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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

________________________

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

2016-2018 Adjunct Assistant Professor, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

2009-2017 Adjunct Assistant Professor, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA.

2016 Adjunct Assistant Professor, Coe College, Cedar Rapids, IA.

2015-2016 Adjunct Assistant Professor, Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, IA.

2014-2015 Visiting Scholar, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

2011-2014 Adjunct Assistant Professor, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

2013 Adjunct Assistant Professor, Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, IA.

2010-2011 Adjunct Assistant Professor, Iowa Wesleyan College, Mount Pleasant, IA.

2006-2009 Instructor of Record, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.


EXHIBITIONS

2018

The University of Iowa School of Art & Art History Biennial Exhibition, Iowa City, IA, September 12 – October 12, 2018

Yunomi Invitational, Akar Gallery, Iowa City, IA

2017

Yunomi Invitational, Akar Gallery, Iowa City, IA

2016

Clay Revisited: Traditions in Shards, University of Iowa Museum of Art, Black Box Theater, IMU, Iowa City, IA, October 8 – December 11, 2016

Yunomi Invitational, Akar Gallery, Iowa City, IA

2015

Clay: Traditions in Shards, University of Iowa Museum of Art, Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA, October 31, 2015 – October 30, 2016

Living with Pots: Ceramics from the Eric Dean and Todd Thelen Collection, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids, IA, August 15, 2015 – April 10, 2016

Solo Exhibition, The Ceramics Center, Cedar Rapids, IA

2014

Permanent installation: “Line and Pulse Series: Triptych for Sunlight” at the Blank Honors Center, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 

2013

Artifacts from the Inferno: Contemporary Wood-fired Ceramics Juried by Jack Troy, Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore, MD, October 5 - November 9, 2013

The Janalyn Hanson White Gallery, in conjunction with the 2013 Iowa Clay Conference Mount Mercy University, Cedar Rapids, IA

Midwest Connections: Contemporary Ceramics from the collection of Tod Thelen and Eric Dean, Iowa Hall Gallery, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA, August 20 – September 22, 2013

2012

Works from the University of Iowa Ceramics Department. Exhibited at Pittsburgh State University, Pittsburgh, Kansas, and Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana. Yunomi Invitational, Akar Gallery, Iowa City, IA

Influences in Clay, The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho, Idaho Falls, ID.

2011

Bear Canyon and Beyond: An Exhibition of MSU Ceramic Alumni, in conjunction with events for the 60th anniversary of the Archie Bray Foundation, Helen E Copeland Gallery, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT

Yunomi Invitational, Akar Gallery, Iowa City, IA

Faculty Art Exhibition, Iowa Hall Gallery, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA

2010

Solo Exhibition at Textiles, in conjunction with the Iowa City Gallery Walk, Iowa City, IA

2009

Featured Artist: Project Art, University of Iowa Healthcare, Fountain Gallery, Iowa City, IA. MFA Thesis Exhibition, Eve Drewelowe Gallery, Iowa City, IA

2008

Tara Wilson in Collaboration, invited artist/collaborator, Red Lodge Clay Center, Loft Exhibition, Red Lodge, MT, July 4 – 25, 2008

Akar Gallery, Iowa City, IA. The University of Iowa Graduate Ceramics Exhibition, ABW Gallery, Iowa City, IA, February, 2008

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

2007

Group Exhibition for The International Anagama Seminar, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN.

Akar Gallery, Iowa City, IA.

2006

Print and Place: An exhibition of new printmaking graduate students, Eve Drewlowe Gallery, Iowa City, IA. Juried Undergraduate Exhibition, Helen E. Copeland Gallery, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT.

Ceramics Guild Exhibition, Waller-Oblonski Gallery, Bozeman, MT.

AWARDS

2009
The University of Iowa Research Fellowship, awarded by The Graduate College of The University of Iowa. Departmental Award, The University of Iowa, School of Art and Art History.

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

2007
The Dr. Judith Temple Scholarship Fund, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN. Travel Grant, awarded by the Graduate College of The University of Iowa.

2006
Bronze Pencil Award, Montana State University.

LECTURES / WORKSHOPS

2016

Artist Lecture and Workshop, Monmouth College, Monmouth, IL.

Artist Lecture, Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA. Lecture and Demonstration, The University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, IA.

2015 Artist Lecture and Demonstration, Arapahoe Community College, Littleton, CO. Artist Lecture, The Ceramics Center, Cedar Rapids, IA.

2014 Artist Lecture and Workshop, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. Artist Lecture and Demonstration, Linn-Benton Community College, Corvallis, OR.

2010 Artist Lecture and Workshop, Lux Center for the Arts, Lincoln, NE. Lecture as studio assistant for Gerry Eskin, SOFA, Chicago, IL. Lecture as studio assistant for Gerry Eskin, Figge Art Museum, Davenport IA.

2009 Indigenous ceramics workshop, Taproot Nature Experience, North English, IA.

2008 Artist Lecture and Workshop, Luther College, Decorah, IA, October 2008. Visiting Artist, Taos Clay, Taos, NM.

2007 Artist Lecture and Workshop, two week long International Anagama Seminar, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN.


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

PERMANENT COLLECTIONS

University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, Iowa City, Iowa

Blank Honors Center, The University of Iowa,

Iowa City, Iowa Collection of Todd Thelen and Eric Dean, Iowa City, Iowa

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

PUBLICATIONS

2016

The Daily Iowan, Imagination in clay and light for Black Box, October 13, 2016, accessible via http://daily-iowan.com/2016/10/13/imagination-in-clay-and-light-for-black-box/

2015 Curator Review/Gallery Guide, Clay: Tradition in Shards (Exhibition at Figge Art Museum), accessible via https://uima.uiowa.edu/assets/PDFs/Legacies-Ceramics-GalleryGuide- WebReady.pdf

2012 Exhibition Catalog, Akar Yunomi Invitational 2012, AKAR Design


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