Ridgewater College Exhibits in Hutchinson and Willmar

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Sam Spiczka: Rural Arrangements and Eileen Cohen: Dressing Room

Exhibits on view currently at Ridgewater College:

The Fine Art Galleries on the Willmar and Hutchinson Campuses of Ridgewater College host 6 regional artists each school year. The exhibits typically rotate from the respective campuses, allowing the community, staff, and students the opportunity to view and visit with each artist. Artists usually visit studio Art classes during their time on campus, and the public is welcome to sit in on gallery discussions and converse with the artists.


Map & Directions
2101 15th Avenue NW
Willmar MN 56201
(320) 222-5200

Map & Directions
2 Century Avenue SE
Hutchinson MN 55350
(320) 234-8500

On view currently in Hutchinson : (Until Feb 8th)

Sam Spiczka: Rural Arrangements

Picture of scupture, abstract, gear like.

Sam will be visiting classes on February 8th, where he will discuss his working process and methods of design.

About Sam: Inspired by natural bone forms, rural technology, and geometric structure, Sam Spiczka has produced an unsettling body of work that is both modern and intensely primal, public yet deeply personal.

Born and raised in rural Minnesota, Spiczka became captivated by metal early on through the experience of working at his family’s welding shop. Though he briefly studied art and philosophy at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, his true education has come from Nature, the example of past sculptors, and the craftsmanship of his father. His award winning sculptures have been exhibited nationally – including at DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, the Rochester Art Center and Franconia Sculpture Park – and can be found in many public and private collections.


On view currently in Willmar : (Until Feb 10th)

Eileen Cohen: Dressing Room

pink wave like sculpture.

Eileen Cohen is visiting  the Willmar campus on Friday, February 10th, and will be discussing her working process of using clay in a non-traditional manner, as well as relaying information about her work as an educator and curator at Silverwood Park in Minneapolis.

 About Eileen: Eileen Cohen received her MFA in ceramics from Indiana University in Bloomington and her BFA in ceramics from the University of Delaware in Newark. She was a 2005 McKnight Resident Artist at the Northern Clay Center following a residency at the Mendocino Art Center in California. She maintains a studio in NE Minneapolis, and her ceramic sculptures were recently exhibited at Gallery 71 in Edina, the DeVos Art Museum in Michigan, North Hennepin Community College, and the Nash Gallery at the University of Minnesota. Current shows include For the Frill of It at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. Eileen is an arts educator and exhibitions coordinator at Silverwood Park and a teaching artist at the Northern Clay Center.

About the work “Prom”: As a ceramic artist, I am deeply committed to clay as material and I am smitten with its tactile quality, rich history, and element of surprise. I am interested in how we define value and ideas of luxury, excess, and consumption. I enjoy the play between what is practical or impractical and what is functional or decorative. In this new body of work, I reference terra cotta roofing tiles, a utilitarian and mass produced item. However, my tiles are made individually and manipulated giving the clay a fabric-like appearance similar to ruffles, tutus, and drapery. When the tiles are amassed together, my hope is to impart a lavish dressiness.
About the work “Trophy Room”: For the past several years, I have explored the human/animal relationship through flocked ceramic sculptures. I approach animals with compassion and empathy, and I am deeply saddened by their suffering. I am disturbed by the mistreatment of animals: how humans exploit animals as objects for our enjoyment, entertainment, and consumption. Through my ceramic work, I explore my own role in this relationship.

The sculptures shown are inspired by animal form and the complex relationships between humans and animals. Reduced to minimal forms, my sculptures enable me to explore surface, proportion, and color. By removing parts from a whole and skewing proportion, I create work that captures animal form. Often emphasizing an element of humor in the work, I make the work accessible to the viewer by breaking down formality. In the end, I want to create sculptures that are richly tactile and visually alluring, eliciting a desire to touch.

I look at animals from many perspectives. I find inspiration in fishing lures, decoys, taxidermy animals and catalogues, cuts of meat, horses, saddles, bones, animal souvenirs, holiday mascots, and pets. I spend time observing animals as well as looking at images, books, and articles as my position on the subject evolves. Perhaps, though, the simple forms and bright colors of my sculptures mask my concern for animal welfare. As I move forward with my work as a ceramic artist, my intention is to bring greater awareness to the issues that are important to me.

Contact: Andrew Nordin, Ridgewater Fine Art Gallery program coordinator, 320-234-8518

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