Friday, May 08, 2009

Val Cushing

This is the first blog entry about our visit to Alfred University and to some of the artists that live, work and teach in the area.

Alfred's ceramic program was the first academic ceramic arts program in the US and it has stayed there with many of the top ceramicists in the country coming out of the program.

Our friends John & Lindas son Andrew Deutsch is a sound, video and graphic artist who lives in Hornell, NY and teaches Sound & Video Art in the Division of Expanded Media at Alfred University. He was gracious enough to give us a tour!

We went to an opening at Val Cushing's studio and home. He is internationally known and collectors worldwide seek his work. Examples of his work can be found in every major ceramics book that has been published in the last 35 years. Mr Cushing received his undergraduate degree from Alfred then went to graduate school there as well. He started teaching at Alfred in 1957 and retired in 1997.

Hi studio is on a 60 acre farm in Alfred which was a dairy barn converted into a studio. He says that much of the inspiration for his work comes from the farm and the view out his studio window. I can appreciate that since we've built our own new studio that has an inspiring view.

Val Cushingʼs work is included in the collections of the American Craft Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the International Museum of Ceramic Art in Japan.

His honors include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fulbright Foundation, a Fellow of the American Craft Council and of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. He is a full-time studio artist and continues to exhibit his work and to conduct occasional lectures and workshops.

This visit was a thrill.

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