ART

JENSEN%2C+BEN

JENSEN, BEN
JENSEN, BEN
IOWA
I make specific choices in my work in order to make pots that convey a feeling of warmth and comfort as a counterpoint to a world filled with manufactured objects. I decide to touch the materials at every point of the piece’s creation. This touch begins before the pot is ever begun. I formulate and mix my own clays and glazes, I design, build, and fire my own kilns, and I often design and build my own tools. I do this to enhance the feeling of the human touch. During the forming process of each pot, I try to leave the marks of that pot’s making. Irregularities left by the hand, a dented rim, an off-round bowl, an imperfect line are reminders of the work that the hand has done.

I enjoy the rich history that clay has to offer and have often looked to that lineage for inspiration. I am particularly drawn to the humble and accessible style from medieval Europe, the robust and simple utility of the Southeastern United States, and many of the historic tea ceremony and serving vessels of Japan. Though I have incorporated these influences into my work I have been looking more internally for formal and conceptual inspiration. The ebbs and flows of family life and daily play with my daughters award me rich source material – whether it be the worries of a father or the simple textures of a newborn’s teething ring I never tire for new inspiration.

The pots I make have straightforward lines and simple decoration, lending them an uncomplicated elegance that allows them to be part of an everyday experience or saved for the most refined events. The ways I touch the clay and leave my marks are allowed to stay through the firing process and are often enhanced by the flames that dance around the pots in the kiln. In the end, each pot is left with a “roadmap” of its creation—the marks of making, the path of the flame, the human hand—all of which can be retraced, studied, and appreciated anytime. Each piece is ready for a conversation, eager to become part of a daily dialogue.

EDUCATION
2006
M. F. A. – East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Ceramics (Sculpture & Wood Minor Concentrations)
2002
B. F. A. – The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Ceramics with Honors (Metals & Painting Minor Concentrations)
1999
A. A. – Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA
Liberal Arts named Outstanding Student in Arts and Humanities

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
2009-Present
Executive Director– The Ceramics Center, Cedar Rapids, IA
Manage daily activities of the studio (educational, material, financial, and technical activities), Supervise resident artists, Head up public relations,
Member of the Programming Committee, Member of the Residency Committee, Report to Board of Directors regularly
2006-Present
Adjunct Faculty – Mount Mercy College, Cedar Rapids, IA
Teach Ceramics 1 and 2, Ceramics Independent Study, Sculpture 1 and 2, and Intro to Art, Manage the Ceramics and Sculpture areas, Maintain
all Ceramic and Sculpture studio equipment
2006-2010
Adjunct Faculty – Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids
Teach Beginning Ceramics, Fire electric, gas, raku, pit, and wood kilns
2006 (Spring)
Instructor of Record – East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Taught Ceramics I, handbuilding, developed syllabi and course content, full grade book responsibility
2005 (Fall)
Instructor of Record – East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Taught Design I, developed syllabi and course content, full grade book responsibility
2004-2005
Instructor - Greenville Recreation Center, Greenville, NC
Taught Advanced Throwing Class, developed class content
2004 (Fall)
Instructor of Record – East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Taught Ceramics I, handbuilding, developed syllabi and course content, full grade book responsibility
2004 (Summer)
Instructor – Kinston Community Center for the Arts, Kinston, NC
Taught Youth Art Summer Camp, developed class content, fired all completed work

EXHIBITIONS (solo shows marked by an asterisk*)
2012
Vasefinder International – (invitational) www.vasefinder.com – UPCOMING
AKAR Yunomi Invitational – (invitational) AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA - UPCOMING
2011
Vasefinder International – (invitational) www.vasefinder.com – Juror: Robin Hopper
Clay, Fiber, Paper National – Octagon Center for the Arts, Ames, IA
2010
*Vistas, Vessels, and Vibrance – Lowe Arts Center, Marion, IA
*Sameness – Jonalyn Hanson-White Gallery, Mount Mercy College
Vasefinder Nationals – (invitational) www.vasefinder.com
Clay, Fiber, Paper National – Octagon Center for the Arts, Ames, IA
Clay West International – Utah State University, Logan, UT (Jurors: Joe Zeller and Chuck Hindes)
A Show of Hands – Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids, IA
2009
Pottery for Prevention – Des Moines, IA
Art on the Reservoir – (invitational) North Liberty, IA
2008
Iowa Arts Festival – Iowa City, IA
*Recent Work – Eaton-Buchan Gallery, Coe College, Cedar Rapids, IA
Pottery for Prevention – Des Moines, IA
2007
It’s Only Clay – Bemidji Community Art Center, Bemidji, MN (Juror: Jeff Oestrich)
2006
Faculty Show – Iowa Hall Gallery, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA
MFA Thesis Exhibition – Gray Gallery, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
The Grad Show – Emerge Gallery, Greenville, NC
Illumina 2006 – Mendenhall Gallery, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Centennial Alumni Exhibition – Online exhibit, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
5th Annual Tiny Art Show – Emerge Gallery, Greenville, NC
New Work – Burroughs-Wellcome Senior Gallery, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Handcrafted – Rocky Mount Arts Center, Rocky Mount, NC (Juror: Reed J. McMillan)
2005
Rebel 48 – Emerge Gallery, Greenville, NC (Juror: Seo Eo)
Lines Into Shapes – The Arts Center of Estes Park, Estes Park, CO (Jurors: Jennifer Cook and Jennie Kiessling
Michler)
Soda/Salt National IV – The Clay Studio of Missoula, Missoula, MT(Juror: Gail Nichols)
Ayden Art Show – Ayden, NC (Juror: Holly Gariott)
ECU Ceramics Graduate Students – Community Council for the Arts, Kinston, NC
2004
ECU Graduate Group Show – University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC
ECU Graduate Students – Gray Gallery, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Al2O3•2SiO2•2H2O ∆ → Al2O3•2SiO2 – Burroughs-Wellcome Senior Gallery, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Rebel 47 – Emerge Gallery, Greenville, NC (Juror: Michael Elbeck)
Java Underground: A Juried Mug Show 2004 – Emerge Gallery, Greenville, NC
Gems From The Fire – Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA (Jurors: Chuck Hindes & Gerry Eskin)
Illumina 2004 – Mendenhall Gallery, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
3rd Annual Tiny Art Show – Emerge Gallery, Greenville, NC
2003
Java Underground: A Juried Mug Show 2003 – Emerge Gallery, Greenville, NC
2002
*Form Over Function Over Form – The Bridge Space Gallery, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
2001
Fall Metalsmithing Departmental Exhibition – The Bridge Space Gallery, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Spring Metalsmithing Departmental Exhibition – The Bridge Space Gallery, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
1999
All Fired Up – Arts Iowa City Gallery, (Juror: Chris Burd), Iowa City, IA
Kirkwood Student Art Recognition 1999 – Iowa Hall Gallery, (Juror: Jane Gilmore), Kirkwood Community College,
Cedar Rapids, IA
Biennial Juried Area College Student Exhibition – Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, (Juror: Mel Andringa), Cedar
Rapids, IA
1998
Kirkwood Student Art Recognition 1998 – Iowa Hall Gallery, (Juror: John Beckelman), Kirkwood Community
College, Cedar Rapids, IA
League for Innovation Student Art Competition – Lane Community College (Juror: George Johanson), Eugene, OR

AWARDS RECEIVED
2005
First Place (Ceramics) – “Rebel 48” Emerge Gallery, Greenville, NC (Juror: Seo Eo)
First Place – “Ayden Art Show” Ayden, NC (Juror: Holly Gariott)
2004
Second Place (Ceramics) – “Rebel 47” Emerge Gallery, Greenville, NC (Juror: Michael Elbeck)
Honorable Mention – “Illumina 2004” – Mendenhall Gallery, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
1999
Honorable Mention – “Kirkwood Student Art Recognition 1999” (Juror: Jane Gilmore), Kirkwood Community College,
Cedar Rapids, IA
Outstanding Student in the Arts and Humanities Dept – Kirkwood Community College, chosen by the Arts and
Humanities Faculty, Cedar Rapids, IA
1998
Best of Show – “Kirkwood Student Art Recognition 1998” (Juror: John Beckelman), Kirkwood Community College,
Cedar Rapids, IA
Best of Show – “League for Innovation Student Art Competition” (Juror: George Johanson), Lane Community College,
Eugene, OR
Purchase Award – “League for Innovation Student Art Competition” (Juror: George Johanson), Lane Community
College, Eugene, OR
Outstanding Achievement Scholarship – Awarded by Kirkwood Community College for achievement in the field of
art, Cedar Rapids, IA

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
2009
Juror – Marion Arts Festival, Marion, IA
Juror – College Hill Art Festival, Cedar Falls, IA
High School Art Workshop – Mount Mercy College
2008
Demonstration – Advanced Ceramics class. Coe College, Cedar Rapids, IA
High School Art Workshop – Mount Mercy College
Panelist – “Professional Development in Art Lecture Series”, Coe College, Cedar Rapids, IA
2007
High School Art Workshop – Mount Mercy College
2006
Kiln Building (built an Anagama) at Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA
2005
Kiln Building (designed and built an Anagama) at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Graduate Presenter – National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), Baltimore, MD
Demonstration – Greenville Museum of Art Youth Arts Festival
Kiln Building (designed and built a Wood-fired test kiln) at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
2004
Kiln Building (designed and built a Gas-fired test kiln) at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Kiln Building (built a Salt kiln) at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Graduate Presenter – National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), Indianapolis, IN
2003-2005
President - Ceramics Guild at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
1999-2001
Studio Assistant - potter and sculptor Gerry Eskin, Iowa City, IA
Vice President - Ceramic Society at the University of Iowa
1999
Production Assistant - potter, sculptor, and professor Jeff Life, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA
Demonstration – Marion Arts Festival, Art in the Park
Demonstration and Presentation – Linn-Mar High School
1997-1999
Studio Assistant/Shop Technician - Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA
1998-1999
President - Clay Club at Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA
Demonstration and Presentation – Linn-Mar High School
1997-1998
Vice President - Clay Club at Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA

CONTINUING EDUCATION
2010
National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) – Philadelphia, PA
Iowa Non-Profit Summit – Ames, IA
2006
Alabama Clay Conference – Calera, AL, Workshops with Janet Mansfield, Richard Notkin, and Tip Toland
2005
National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) – Baltimore, MD
2004
National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). – Indianapolis, IN
2001
National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) – Charlotte, NC
1999
Peter Voulkos Workshop – University of Missouri
National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) – Columbus, OH
1998
Different Approaches to Wood-Fired Pottery: A Workshop With Svend Bayer & Chuck Hindes – Cambridge, WI

GALLERY REPRESENTATION
Campbell Steele Gallery, Cedar Rapids, IA

COLLECTIONS
Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids, IA
Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA
Vector Corporation, Marion, IA
Dr. and Mrs. Gerald J. Eskin, Iowa City, IA
Springville Presbyterian Church, Springville, IA
Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids, IA
United Way of East Centeral Iowa, Cedar Rapids, IA

TECHNOLOGY
Author and webmaster: www.benjensenpottery.com
Author and Webmaster: www.theceramicscenter.org