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Visiting artist plans MTSU lecture, sculpture workshop

Figurative ceramic artist Tom Bartel will present a lecture and a sculpture workshop and demonstration during a special visiting artist event at MTSU April 3-4.

Bartel poster webBartel, an associate professor of art at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, is known for his disturbing, humorous and thought-provoking fragmented figures. His work was included in a 2007 exhibit, “Of the Body,” in MTSU’s Todd Art Gallery as well as extensive U.S. and international exhibits.

His figurative ceramic sculpture workshop and demonstration is set in Room 113 of Todd Hall on Wednesday, April 3, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. His visiting artist lecture is planned for Thursday, April 4, at 3 p.m. in the Student Union Video Theater.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Bartel, an Ohio native, received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Kent State University and his Master of Fine Arts degree from Indiana University-Bloomington. In addition to his exhibits, he has lectured and conducted workshops around the world and has received Individual Artist Fellowships from the Pennsylvania Arts Council, the Kentucky Arts Council and the Ohio Arts Council.

“My work takes cues from a ‘shotgun blast’ of influences ranging from antiquity to popular culture and is constructed to refer to both the body and also charged, stylized, surrogates for the body such as dolls, toys and figurines,” the artist has said.

“The questions that arise from this cultural mishmash fuel my creative practice. I am interested in both the fragmentation and simplification of human form, especially how this decision encourages, if not requires, the viewer to participate with the work.”

You can learn more about Bartel’s work, his creative process and even his clay and glaze recipes at his website, http://tombartel.net.

Bartel’s visit is sponsored by the MTSU Department of Art and Raider Entertainment and funded by the MTSU Distinguished Lecture Series.

For more information about the events, email Dr. John Donovan, MTSU associate professor of art, at john.donovan@mtsu.edu or visit www.mtsu.edu/events/tombartel.php.