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Artist: Heidi McKay

Heidi McKay Casto, IOWA
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Heidi McKay Casto is a ceramic artist who lives and works in Iowa City, where she teaches throwing at the University of Iowa. She earned a BFA in Ceramics from The Ohio State University, and MA and MFA degrees from The University of Iowa. When at work in her studio, Heidi McKay Designs, she creates functional objects and jewelry from porcelain that feature a variety of playful design elements, animals, and vibrant colors. The work is intended to hold you emotionally while you hold it physically, bringing joy to everyday experiences, and adding beauty, life, and a story to well made objects. The goal is a synchronistic exchange of connection, in which care and beauty are more present in daily life.




M.F.A. The University of Iowa, 2011

M.A. The University of Iowa, 2010

B.F.A. The Ohio State University, 2002

Selected Exhibitions


Clay and Life, Eutectic Gallery, Portland, OR in conjunction with NCECA 2021.

Last Call VI, Companion Gallery, Humboldt, TN, Juried by Samantha Momeyer.

Mug Madness 2021, Salt Stone Ceramics, Seattle, WA, Juried by Michelle Ettrick and Chris Hosbach.

Small Favors 2021, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA, Juried by Kensuke Yamada.


Functionfest 2020, Clay Center of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA, Juried by Martha Grover.

Cup: The Intimate Object XVI, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL.

Connections Virtual Exhibition, Clay Art Center, Port Chester, New York.

Material Mugs V: Underglaze, Companion Gallery, Humboldt, TN, Juried by Mike Cinelli.

Yunomi Invitational 2020, Clay Akar, Iowa City, IA.

Clay and Life Project, Eutectic Gallery, Portland, OR, curated by Brett Binford and Dan Anderson.

Small Favors 2020, The Clay Studio of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.

Handmade For Your Valentine, Clay Akar jewelry exhibition, Iowa City, IA.


Past Curfew Pop-Up, in conjunction with NCECA 2019, Fair State Brewery, Minneapolis, MN.


The Clay Cup IV: Icon, Vessel, Canvas. George Caleb Bingham Gallery,
University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo. Juried by Ayumi Horie.

Give and Take. Public Space One. Iowa City, IA. Exhibitor and curator of group exhibition, panel discussion, and showcase of working mother artists from across the US.


Sloppy Late Night Pop-Up, in conjunction with NCECA 2017. Double Dragon, Portland, OR.


We Met in Iowa: Recent Work by Graduates and Faculty of the University of Iowa Ceramics Department. Exhibited at Pittsburgh State University, Pittsburgh, Kansas, and Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana.


Clay? IV. Kirkland Arts Center, Seattle, Washington. Juried by Doug Jeck, Akio Takamori, and Jamie Walker.

Small Favors. The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


New Work, two-person exhibition at The Quad Cities International Airport, Moline, IL. Juried by The Quad Cities Arts Council, Davenport, IA. May-June, 2011.

NCECA National Student Juried Exhibition. The University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.


The Seventh Annual Marge Brown Kalodner Graduate Student Exhibition. The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA.

A Body in Transition, two-person exhibition. The Armature Gallery, Iowa City, IA.

Story of She: Copulation and Medication, two-person exhibition. Eve Drewelowe Gallery, Iowa City, IA.

Solo Exhibitions


Reflections on Motherhood, an MFA Thesis Exhibition. Eve Drewelowe Gallery, Iowa City, IA.


The Animals She Becomes. The Armature Gallery, Iowa City, IA.

Pop-Up Shows and Auctions


Craft and Fancy, Home Ec, Iowa City, IA

Art House Pop-Up, Iowa City, IA.


Sweet 16 Exhibition and Auction. Public Space One, Iowa City, IA.


Art House Pop-Up, Iowa City, IA.

Dear Future Art Exhibition and Auction. Public Space One, Iowa City, IA.


Art House Pop-Up, Iowa City, IA.

Public Space One Pop-Up, Iowa City, IA.

Brick and Mortar Pop-Up, Iowa City, IA.

2020 Clay and Life: Contemporary American Couples in Clay, Published and distributed by Eutectic Gallery, Portland, OR.

2018 Iowa City Press-Citizen, September 2018: Artist Moms from Iowa City and Beyond Cope, Thrive with Kids in Studios. An interview, article and images featuring the exhibition: Give and Take.

2011 Ceramics Monthly Magazine, September, 2011: featured images and article citation from the 2011 NCECA National Juried Student Exhibition, images of work in exhibition.


2019- Present Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art, The University of Iowa.

2015-2016 Adjunct Instructor of Art, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

2008 – 2011 Instructor of Record, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

2007-2008 Art and Seminar Teacher, Scattergood Friends School, West Branch, IA.

Ceramics Technician, Scattergood Friends School, West Branch, IA

Professional Experience

2017- Present Heidi McKay Designs, Owner and Operator, Iowa City, IA.

2018 Give and Take Roundtable, Guest Panel Artist, Iowa City, IA.

2017-2019 Public Space One, Gallery Team Member, Iowa City, IA.

2013 Guest Juror, The Janalyn Hanson White Gallery, Mount Mercy University, Cedar Rapids, IA.

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