Skip to main content

'Lighting the Fire' Exhibition Features More Than 20 Ceramic Artists

Thursday, Sep. 01, 2016

a ceramic bowl in the USU art exhibition

Laura Andreson, Bowl, 1982, porcelain, 3 x 8.5 x 21 inches. Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation.

The exhibition “Lighting the Fire: Ceramics Education in the American West” is on display at Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art (NEHMA) at Utah State University. Drawing upon NEHMA’s important collection of 20th century ceramic objects, Lighting the Fire examines the significant contributions of potters who taught in universities and studios in advancing the medium of clay in the American West.

An opening reception for Lighting the Fire is Thursday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. featuring a gallery talk with exhibition guest curator Mathew Limb, a Windgate Museum intern. The exhibition will be on display at the university through Dec. 10

The exhibition surveys the work of more than 20 ceramic artists who, through their teaching philosophies, inspired generations of students to push the boundaries of the medium. The works presented illustrate how these innovative educators positioned clay as a fine art medium in the mid-20th century.

Lighting the Fire explores the importance of educators in the development of the ceramic arts,” Limb said. “Celebrating individuals from diverse backgrounds, this exhibition showcases how through experimentation, community and collaboration they challenged the art/craft binary and elevated clay as a respected medium of fine art.”

Limb comes to NEHMA as a recipient of a 2016 Windgate Museum Internship, a prestigious internship awarded through The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design. In his studies, Limb focuses on the development of craft and design in the American West during the 20th century, particularly the history of studio ceramics and the vessel tradition in the United States. During his four month tenure at the museum, Limb researched NEHMA’s renowned ceramics collection.

A native of Utah, Limb is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Art and Architecture at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

“This exhibition is important to us because if pays tribute to our museum’s namesake, Nora Eccles Harrison Treadwell, whose passion for ceramics was integral to the founding of the museum,” said Katie Lee Koven, NEHMA executive director and curator. “We owe much of our important collection of ceramics to Nora and many works in the exhibition were acquired for us through the generous support of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation.”

Artists featured in the exhibition are Laura Andreson, Rudy Autio, Ralph Bacerra, F. Carlton Ball, Viola Frey, Maija Grotell, Otto Heino, Vivika Heino, Howard Kottler, Ron Nagle, Gertrud Natzler, Otto Natzler, Susan Peterson, Antonio Prieto, Eunice Prieto, Frances Senska, Paul Soldner, Robert Sperry, Nora Eccles Treadwell, Peter Voulkos, Patti Warashina, Marguerite Wildenhain and Betty Woodman.

The Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art is dedicated to collecting and exhibiting modern and contemporary visual art to promote dialogue about ideas fundamental to contemporary society. NEHMA provides meaningful engagement with art from the 20th and 21st centuries to support the educational mission of Utah State University, in Logan, Utah. NEHMA offers complementary public programs such as lectures, panels, tours, concerts and symposia to serve the university and regional community. Admission is free and open to the public. Hours are Tuesday?Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. Visit the NEHMA website for more information.

Contacts: Katie Lee Koven, NEHMA executive director and chief curator, 435-797-0164, or

Maren Aller, USU Public Relations and Marketing, 435-797-1355,

Post your Comment

We welcome your response. Your comment or question will be forwarded to the appropriate person. Please be sure to provide a valid email address so we can contact you, if needed. Your submission will NOT be published online. Thank you.

More News

All news


Utah State Today is available as a weekly e-mail update, with links to news, features, and events. Subscribers stay connected, whether on campus or off.

To receive Utah State Today every week, simply enter your e-mail address below.

Privacy Notice

Unsubscribe here.

Visit our social media hub

Visit our social media hub to see a snapshot of student life and find more USU social media accounts.

Learn more About USU