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BSC’s BookTalk series marks 21 years with a native prairie theme

Published: Dec 31 2019
BSC’s BookTalk series marks 21 years with a native prairie theme - Photo


Long-term RLCC residents Derek Au and Stephanie Wilhelm will be on the Bismarck State College campus Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24, 2020 to share their journey as artists, creative processes and conceptual development.

The public is invited to attend informal conversations with the artists while they work on their pottery in BSC's LEA Hall 221 on Monday from 8-9:50 a.m. and 1-3:50 p.m., and Tuesday from 9-11:50 a.m. and 1-3:50 p.m. In addition, a potluck is planned for 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday along with a presentation at 7:30 p.m. in LEA Hall room 221 on the BSC Campus. 

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! All are encouraged to attend.   
  • The Public – All are welcome
  • BSC Community – Students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends
  • ND College and University Art Departments
  • Regional High School Art Departments
  • State & Regional Artists
  • Local Retirement Centers w/Recreational Programs
The goal of this event is to provide a diverse group of workshop participants an opportunity to observe and become part of the creative process. Dialogue between the resident artists and participants will be educational, entertaining and inspirational. The interaction between artist and audience will engage, connect and deliver a better understanding of Art as a Visual Language. The workshop offers an opportunity for participants to connect with artists, educators, and students across a wide range of ages and experiences at a personal, professional and spiritual level.

More about Derek Au: 
During his first year in college Derek Au fell in love with ceramics, dropped out, and moved to California to “become a potter”.  It didn’t work out.  So Derek went back to school and studied in a variety of fields without bothering to actually graduate.  For three of those years Derek studied computer science, which led to gigs at various start-ups during the heady days of the first internet boom.  In 2000, burned out and in search of more meaningful work, Derek landed a job with Greenpeace in Amsterdam.  Two years later he transferred to the sailing vessel Rainbow Warrior as a radio operator and media specialist.  His time on-shore was spent at various pottery studios.  Derek eventually disembarked in Hong Kong and volunteered for Greenpeace China.  He fell in love with the people and culture and decided to study Mandarin in Beijing while living in an old hutong neighborhood.  In 2007 a friend convinced Derek to “do something that terrifies you”, and he moved to the “Porcelain Capital of the World”- Jingdezhen.  He found work there as a studio manager at the Pottery Workshop under the direction of Takeshi Yasuda.  Derek later established his own ceramics studio and created two series of well-received porcelain work, “Planeware” and “Painted”.  In 2014 Derek began coding Glazy, a popular ceramics recipes database.  An avid photographer, in 2017 Derek created the 72 Hands project which documents traditional ceramics techniques.  Lately, Derek has been considering a move back to the US, spending time at the Northern Clay Center as a McKnight Resident Artist and a year in the Alfred University Ceramics Department as a Special Student.

More about Stephanie Wilhelm: 
Stephanie Wilhelm is a ceramic artist from Maryland. She holds a BFA from Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania and an MFA from the University of Florida. Throughout her career she has been a production potter, spent years in the wood-firing community, and worked at multiple community clay centers and institutions maintaining the studios and assisting visiting artists. She is a dedicated educator with years of teaching experience in outreach and community studios, as well as college level classes. Stephanie was a 2014-2015 Artist in Residence at the Brockway Center for Arts and Technology in Pennsylvania and a 2018-2019 Artist in Residence at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. She has exhibited her work throughout the US and internationally and was a 2017 NCECA Graduate Student Fellowship recipient. Stephanie is currently a part of the Red Lodge Clay Center in Montana as one of their 2019-2020 Long Term Artists in Residence.
To RSVP for the events, please email Brian Hushagen or fill out the form below. 

Learn more about Red Lodge Clay Center:

The 2020 Red Lodge Clay Center Workshop is made possible in part through funding from the Dakota West Arts Council.