Students Learn from Renowned Artist

Famed ceramicist Richard Notkin treated Northwest School ceramics students to a personal presentation of his work, providing insight on the evolution of his art and what it means to be a full-time artist, on Wednesday, May 31. Richard stressed to students that forward movement in most human endeavors has come from creative people.

"If you can keep that creative spirit alive in you, you can apply it where ever you go. You can be the people who make the difference," says Richard.

Richard's work is on display in museums all over the nation, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Design Museum.

According to Richard, he creates many of his pieces as a vehicle for political commentary. He explained the evolution of his art over his storied career, showing photos of some of his first pieces to the students. Richard also spoke in detail about the ceramic methods he used to create some of his tile mosaics, such as his piece titled "All Nations Have Their Moment of Foolishness."

Richard first connected with The Northwest School while perusing pieces at the National K-12 Exhibition in Portland earlier in March. He left a note of encouragement in a piece he liked and that piece happened to be "The Tower of Babel," submitted by junior Errol B.

Ceramics teacher Randy Silver was ecstatic to have one of his favorite ceramists speak to both middle and upper school students. "Richard has so much to offer the students, and even though they had just 90 minutes with him we had to offer it. You can't pass up an opportunity like this."