HUB-Robeson Galleries presents 'Ghosts,' a collection of bisqueware

October 04, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The HUB-Robeson Galleries on Penn State's University Park campus will present "Ghosts," an exhibition of works selected from the School of Visual Arts' collection of bisqueware, known as the Bisque Library, from Oct. 3 to Feb. 2 in the display cases on the first floor of the HUB-Robeson Center.

A free, informal celebration of the exhibition will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 16. 

Bisqueware is clay that has been kiln fired once and has no chemically bonded water remaining in it. Clay can be fired a second time at a higher temperature for a glaze, or glass surface, that is often referred to as “finished.” The term "ghosts" is a colloquial way to reference ceramics made during demonstrations and workshops that were never intended to be finished. Instead, they were made as an instructional tool to show students and the public the “how to” side of the artist’s practice.

This exhibition is an invitation to explore the variety of forms and numerous approaches to handling clay. Notably, none of the artists are identified — the origins of these works may only be known by the maker themselves, or in the memory of a workshop attendee. As a library for the School of Visual Arts' ceramics area, the pots are typically kept in open, available spaces for learners to interact with.

The collection is informal; visiting artists, professors and graduate students have added to it at will over several decades. It can be a keeper of time, a year book of sorts, for artists to look back over years of making. At the same time, it is new and fresh to students who are just beginning their journey with clay. The collection instills a spirit of generosity, to leave something behind as a way to make a mark and teach through the objects they’ve made, influencing students and advancing the ceramics community.

The HUB-Robeson Galleries thanks professors Chris Staley, Liz Quackenbush, David Dontigny, Jim Stephenson, Tom Lauerman and Shannon Goff for the loan of this work, as well as their contributions of thought, time and memory to the library.

The display cases are available for public viewing daily. Please speak with a gallery assistant in the HUB Gallery to request to handle something on display. For more information on this and other exhibitions, contact the HUB-Robeson Galleries, a unit of Penn State Student Affairs, at 814-865-2563 or visit the galleries' website.

Last Updated October 04, 2019