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Arkansas potter to present lecture, showcase exhibit

September 29, 2014
By cnp
Posted in Exhibit

Arkansas potter Stephen Driver will present his exhibit "Animals Stories/Tales of Extinction: Ceramic Effigy Vessels," throughout the month of October as part of the University of the Ozarks' Artist of the Month Series.

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Works by Arkansas potter Stephen Driver will be on display in the Stephens Gallery during the month of October.

Driver will also present a lecture titled, "Biology, Anthropology, Mythology and Making Art About Climate Change," at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 8, in the Rogers Conference Center. The lecture, which is a part of the University’s Walton Arts & Ideas Series, is free and open to the public.

Driver’s exhibit will be showcased in the Stephens Gallery, located in the Walton Fine Arts Center, from Oct. 6-24. The gallery is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout the week and there is no admission. There will be a reception to meet the artist from 6-7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23, in the gallery.

Driver said his lecture on Oct. 8 with include a discussion with images and video about the influences on his creative process.

"For the past eight or nine years, I have been making art attempting to discuss the effects of climate change on all life as we know it," he said. "Using influences from my long-time interest in Pre-Columbian art and my research on the women potters of the upper Amazon, I have created a body of work which will be exhibited in the University’s art gallery .  The Pre-Columbian art of Ecuador and the indigenous art of the upper amazon basin use zoomorphic and anthropomorphic imagery on ceramic vessels to tell stories."

Driver has been creating and wood-firing his ceramics work in the Ozark National Forest in Northwest Johnson County since the late 1970s.  He also has 20 years of college teaching experience, including stints at Brescia University in Owensboro, Ken., and the University of Arkansas-Little Rock.

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Driver’s pottery explores the effects of climate change on life as we know it.

He started his professional career working for John and Glen LaRowe at Mark of the Potter near Clarkesville, Ga., in the summer of 1973.  In 1975 he spent a year apprenticing in England, working for two potters; Michael Leach, son of Bernard Leach, and Peter Bruce Dick, a well know slip trailed earthenware potter from Yorkshire.  In 1986, after a decade of building a pottery and business in the Ozarks, Driver decided to go to graduate school at the University of Georgia and received his MFA in 1988 under Ron Meyers.

Driver has works in both private and public collections, notably the American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA) in Pasadena, Calif., and the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock.  His works have been published in magazines, journals and books, most recently in Lark Books Teapots Volume 2 and Wood Fired Ceramics: 100 Contemporary Artists.

Driver considers himself a potter and making pots is his first love.  His work ranges from designing and making functional pots to sculpture in clay and bronze, installations and tile. He is married to Louise Halsey, a tapestry weaver in her own right, and they are home on the Little Mulberry Creek.  They have two grown children, Alice Driver, who has her PhD in Hispanic Studies, and Ian Driver, who currently holds a post doctorate research position at University of California-San Francisco.