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Visiting Artist Series feature potter Victoria Christen

On Monday morning, Victoria Christen worked with students in the Ceramics and 2D class on clay forms.
On Monday morning, Victoria Christen worked with students in the Ceramics and 2D class on clay forms.
Photo by Monica Rudquist

St. Catherine University welcomes Portland-based studio potter Victoria Christen as an artist-in-residence from February 23–26, as part of the Amy Marie Sears Memorial Visiting Artist Series. Christen will give a free public lecture on Thursday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. in the Visual Arts Building Lecture Hall (#33 on the map).

Christen’s work reflects everyday objects used in the home for mundane activities, in an effort to capture the beauty and significance of daily rituals.

“My work is both thrown and constructed, intuitive and patterned, self conscious and flamboyant—references to my seamstress mother’s use of patterns and tucks to make highly functional creations infused with her own passion; to my father’s work as both a machinist and a maker of folk art; to my own paradoxical desire for both order and freedom; and to my pots as both containers/dispensers of everyday materials and as metaphors for the body as both receiver and giver,” she explains in an artist statement.

During her Feb. 23–26 residency, students in St. Kate's Art and Art History classes will work with Christen on creative collaboration. 

Monica Rudquist, an adjunct instructor in St. Kate's studio art program, made the initial suggestion to bring Christen in as this year's visiting artist.

"Victoria is a very open and engaging personality who will give the students a great hands on experience with clay and collaboration," she says.

Christen’s visit coincides with her show with Rudquist, Constructed Visions: Two Views, which runs through March 25 at the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery.

“I decided which works would be shown together, which works seemed to communicate and have a relationship with one another,” says Kathleen Daniels, director of the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery. “Monica works primarily in either all matte black or white and occasionally bronze whereas Victoria's finished pieces are multi-colored and normally have a glossy finish. But if the viewer takes some time to look at the juxtaposition of the works, complimenting shapes and patterns appear and the differences melt away.”

One wall in the exhibit was intentionally left blank to showcase Christen’s collaborative work with Rudquist and St. Kate’s students this week. The pieces will be installed in time for the public lecture on Thursday.

About the artistVictoria Christen potter wheel

Victoria Christen lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is a full-time studio potter. She has been a resident artist at Guldagaard, the International Ceramics Research Center in Denmark and the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana. Christen’s work has been exhibited internationally, and she has given numerous workshops across the United States. She was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Regional Visual Arts Fellowship Award, two Minnesota Arts Board Grants, and a travel grant to Japan. Christen completed her M.F.A. in Studio Arts at the University of Minnesota.

About the Visiting Artist Series

Established in memory of Amy Marie Sears, a promising 1995 studio art major who passed away in 1997, the annual Amy Marie Sears Memorial Visiting Artist Series invites a distinguished artist to St. Catherine University for a one-week residency.

Feb. 24, 2015 by Sharon Rolenc

See also: Arts, Faculty, Liberal Arts, Students