Art students receive awards to study with potter

Two Western Carolina University art students are recipients of WCU Friends of the Arts Dean’s Scholarship Awards to enable them to study with renowned potter Jeff Oestriech this summer.

Recommended by Joan Byrd, WCU professor of ceramics, the students are Melena Reid, an art major from Winston Salem who is focusing on sculpture, and Ann Suggs, an art major from Balsam with a concentration in painting and an additional focus in ceramics.

They will study with Oestriech, who will be teaching “A Closer Look at Function and Detail” June 16-21. The workshop is part of the Cullowhee Mountain ARTS series led by artists of national and international reputation, held in the art studios in WCU’s School of Art and Design.

A highly regarded studio potter, Oestriech has exhibited extensively in museums and galleries around the world, and his work can be found in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Inchon World Ceramic Center, The Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, said Robert Kehrberg, dean of WCU’s College of Fine and Performing Arts.

“These two students will spend a week working in a master class with a nationally known ceramics instructor and artist,” Kehrberg said. “This will be a wonderful opportunity for these students to learn from and work alongside such a fine artist.”