ART

BRESNAHAN%2C+RICHARD

BRESNAHAN, RICHARD
BRESNAHAN, RICHARD
MINNESOTA
Admirers of the pottery crafted by Richard Bresnahan can't seem to agree on its origins. Bresnahan, a 1976 graduate of Saint John's University who has served as director of Saint John's Pottery Program since 1980, is definitely American: He was born in Casselton, N.D.., and attended Saint John's Preparatory School. But he spent his senior year in college and three years after that in Japan as an apprentice with the Nakazato family, who have crafted pottery for 13 generations and are a Japanese "national living treasure family."

"[Americans] sometimes say, 'Richard makes Japanese-style pottery,' and then the Japanese who come here say, 'Boy, Richard, you sure make American-style pottery,'" Bresnahan admits. What does the artist himself think? "I say it's Minnesota pottery," he says.

Bresnahan praises college faculty, particularly Sister Johanna Becker, OSB, of Saint Benedict's, who made the connections for his Japanese apprenticeship. "There are these moments [at small colleges] when a university teacher can almost [be] like a wing covering a young bird," Bresnahan says.

But when he returned in 1979, Bresnahan spread his own wings. Saint John's agreed to help him set up a totally indigenous pottery studio with the agreement that sales of the work would sustain the studio after the first two years.

Bresnahan shares his knowledge with students through his popular January-term course, (Art and Sustainability). Says Bresnahan, "The class is a tremendous joy to me."

Bresnahan and his wife, Colette, live with their young son and two daughters in Avon, Minn. He credits his wife, an accomplished head nurse, as indispensable in his life and work. "I've gotten tremendous accolades as an artist," he says. "But if you don't have a great partner to walk through life with, you're miserable." Rest assured that Richard Bresnahan is far from miserable.

RESUME
Artist in Residence

1953 Born Casselton, ND Casselton, ND
1972-1976 B.A. Saint John’s University Collegeville, MN
1975-1979 Apprenticeship with Nakazato Takashi Karatsu, Japan
1979-present Artist in Residence and Master Potter, Saint John’s University Collegeville, MN
1979 Built five-chamber wood kiln “Taki-gama” Collegeville, MN
1980-present Instructor: January Interim “Art and Sustainability” and 4-credit “Environmental Design” Collegeville, MN
1993-1994 Built four chamber wood kiln “Johanna-gama” Collegeville, MN

Exhibitions: Solo

1980 “The Tastes of Japan In Ceramics”, Benedicta Arts Center Gallery Saint Joseph, MN
R.O.T.C. Cookie Jar Exhibition, Alcuin Library Collegeville, MN
1981 Plains Art Museum Fargo, ND
1982 “Tanegashima: Wood Fired Ceramics by Richard Bresnahan”, Society of Arts and Crafts Boston, MA
Rourke Art Gallery Moorhead, MN
1984 “Wood Fired Clay”, Owatana Arts Council Owatana, MN
“Wash & Ware”, Benedicta Arts Center Gallery Saint Joseph, MN
1986 “Prophetic Messenger Series”, Nobles County Art Center Worthington, MN
1987 Stearns County Historical Society Saint Cloud, MN
The Society of Arts and Crafts Boston, MA
1989 “Wood Fired Clay”, University of Minnesota-Morris Morris, MN
1990 “Wood Fired Ceramics”, Saint Paul Gallery Saint Paul, MN
1996 “First Fire: Richard Bresnahan”, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts Minneapolis, MN
1997Rehfeld’s Dakota Galleries Sioux Falls, SD
The Howard Conn Fine Arts Gallery Minneapolis, MN
1998 Minnesota Historical Society, History Center Saint Paul, MN
1998 & 1999 Red Lake Falls Clayworks, “Of The Land” exhibition Red Lake Falls, MN
2002 Augsburg College Gallery, Augsburg College Minneapolis, MN
2004 State of North Dakota Gallery Bismarck, ND
2005 Winona State University Winona, MN
2006 The Art Complex Museum Duxbury, MA
2009 Wilson Hall, Washington and Lee University Lexington, VA

Exhibitions: Group

1980-1997 Annual Midwestern Invitational Exhibition (17 exhibitions) Moorhead, MN
1981 “Five Minnesota Artists”, Metro Center Museum Rockford, IL
“Fire & Ashes”, Pittsburgh Center for The Arts Pittsburgh, PA
1983 “New Surfaces, New Colors”, St.Cloud State University, Kiehle Visual Arts Gallery Saint Cloud, MN
1984 “Wood / Fire”, Lill Street Gallery Chicago , IL
“Functional Clay”, North Dakota Museum of Art Grand Forks, ND
“Platters and Related Forms” Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, IL
Esther Saks Gallery Chicago, IL
Benedicta Arts Center Saint Joseph, MN
1985 Surface / Function / Shape”, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, IL
1986 “East Meets West”, Rourke Art Gallery Moorhead, MN
“Minnesota Artists Exhibition”, C.G.Rein Galleries Edina, MN
1991 American Woodfire ’91”, University of Iowa Museum of Art Iowa City, IA
1997 “Plains: Take Two”, North Dakota State University Fargo, ND
“A View From Avon”, Gustavus Adolphus College Saint Peter, MN
“Clay Today”, Edina Arts Center Edina, MN
“Apprenticeship: Alternative Education Pottery”, Memorial Union Gallery Fargo, ND
1998 “Tea Bowl Exhibition”, University of Wisconsin LaCrosse, WI
1999 “Different Stokes”, International Organization of Woodfire Artists. University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
“Koie Ryoji, Richard Bresnahan, Karen Terbstra: Woodfire Exhibition”, Woodard Gallery Iowa City, IA
2001 “Here by Design”, Goldstein Museum, University of Minnesota St.Paul, MN
“The Making of a Book”, General Mills Gallery Minneapolis, MN
2001-2002 “TwentyTwo Ways of Clay” A National Ceramics Invitational, University of Texas-Tyler Tyler, TX
2001-2003 “Body of Clay, Soul of Fire”, Richard Bresnahan and Art from the Saint John’s Pottery
Saint John’s University Art Center, Alice R. Rogers and Target Gallery Collegeville, MN
Visual Art Center at the Washington Pavilion of the Arts and Sciences Sioux Falls, SD
University of Minnesota-Morris Morris, MN
North Dakota Museum of Art Grand Forks, ND
Tweed Museum of Art Duluth, MN
Phipps Center for the Arts Hudson, WI
2002 “Here By Design/Made In Minnesota”,Tweed Museum of Art Duluth, MN
“To Pour” A National Invitational Art Works Gallery Bozeman, MT
2004 “Kettles; Japanese Artistry and American Artists”, Carlton College Gallery Northfield, MN
2005 International Ceramics Conference Exhibition, Coe College Coe, IA
Exhibition, Hibbing Community College Hibbing, MN
“Shape of Tea” Art Complex Museum Duxbury, MA
Midwestern Invitational, Rourke Museum Fargo, ND
“East and West: Japan and American Wood Fired Artist”, Island Gallery Seattle, WA
2006 “Tea Time: The Art of the Teapot” Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Kalamazoo, MI
Japan/USA Exhibition, Santa Fe Clay Santa Fe, NM
The Grand Hand Gallery Saint Paul, MN
Peace and War Exhibit, Rourke Gallery Moorhead, MN
21st Century International Wood Fire Exhibition, Northern University of Arizona Flagstaff, AZ
2007 “5x30 Exhibition”, Akar Gallery Iowa City, IA
International Wood Fired Tea Bowl Exhibition, Island Gallery Seattle, WA
Elmhurst Museum 10-year Anniversary Exhibition Chicago, IL
2008 “Transformations: From Ceramics to Paper” Northern Clay Center Minneapolis, MN
2009 “The Nature of Process” Talley Gallery, Bemidji State University Bemidji, MN
2010 ART in Embassies Program, US Department of State Vatican City, Rome
2010 “Stoked: Five Artists of Fire and Clay”, Alice R. Rogers and Target Galleries Collegeville, MN

Lectures

1980 Benedicta Arts Center, College of Saint Benedict Saint Joseph, MN
Institute of Spirituality, Saint John’s University Collegeville, MN
M.F.A. Lecture Series, Visual Art Dept., UND Grand Forks, ND
1982 “The Potteries of Japan”, The Society of Arts and Crafts Boston, MA
“The Potteries of Japan”, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Boston, MA
1983 Syposium: “Woodfiring: To What End? Where Next?” Peters Valley Craft Center Layton, NJ
1985 Minneapolis Institute of Arts “Indigenous Reality: Translation from Japan to Minnesota” Minneapolis, MN
1988 Guest Artist and lecturer, Bemidji State University Bemidji, MN
1991 Presenter and lecturer, “Wood Kiln Designs and Uses”, University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
1994 “Clay as a Nature Based System”, Commencement speaker, University of Pennsylvania Slippery Rock, PA
1995 “Japanese Pottery and Its Influence in Minnesota”, Minneapolis Institute of Arts/NCECA Minneapolis, MN
1996 “The Firing,” Matthew Welch film talk, John Whitehead, Minneapolis Institute of Art Minneapolis, MN
“Art and Nature: A Potter’s View”, slide lecture, Minneapolis Institute of Art Minneapolis, MN
1997 “Benedictines and the Environment” Atchison, KA
“Beyond Japan / US Trade Wars, Many Doors” Kobe College Symposium Minneapolis, MN
featured speaker and panelist: “Art As A Cultural Bridge” Minneapolis, MN
“Eco-Architecture”, North Dakota State University Architecture Department Fargo, ND
1998 “An Ancient Fire to a Humane Future”, Minnesota Historical Society, History Center Saint Paul, MN
“Convocation: Liturgy and the Arts”, Keynote speaker, United Theological Seminary New Brighton, MN
1999 “An Ancient Fire to a Humane Future, ” Keynote Speaker for the American
Institute of Architecture and ACSA Regional Meeting, North Dakota State University Fargo, ND
“Different Stokes”, International Organization of Woodfire Artists, University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
2000 American Institute of Architecture, Lake Superior Retreat, Keynote Speaker for the AIA Lake Superior, MN
“Indigenous Materials, the Saint John’s Pottery”, Creativity & Sustainable
Environments, the Fourth Annual Creativity Conference. Saint John’s University Collegeville, MN
“Indigenous Materials, the Saint John’s Pottery”, Saint Marks Episcopal Cathedral Minneapolis, MN
2001 Keynote Lecture and Workshop, American Ceramic Society 103rd Congress Indianapolis, IN
“Tea and Contemporary Environmental Movements,” Carlton College Northfield, MN
2002 “Body of Clay/Soul of Fire” Lecture, Washington Pavilion of Arts Sioux Falls, SD
“Spirituality and Native Systems”, Hamm Clinic Conference on Mental Health,
Spiritual Development and the Arts, Saint John’s University Collegeville, MN
“Body of Clay/Soul of Fire” Lecture, University of Minnesota at Morris Morris, MN
“Body of Clay/Soul of Fire” Lecture, North Dakota Museum of Art Grand Forks, ND
“Continuities”, Augsburg College Lecture, Augsburg College Minneapolis, MN
2003 “Body of Clay/Soul of Fire” Lecture, Tweed Museum of Art Duluth, MN
Dialogue: Nora Hall and Richard Bresnahan. Episcopal House of Prayer Collegeville, MN
2004 Convocation and Faculty Development Speaker, University of Minnesota at Morris Morris, MN
Arts Quest Lecture. State of North Dakota Five Lecture Series over three-day period Bismarck, ND
2005 International Ceramics Conference, “Wood Fired Kiln Building”Coe College Coe, IA
“Tea and the Environment”, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Kalamazoo, MI
Guest Lecturer, Winona State University Winona, MN
2006 21st Century International Wood Fire Conference Lecture at Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ
2009 “Sustainability: New 21st-Century Environmental Platorms”, Bemidji State University Bemidji, MN

Workshops / Residencies

1982 Artist in Residence, Boston University Boston, MA
1983 & 1985 Cranbrook Academy of Art Bloomfield Hills, MI
1996 “Utilitarianism and the Creative Potter”, demo and lecture, Minneapolis Institute of Art Minneapolis, MN
“Tea Ceremony: Two American Perspectives” lecture, Minneapolis Institute of Art Minneapolis, MN
1997 Ceramics Workshop, NDSU Fargo, ND
Artist in Residence, Andover Newton Theological School Newton Center Newton Center, MA
Lectures/ Slide presentations at University of Iowa: Wood Kilns and Eco- Architecture Iowa City, IA
1998 “Of the Land: Pottery Plus”, first indigenous resource workshop in Minnesota Red Lake Falls, MN
1999 “Of the Land: Pottery Plus II”, Kiln Building Workshop Red Lake Falls, MN
2002 Saint John’s Pottery Symposium, Augustana College Sioux Falls, SD
Saint John’s Pottery workshop and lecture, University of Minnesota at Morris Morris, MN
Saint John’s Pottery Symposium, University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
2003 “Body of Clay/Soul of Fire” Lecture, Minneapolis Institute of Art Minneapolis, MN
Saint John’s Pottery Symposium, Lake Superior College/University of Minnesota Duluth Duluth, MN
“Environmental Sustainability”, University of Minnesota Graduate Architecture Retreat Minneapolis, MN
2004 “Continuities In Clay”, Augsburg College Workshop Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota-Morris, Faculty Development and Student Clay workshop. Morris, MN
MNSCU Artist Workshop, Winona State University Winona, MN
“Environmental Sustainability”, University of Minnesota Graduate Architecture Retreat Minneapolis, MN
“Environmental Art and Design”, four-credit class offered at SJU/CSB Collegeville, MN
2005 Hibbing Community College. Workshop in clay, Slide lecture Hibbing, MN
“Environmental Art and Design”, four-credit class offered at SJU/CSB Collegeville, MN
“Environmental Sustainability”, University of Minnesota Graduate Architecture Retreat Minneapolis, MN
2006 “Environmental Art and Design”, four-credit class offered at SJU/CSB Collegeville, MN
“Environmental Sustainability”, University of Minnesota Graduate Architecture Retreat Minneapolis, MN
2007 “Environmental Art and Design”, four-credit class offered at SJU/CSB Collegeville, MN
“Environmental Sustainability”, University of Minnesota Graduate Architecture Retreat Minneapolis, MN
2008 “Environmental Art and Design”, four-credit class offered at SJU/CSB Collegeville, MN
“Environmental Sustainability”, University of Minnesota Graduate Architecture Retreat Minneapolis, MN
2009 “Environmental Art and Design”, four-credit class offered at SJU/CSB Collegeville, MN
“Environmental Sustainability”, University of Minnesota Graduate Architecture Retreat Minneapolis, MN
2010 “Environmental Art and Design”, four-credit class offered at SJU/CSB Collegeville, MN
“Environmental Sustainability”, University of Minnesota Graduate Architecture Retreat Minneapolis, MN

Publications / References

1982 “Gallery”, American Craft, v.42, no.6 National/USA
1983 “Richard Bresnahan”, Ceramics Monthly, v.31, no.4 National/USA
A Journal of the Arts Lower Stumpf Lake Review, 1983, 1985, 1991 Regional/USA
1991 American Woodfire ‘91, University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, IA Regional/USA
1992 “A Portfolio of American Woodfired Pottery”, The Studio Potter, v.11, no.1 National/USA
1996 “Out of the Fire” by Matthew Welch, Arts V.19 no.4, Minneapolis Institute of Arts Minneapolis, MN
“First Fire: Richard Bresnahan and New Pottery from St.John’s”, Asian Arts Council, v.2, no.3 National/USA
“Starting From Here: Dakota Poetry, Pottery, and Caring” by Jerome Freeman Local/USA
“Pottery by Richard Bresnahan”. Ex Machina Publishing Co., Sioux Falls, SD Sioux Falls, SD
“First Fire”, by Richard Bresnahan, The Studio Potter, v.24, no.2 National/USA
1997 “Cultural Hero Richard Bresnahan: The Art Of Life”, Utne Reader, no.79 Natinoal/USA
“Richard Bresnahan: Stoneware Artisan, Potter, Teacher, Kiln Maker,
Environmentalist”, by Jean Paschke. The Crafts Report, Nov. 1997 National/USA
1998 “The Japanese Pottery Tradition and Its Infuence on Americanm Ceramics," Gerry Williams.
American Craft, v.58, no.2., Studio Potter National/USA
2000 “Water and Woodfiring” by Richard Bresnahan, v.28, no.2., Studio Potter National/USA
“Water and Woodfiring” by Owen Rye, Ceramics Technical National/Australia
2001 “Here by Design” catalogue to exhibition, by Lindsay Shen, Goldstein Museum Saint Paul, MN
“Betty Crocker’s Indian Home Cooking” by Raghavan Iyer, featuring ceramics by Richard Bresnahan. National/USA
Body of Clay, Soul of Fire: Richard Bresnahan and the Saint John’s Pottery by Matthew Welch, Afton Press National/USA
“Renewing the Countryside: Minnesota” by Jan Joannides, Beth Waterhouse and Tim King National/USA
2003 “Mentorship”, by Richard Bresnahan. Studio Potter, Volume 31, No. 2 Pages 13-14 National/USA
2009 “Artist, Clay, Fire, Ritual: A Potter’s Aesthetic”, by Don E. Saliers, Visual Theology, Liturgical Press National/USA
2009 “Earth, Wind, and Fire”, by Scott Carlson, The Chronicle of Higher Education, v.55, no. 23 National/USA
2010 “Stoked: Five Artists of Fire and Clay”, by Matthew Welch, Saint John’s University Press National/USA

Collections

North Dakota State University Fargo, ND
Minneapolis Institute of Arts Minneapolis, MN
Idemitsu Museum Tokyo, Japan
Minnesota Historical Society Saint Paul, MN
Plains Art Museum Fargo, ND
Yabunouchi Tea Ceremony Foundation Kyoto, Japan
Society of Art & Crafts Museum Boston, MA
Goldstein Collection, University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN
Rourke Art Gallery and Museum Moorhead, MN
City of Nagasaki, Nagasaki Holocaust Museum Nagasaki, Japan
Hill Reference Library Saint Paul, MN
John & Kimiko Powers Collection Carbondale, CO
Mary Burke Collection New York, NY
Sarah and David Lieberman Collection Phoenix, AZ
Edina Art Center Edina, MN
Owatana Art Center Owatonna, MN
Nobles County Art Center Worthington, MN
The Art Complex Museum Duxbury, MA
The Iowa Museum of Art at the University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
Santa Fe Clay Santa Fe, NM
Kalamazoo Institute of Art Kalamazoo, MI
North Dakota Museum of Art Grand Forks, ND
Washington Pavillion of Arts & Sciences Sioux Falls, SD
Tweed Museum Duluth, MN
Washington and Lee University Lexington, VA
Blanden Memorial Art Museum Fort Dodge, IA
University of Minnesota Morris Collection Morris, MN
Vatican Museum Collection of Pope Benedict XVI Vatican City, Rome

Awards / Grants Received

1976, 1994, 1995 Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation, St. Paul and New York City New York, NY
1979-2007 Bush Foundation Saint Paul, MN
1980 National Endowment for the Arts (Service to the Field) Award National/US
National Endowment for the Arts (Individual Artist Grant) Award National/US
1980-2003 Grotto Foundation, Apprenticeship Awards Saint Paul, MN
1981-2007 Jerome Foundation, Emerging Artists Awards Saint Paul, MN
1985-90, 96 Central Minnesota Arts Council grants Minneapolis, MN
1996 Business For Social Responsibility, Earth Day Award Minneapolis, MN
Natural Resources Research Institute, Research in Indigenous Clay grant National/US
1998 Saint Paul Nagasaki Sister City Committee, first Lifetime Membership Award Saint Paul, MN
The Charles Lindberg Award, Minnesota State Historical Society, Individual of the Year Award Minneapolis, MN
2000-01 Saint John’s Abbey and University, Target Corporation, Grotto Foundation, Jerome Foundation,
Star Tribune Foundation and contributions from private donors for the Body of Clay book and tour National/US
2006 Chip Fricke Award, Saint Paul Nagasaki Sister City Award Saint Paul, MN
2002-present McGlynn Family Foundation Apprentice Program Minneapolis, MN

Feature Films

1996 “The Firing”, Tapes Rolling Series. Produced by John Whitehead & KTCA-TV, 1996. Regional/US
1997 “Clay, Wood, Fire, Spirit: The Pottery of Richard Bresnahan”, Produced by John Whitehead & PBS, 1997. National/US
First national broadcasting, 5/1/98. Awarded two regional Emmy Awards: “Best Cultural
Documentary for 1997”, “Best Editing”. Premier screening Minneapolis Institute of Art Minneapolis, MN
J Japan Society New York City, NY
Brooklyn Museum of Arts, Artists in Film Series Brooklyn, NY
Sundance Film Festival 1998 Park City, UT
2004 “Designing Lives Worth Living, Laura Lee Alban”, Muriel Copper Award in Design
2007 Fire Artist: Documentary Film about Shiho Kanzahi, Claude Gagnon Films.

Firings of the Johanna Kiln

1995 First Firing
1997 Second Firing
1998 Third Firing
1999 Fourth Firing
2000 Fifth Firing
2002 Sixth Firing
2004 Seventh Firing
2005 Eighth Firing
2006 Ninth Firing
2008 Tenth Firing
2010 Eleventh Firing