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KCAI Opens Teaching Collection

The late Ceramic artist Ken Ferguson
The late Ceramic artist Ken Ferguson

By Laura Spencer

Kansas City, MO – On March 1, the Kansas City Art Institute marked the dedication of a new room housing the Ken Ferguson Teaching Collection. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.

The late artist Ken Ferguson chaired the Kansas City Art Institute's ceramics department for 32 years until his retirement in 1996. During this tenure, Ferguson started an important study collection of student and faculty pottery.

Cary Esser, a former student of Ferguson's and chair of the ceramics department, says the collection continues. Esser says the more than 600 objects serve as a teaching tool. "I was talking to a student about the lip on a tea cup. (In the collection room) we took down a lot of teacups. It was neat to be able to touch them, as well as look at them to help the student resolve a problem."

The Ken Ferguson Teaching Collection Room is located in the Richard J. Stern Ceramics Building at the Art Institute in the former office space Ferguson shared with colleagues.

From the KCAI: "The collection includes works by noteworthy alumni who have made their mark in the field, including Irving Tepper, Richard Notkin, Kurt Weiser, Akio Takamori, Irma Starr, Chris Gustin, Chris Staley, Andrew Martin, Sarah Jaeger, Josh DeWeese, Maren Kloppmann, Jesse Small, Nathan Mabry and Nobu Nishigawara. Also included in the collection are pieces by visiting artists and faculty to the ceramics department and other artists who have made generous donations, such as Patti Warashina, Howard Kottler, Robert Turner, Marilyn Lysohir, Betty Woodman, David Shaner, Peter Pinnell and James Makins."

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