Posted by Cindy Bracker, Communications Director

Where do you currently live/work

I am currently a graduate student at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.image_tag_ex

What do you like most about your job? OR  What do you like most about where you live?

One of the things I really love about Lincoln, NE is an organization called Foodnet.  I volunteer there once a week.  Foodnet collects and distributes food from local businesses that is near its expiration date, or is slightly damaged in some way and redistributes the food to people who can use it. I found after my first semester in Graduate School that I needed something in my life that was not connected directly to ceramics or the University and Foodnet fit the bill.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a small town in upstate New York.

What was your childhood nickname?

My mother calls me Pacqui from time to time.

How did you first find out about NCECA?

FullSizeRenderI, like many students of ceramics, learned about NCECA from the Clay Club at SUNY New Paltz where I did my undergraduate studies.  Like other clubs throughout the country we made and sold pots and sculpture to fund trips to the annual conference.

Tell me a story about your first conference (including city and/or year)

Wow, it’s hard to remember which was my first NCECA, I think it was Dallas in 98.  I will tell you that my strongest memory of NCECA was the 1999 conference in Columbus, Ohio.  The exhibitions that year really broadened the way I thought about ceramics.

What’s your favorite color?

Hard to say – at the moment it has been fluctuating between red and purple.

What or who inspired you to get involved more deeply in the organization, and what was your “entry point” to the board

During my fellowship year at the Baltimore Clayworks I watched our current President Deborah Bedwell run for her position on the board.  My interest was partially from seeing her dedication and service, and partly because volunteering, education, and working with non-profits has always been part of my practice.

Describe your position with NCECA

As one of two Student Directors at Large, I am tasked with representing the interests of NCECA’s student membership.  In that capacity the Student Directors work to develop and promote Student programming and opportunities such as the NSJE, Student Perspectives, Critique Room and Fellowships.

What’s your favorite thing about being on the board?

The people.  As with NCECA as a whole the people are what make it exceptional: their dedication, creativity, passion, and intellect.

What’s your favorite part of your specific position?

Writing BLOG posts – just kidding. I do enjoy writing for the blog but truthfully there is not just one thing that I like.  I love learning from all of the talented and dedicated board members and the NCECA staff, getting to really know the ins and outs of the programming and opportunities NCECA as an organization provides, and being a sounding board for students questions and concerns.

Who are some of your mentors, and how have they shaped you as a person/artist? (both in and out of the organization/field)

Jeffrey and Shalya Playing Dress UpThe catch all answer is that I believe in some way every person who I encounter has an influence on me.  Some of those influences are more obvious, others so subtle they go unrecognized. Of course the truth is my mother and my husband are the most important people in my life.  My undergraduate faculty and my graduate faculty – Margaret Bohls, Eddie Dominguez, and Pete Pinnell have inspired me to take risks, be my own critic, and push both my work and my professional practice.  I am also incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Debbie Sigel while participating in a residency at Millersville University in Lancaster, PA; and last but not least, all the students that I have had the pleasure of learning with over the years. (There are too many to list but you know who you are.)

Tell me about your work as an artist.

ShalyaMarsh-1-DSC_1382-fav-EDIT-blogMy focus in the last year has been on a body of work that utilizes digital methods of production, combined with handwork, to create pieces that formally explore multiples and variation as a means of expressing content that deals with distance, tension, and absence.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Chocolate.  I love anything with chocolate!!!

If you were a glaze, which one would you be and why?

A Turtle – Oh wait did you say GLAZE?

On the way to a Scooter RallyWhat are a few of your hobbies?

When I’m not making art I enjoy sewing on paper, playing dress up with my friends, and restoring, and riding vintage scooters.

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