April 07, 2008

National council honors Deller for teaching

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Harris Deller, director of the School of Art and Design at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, has plenty of awards for his art. Recently, however, his skill as a teacher earned him recognition from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts.

The NCECA honored Deller with the prestigious Excellence in Teaching Award during opening ceremonies for its 42nd annual conference, held this year in Pittsburgh, Pa. The award is given to seasoned art professionals who have demonstrable success as ceramicists and as teachers. Recipients must have already won awards for both artistic creation and teaching in order to receive this award, and must also have former students who are in successful careers as ceramicists.

The NCECA elected Deller as a Fellow in 1992. The council has more than 4,000 members, but elects no more than two Fellows in any given year.

Deller has international awards for his art, including gold medals from competitions in Japan and Italy. He has been part of ceramics exhibits in South Korea, Finland, France, Germany and Poland, as well as the International New Art Forms Exhibition in Chicago and the American Craft Museum in New York City, to name a few. His work is part of collections in the Cranbrook Museum, the Philip Morris Collection and the American Craft Museum, among others. His solo exhibit roster includes galleries in Los Angeles and Chicago.

Among his previous awards, Deller includes an Artist Fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council, regional National Endowment for the Arts award and a Fulbright Fellowship.

Deller's two-month trip to China in 2006, when he was in residence at the Pottery Workshop Experimental Factory in China's "Porcelain Capital," Jingdezhen, resulted in several exhibitions. The trade magazine "Ceramics Monthly" featured Deller's work from that residency in an article by Glen R. Brown in the January 2008 issue.