Visiting artist arrives on campus

Audrey Menninga

Several NMU student organizations and departments are hosting a ten-day series of demonstrations and lectures from a visiting artist.

On Wednesday, March 17, Anne Drew Potter, an artist and sculptor, gave her opening lecture.  Potter will also offer a series of demonstrations showing different artistic techniques while she sculpts a piece of her own. This will occur on Thursday, March 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then Friday, March 19 through Wednesday March 24 from 1 to 4 p.m. All of her demonstrations will be located in the School of Art & Design’s ceramic studio.

According to Potter’s Web site, her work incorporates the idea of the human mind and how it views normalcy in our world. It says she challenges the way society tells us to view a human body by manipulating anatomical signifiers of gender, race, age and other identification characteristics.

“It’s kind of unheard of that such an experienced, professional artist is willing to come for such a long period of time. So it’s really a benefit to the university that we’re able to get her here for so long, and it’ll be a benefit to the students,” said Jane Shellenbarger, a professor of ceramics and the faculty advisor for the NMU Mudslingers.

The Mudslingers, a student ceramics group, along with several other student organizations and NMU departments worked together to bring Potter to campus.

“Knowing that we had struggled in the past to get a visiting artist to come to Northern, I knew that we had to get some collaboration with other departments to prove that visiting artist events not only contribute to art students but to a variety of majors on campus,” said Jessica Vitale, co-president of the Mudslingers.

Vitale said that she contacted several different groups to see if they would be interested in helping to bring this famous artist to campus. Several groups responded, feeling it would be beneficial to their group as well.

“This is a great opportunity to see the collaborative efforts of very different departments on campus working together. This is how education should be — a connection between a variety of realms of education,” Shellenbarger said.

Other groups who have worked to bring Potter include the Multicultural Education and Resource Center, Art Students League, Student Psychological Association, National Art Education Association and NMU College of Business.

“The College of Business is excited to be involved with Anne Drew Potter’s visit to [NMU],” said Lea Dziesinski, a senior marketing major. “Potter exemplifies the role of an entrepreneur. She has designed a product, developed a marketing plan, and created a successful business appealing to art appreciators and collectors, while doing something she enjoys.”

There will be a final closing lecture Thursday, March 25 at 7 p.m. in West Science 2904B. During this time she will talk about what she has accomplished during her time at Northern.

Shellenbarger said, “Everybody is welcome to come, free of charge. We encourage people to come and go throughout the whole ten-day period.”