USC Upstate News

Mark Gordon Sculpture Works To Be Exhibited At USC Upstate

01- 05- 2009

Spartanburg, S.C. - The Curtis R. Harley Art Gallery at the University of South Carolina Upstate will host an exhibition of work by sculptor Mark Gordon from Friday, January 16 to Thursday, February 19. Gordon will give an artist lecture on Thursday, February 19 at 4:30 p.m. and a reception will follow.

Covered UrnGordon was recently highlighted on the September/October cover of Pottery Making Illustrated.  His article “Pushing the Envelope,” led the magazine’s list of titles with a step-by-step process of joining dry clay to dry clay. 

His inspiration is often derived from an eclectic mix of nature and plant growth, animal skeletons, machinery, scrap yards, and through his international travels.  Gordon sees his artwork as a melding of idea and action, of inspiration and impulse—all within the context of steady work, labor, and effort — “thinking” combined with “doing.”  When creating sculpture pieces, Gordon like to experiment, create, and transform his favorite medium as his curiosity dictates.

Gordon believes in bringing all of his experiences, curiosity and creativity into his classroom.  Gordon thinks that within the academic community, an art program fulfills a vital role in promoting visual literacy while fostering creative exploration and challenging students to question the way the world presents itself to them – it’s a unique opportunity to explore nature and culture.

“When students engage in the challenge of studying art history and creating their own artwork, they harness the use of imagination, aesthetics, chemistry, coordination, and intellect.  And, when a student’s interests extend to connect science, mathematics, social studies, and reading with the traditional realm of visual art, the opportunity for guided cross-disciplinary research helps a student develop a deeper understanding of all subjects.”

Gordon is a native of Rochester, N.Y., Gordon serves as an associate professor of art at Barton College in Wilson, N.C., where he has taught ceramics and sculpture in the art department since 1999. Gordon came to Barton from Whitmore, Calif., where he taught at The Cascade School from 1995-1999.  Other appointments have included serving as a graduate teaching associate at The Ohio State University followed by an artist-in- residence position at the Des Moines Art Center in Iowa.  Gordon served as a lecturer at Drake University in Iowa and at Sonoma State University at Rohnert Park, Calif.  He also was a Fulbright Lecturer at the Facultad de Artes, Universidad Nacional in Obera, Argentina during the summer of 1991.

In addition to an artist-in-residence position at East Carolina University, Gordon has also held visiting faculty positions at the University of California at Davis, the San Francisco Art Institute, the University of Michigan, and Whitman College in Michigan. He has held numerous art residencies across the nation as well as Caracus,Venezuela; Cairo, Egypt; Madrid Spain; Jerusalem, Israel; La Romana, Dominican Republic; and Oxfordshire, England.  Gordon has presented over 100 lectures and workshops in 19 states and seven foreign countries. He has been recognized with numerous awards and grants.

From 1980 to 1983, Gordon designed and implemented a ceramics studio at Altos de Chavón, creating a vocational workshop for the people of La Romana in the Dominican Republic.  He returned in fall 2007 when he was invited by the Igneri Foundation to jury the Third International Ceramic Tile Triennial or Elit-Tile 2006-2007 international ceramics exhibition.

The Curtis R. Harley Art Gallery is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. The lecture and reception is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jane Nodine, Gallery Director, at (864) 503-5838.