Heather Mae Erickson

Erickson, BFA at UArts and MFA at Cranbrook. She was a summer resident at the Archie Bray and was also awarded a Fulbright to study at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland.  She was a resident artist at the The Clay Studio, and taught at UArts, Rowan, and Arcadia. She has earned numerous awards, including first place for the Horizon Award presented by the Museum of Art and Design in New York. She was awarded an Independence Fellowship for a summer 2009 residency at The International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark.  She was the 2009-2012 Robert Turner Teaching Fellow at Alfred University. In 2012 she moved to Colorado where she taught at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Red Rocks Community College, Colorado Mountain College-Aspen Campus and Arapahoe Community College. The following year she was a visiting teaching artist sabbatical replacement for the 2013-14 academic year at CU Boulder.  Heather Mae is currently Associate Professor at Western Carolina University.

Pride Pots is a body of ceramic design work I have been producing in my studio at Western Carolina University throughout the last two years. The project is quickly transforming into a socially engaged (public practice) project. Pride Pots: Community Conversations grew out of a design collection for Heather Mae Erickson Ceramic Design and by tying together and truly embracing the Boyer Model of teaching, service, and scholarship. It feels only natural to transition this project into a community-building art experience that is centered around hard conversations. In the studio, I have been having conversations with myself and now I have broadened my scope to allow my interests, research, and dedication to the areas such as DEIB, resilience, well-being, outreach, community engagement, service-learning, creation of intentional creative spaces for belonging, recruitment, mentorship (lateral, upward, and downward), student and faculty research, curricular innovation and development, and audience education and development. Upcoming exhibitions and events are currently being scheduled which will give me and my volunteer team public hands-on making/conversation happenings where community member will be able to help paint Pride Pots and create safe spaces for conversation and belonging. The culmination of the events will take place at The Clay Studio in a solo exhibition towards the end of 2023.  Funds from the sales of the community pots will be applied toward creating an endowed scholarship in the Western Carolina Universities School of Art & Design’s MFA Program in the David Orr Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts. The goal for this newly created scholarship is to provide financial support to an underrepresented candidate in the MFA Program who also has interests in Ceramics and service-learning and community engagement.

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