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College Receives New Arts Grant to Produce Documentary on Ceramics Master, Warren MacKenzie

November 06, 2012

With the help of a new $49,713 Minnesota State Arts Board grant, Anoka-Ramsey Community College will continue to promote the rich history and current practices of ceramics arts in Minnesota by capturing renowned potter Warren MacKenzie at work in his studio in a documentary titled, Warren MacKenzie: The People's Potter.

“Anoka-Ramsey is committed to helping art students create inspired works while equipping them for successful careers,” says college Art Faculty and grant coordinator Mark Lambert. “This documentary project flows from this commitment and will offer students and the public an opportunity to learn from this internationally prominent folk artist.”

The vision for the project is to document the 88-year-old MacKenzie at work before the opportunity to capture his experience on film closes. The production will follow MacKenzie’s process from start-to-finish, exploring his approach, style and methods, which current and future artists may refer to and learn from for years to come.

Once the documentary is completed, it will be presented throughout Minnesota at:

  • Anoka-Ramsey Community College(premiere and reception), Coon Rapids
  • Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis
  • Minnesota State University–Moorhead, Moorhead
  • Duluth Art Institute and Zeitgeist Arts Cafe/Zinema Theater, Duluth
  • Minnesota State University–Mankato, Mankato
  • Winona State University, Winona

More About the Artist

Throughout his 60 plus year career, MacKenzie has made vast contributions to our society’s cultural heritage. His simple, wheel-thrown functional pottery, heavily influenced by Korean folk pottery and the work of Japanese potter Shoji Hamada (friend of Leach), is internationally recognized.

According to the Smithsonian Institution, MacKenzie is credited with bringing to Minnesota the Japanese “Mingei” style of pottery—“hand-crafted art for ordinary people.” He joined the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities art faculty in 1952 and remains a professor emeritus today. His award-winning work is represented in collections at museums around the world.

Pottery is an extremely tactile art form that is utilitarian in origin. MacKenzie has always represented his work as everyday pottery for everyday people at an affordable price, reinforcing the functionality of his pieces. Yet his work continues to be highly valued and prized for its simple elegance and artistic value.  

Anoka-Ramsey Community College is a fiscal year 2012 recipient of a Folk and Traditional Arts grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.  These activities are funded, in part, by the arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the Legacy Amendment vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

For more information about the Warren MacKenzie documentary, visit AnokaRamsey.edu/Fire.aspx.

Warren Mackenzie Loading kiln

With the help of a new $49,713 Minnesota State Arts Board grant, the college will continue to promote the rich history and current practices of ceramics arts in Minnesota by capturing renowned potter Warren MacKenzie (shown) at work in his studio in a documentary titled, Warren MacKenzie: The People's Potter.