Arts & Culture

The shape of things to come

3 min read

The Ceramics Program gets new studio, leadership

The Office for the Arts’ Ceramics Program, one of Harvard’s longest and most celebrated, moved this month from its home of 26 years at 219 Western Ave. in Allston just a few blocks down to 224. The new location, designed by Cambridge-based Galante Architecture Studio, boasts a public gallery directly fronting the street and will build upon the success of the existing programming while including visiting artist series, exhibitions, and community initiatives.

The interior of the 15,010-square-foot studio offers classrooms for wheel-thrown, hand-built, and sculptural ceramics, as well as clay and glaze chemistry labs, plaster and mold-making design areas, a large kiln room with gas reduction, soda, electric and raku and sagger firing options. There are independent workspaces for professional artists, administrative offices, a lounge, a visual presentation and digital resource room, and a research collection of work by visiting artists.

“This is an extraordinary time for Harvard arts under the leadership of President Faust,” said Jack Megan, the director of the Office for the Arts. “This new, state-of-the-art studio is a signifier of her commitment and the University’s commitment to fostering arts practice. The Office for the Arts’ Ceramics Program has long been a creative intersection for Harvard students, faculty, administrators, and the community from across Greater Boston. This studio will enhance that connectedness and enrich the lives of artists and scholars for many years to come.”

This change also marks a transition in program leadership. On July 1, Shawn Panepinto, acting director since 2010, was appointed director of studio operations and outreach and instructor Kathryn King was appointed the new role of director of education. Together they will oversee all aspects of the program’s development as it begins its new chapter at 224 Western Ave.

The Ceramics Program opens a new facility at 224 Western Ave. in Allston that includes a public gallery and other enhanced spaces and amenities. The large wheel throwing space is pictured from above during a wheel throwing class with porcelain clay.
Casey Zeng wedges his porcelain clay.
Cyndi Mason rolls out clay to make a bowl using hand-building techniques.
Emma Vesey decorates the surface of her hand-built pot.
Christopher Adam ’94 fashions a ceramic sculpture by hand.
Ceramics instructor Monica Ripley (center) demonstrates throwing techniques with porcelain clay.
Gretchen Mamis (left) and Mei-Li Milonni observe Monica Ripley’s lesson.
Instructor Monica Ripley tapers and shapes the sides of her porcelain bowl.
Director of Studio Operations and Outreach Shawn Panepinto (left) and Director of Education Kathryn King are pictured in the new ceramics studio.
An overview of the modern digs.
Christopher Adam ’94 works diligently among the other ceramics students.
Students practice throwing techniques on the wheels.
Students work in the large wheel throwing studio space.
Bisque-fired and glazed ceramic pieces are found throughout the studio.
An engraved interpretation of a kettle.
Another kettle, in stark white.