Wheel world experience

Potter Meghan Taylor Holtan—a graduating third-year in Latin American Studies—considers herself lucky to show her work in Regenstein Library’s Special Collections Outer Gallery, a space typically booked five years in advance. On exhibit last Wednesday through today, “Craftworks” features pottery Holtan created last summer outside Homer, Alaska. Thanks to a summer grant from the U of C Arts Council, she spent the season firing the kilns and mixing glazes under the watchful eye of the Anchorage native’s mentor, artisan Paul Dungan.

“You would think that ceramics don’t have a place at the University of Chicago,” Holtan writes in her exhibition description. “Craft of the hand doesn’t work so well with the life of the mind. However, UChicago, for all its theoretical foundations, was quite supportive of my binge on the three-dimensional realm.”

Part of her display, in fact, pays homage to functional pottery and sculpture at the University over the past 100 years. While three glass cases contain Holtan’s earthy, glazed mugs and bowls with muted organic designs, mounted on the wall behind are news clippings from pottery-related University archives, pulled together with help from Jay Satterfield and Rosa Williams.

It may be a while before Holtan’s next exhibit. “I am trying to graduate right now, so I am not doing any pottery,” she says. “I expect if I get back into pottery it will be in several years. Plus, I have plans after graduation to start a circus with some pals of mine.”

Joy Olivia Miller

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February 23, 2004