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Battle Lake potter receives LRAC/McKnight artist fellowship

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This year’s recipient of the LRAC/McKnight Fellowship for Visual Arts/Music Artists is ceramic artist Sean Scott of Pomme de Terre Pottery in Battle Lake.

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By providing him with the uninterrupted time to work in his home studio, the LRAC/McKnight Fellowship will allow him to develop an in depth body of work using various hand building techniques with stoneware. 

Scott plans to use the body of work to educate others about his processes, findings, and to exhibit the final product to various audiences both locally and nationally.

His hand-built pottery enables him to explore various connections between food, landscape and the body.

“Clay has a wonderful ability to directly address these particular facets of our world,” states Scott.

“Food can act as a metaphor for not only what we eat but what we take in, what sustains us. Landscape is where our nourishment comes from, it is the land from which we eat, it is the “body” upon which we all depend.

“We pick up a cup with our hands, we touch it to our lips, it is an intimate sensual experience. I would like each piece to be intentionally touched and held, used and cleaned. For me it is important to have the function and form relate to a personal experience.”

Scott received his educational training in Ohio and Nebraska.  He completed his BFA through Ohio University, Athens in 1996 and his MFA at the University of Nebraska in 2005.

After completing his studies, he moved to Minnesota and opened his ceramic studio “Pomme de Terre Pottery” with his spouse, Kathryn Scherfenberg.

“During the course of a long tenure at UNL I worked with more than fifty graduate students. I easily rank Sean at the top of the best potters we mentored in that program,” states Gail Kendall, Emeritus Professor of Art, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Scott’s ceramic art has won critical acclaim in juried exhibits across the country including “Mug Shots,” A National Juried Cup Show, Lux Center for the Arts, Lincoln, Neb., and “Bluegrass Bourbon: By the Bottle/By the Ounce,” Juried Exhibition, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Louisville, Ky. He was awarded Best of Show, 18th Annual Nellie Allen Smith Juried Pottery Competition, Cape Fear Studios, Fayetteville, N.C., in 2012.

Scott has a strong commitment to educating and inspiring others to pursue their talents. He continues to demonstrate and teach to students of all ages through artist residencies in public schools, demonstrations at libraries and senior centers, and onsite demonstrations and instruction at his studio near Battle Lake.

“Almost every semester since 2006, I have brought my Ceramics students on field trips to Sean and Kate’s pottery studio, Pomme de Terre Pottery,” says Lori Charest, a ceramic and design instructor at M State in Fergus Falls.

“He has always graciously welcomed us and shown us a wide array of techniques and processes. He is extremely talented and willing to share with others. His work is technically excellent and he has well researched and thought out ideas.”

Scott is a member of the American Craft Council, National Council of Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), and Art of the Lakes, Battle Lake. He is actively involved in the annual Art of the Lakes Studio Tour and the Volunteer Mentor for Project Challenge in Battle Lake.

Lake Region Arts Council awards one $5,000 McKnight Fellowship each year to honor and recognize an outstanding artist in the region. The McKnight Foundation of Minneapolis provides the funding for the LRAC Fellowship program.

The eligible disciplines alternate every two years between visual arts/music and literary/performance arts.  This year, the disciplines were visual arts and music.

The presentation of the award will take place at the LRAC Annual Meeting and Celebration on Tuesday, July 15 at Café 116 in Fergus Falls. The event is open to the public and the cost is $22 for the meal. For more information, call LRAC at 218-739-5780 or email: LRAC4@LRACgrants.org.

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