September 08, 2022

Ceramic artist presents lecture at SIU tonight

Malcolm Mobutu Smith, an associate professor of ceramic art in the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design at Indiana University, will present a visiting artist lecture tonight, Thursday, Sept. 8.

Smith will show some of his work and present his lecture at 7 p.m. in Wham, Room 105. The lecture is free and open to the public. The lecture is part of the university’s Visiting Artist Program and sponsored by the School of Art and Design. Demonstrations are also scheduled today, Sept. 8, from 10 a.m. to noon and 1:30-4 p.m. in the Pulliam Industrial Wing, Room 102. 

Smith is also director of graduate studies in the Eskenazi School. In his artist statement, Smith states his works, both ceramic and drawing, “are guided by improvisations that fluctuate between volumetric forms with graphic flatness.”

He adds the “vessels are inspired by the intersections of graffiti art, comic books, and playful organic abstraction. Generally, my ceramics forms rely on wheel-thrown and hand-built elements, most commonly presented as abstractions of cups, bottles, and vases. In this making practice, I merge these forms with my passion for Hip Hop and Jazz as locations for invention and the unexpected.”

Smith earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. He studied at both the Kansas City Art Institute and Penn State University, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in ceramics.

Smith’s works are represented by the Wexler Gallery in Philadelphia and are held in numerous private and public collections, including New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art and Indiana State Museum.