege of mine.

Education

M.F.A. The University of Iowa, 2009, Ceramics, Printmaking Minor
M.A. The University of Iowa, 2008, Ceramics, Printmaking Minor
B.F.A. Montana State University, 2006, Ceramics

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Teaching Experience

2011
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Iowa Wesleyan College, Mount Pleasant, Iowa:
Beginning Ceramics, Advanced Ceramics


2009 - present
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa:
Beginning Ceramics, Advanced Ceramics, Kiln Construction


2006 - 2009
Instructor of Record, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA:
Curriculum development, course planning, full teaching and grade book responsibilities for:
Ceramics I, Ceramics II

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Awards

2009
Departmental Award, University of Iowa

The University of Iowa Research Fellowship, The University of Iowa

Travel Grant, awarded by the Graduate College of The University of Iowa


2008
Glen C. Nelson Award for excellence in Ceramics at The University of Iowa


2007
Travel Grant, awarded by the Graduate College of The University of Iowa

Scholarship, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, Tennessee


2006
Bronze Pencil Award, Montana State University

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Exhibitions

2011
Bear Canyon and Beyond: An Exhibition of MSU Ceramic Alumni
Helen Copeland Gallery at MSU, Bozeman, Montana, June 1-September 15

Yunomi Invitational
Akar Gallery, Iowa City, Iowa


2010
Gallery Walk
Textiles, Iowa City, Iowa


2009
Featured Artist: Benj Upchurch, Project Art:
University of Iowa Healthcare, Fountain Lobby , Iowa City, Iowa

M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition
Eve Drewlowe Gallery, Iowa City, Iowa

The University of Iowa School of Art and Art History MFA Exhibition
Atrium Gallery, Studio Arts, Iowa City, Iowa

The University of Iowa Graduate Ceramics Exhibition
ABW Gallery, Iowa City, Iowa


2008
Tara Wilson in Collaboration, (Invited Collaborator)
Red Lodge Clay Center, Loft Exhibition, Red Lodge, Montana

Gumball Gallery
Interactive, group show in a toy capsule vending machine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

The University of Iowa Graduate Ceramics Exhibition
ABW Gallery, Iowa City, Iowa

The University of Iowa School of Art and Art History MA Exhibition
Atrium Gallery, Studio Arts, Iowa City, IA, May, 2009.


2007
The International Anagama Seminar Exhibition
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Akar Gallery
Iowa City, Iowa

The University of Iowa Graduate Ceramics Exhibition
ABW Gallery, Iowa City, Iowa

The University of Iowa Ceramic Graduate Students and Faculty
ABW Gallery, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa


2006
Print and Place: An exhibition of new printmaking graduate students University of Iowa
Eve Drewlowe Gallery, Iowa City, Iowa

B.F.A Graduate Exhibition
Helen L. Copeland Gallery, Bozeman, Montana

Undergraduate Exhibition, Juried
Helen L. Copeland Gallery, Bozeman, Montana


2005
Ceramics Guild Exhibition
Waller-Oblonski Gallery, Bozeman, Montana

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Professional Experience

2010
Presenter, SOFA, Chicago, Illinois

Facilitator / Installer, Special Exhibition for Gerry Eskin at SOFA Chicago, Illinois

Facilitator / Installer, Gerry Eskin’s exhibition, SCALE: Ceramic Forms and Photographic Landscapes
Figge Art Museum, Davenport, Iowa

Visiting Artist, Lux Center for the Arts, Lincoln, Nebraska

Visiting Artist, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

Artist in Residence, Clear Creek Amana High School, Tiffin, Iowa

Juror, WAMAC Conference Art Fair, Iowa City, Iowa


2009
Instructor, Indigenous Ceramics Workshop, Taproot Nature Experience, North English, Iowa

Facilitator, University of Iowa Wood Fire Seminar with Ted Adler and Tara Wilson, Iowa City, Iowa

Visiting Artist, Slide lecture and demonstrations, Clear Creek Amana High School, Tiffin, Iowa

Instructor, Construction of 15 cubic foot wood fired soda kiln, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa


2008 - Present
Studio Assistant, for Gerry Eskin, ceramic artist and photographer, maintaining studio and equipment, clay and glaze formulation, firing kilns and assisting with digital photography, Iowa City, Iowa / Aspen, Colorado

2008
Visiting Artist, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa

Visiting Artist, Taos Clay, Taos, New Mexico


2007
Visiting Artist, International Anagama Seminar, Anagama kiln loading and firing, slide talk and lecture
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Facilitator, Anagama Kiln Building workshop with Dean Adams and Dan Murphy, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

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Publications

2009
The Shire, thesis submitted in conjunction with the M.F.A. degree in Studio Art, The University of Iowa, May, 2009


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