Professor Debuts Ceremic Exhibit

Associate Professor Suzanne Mauro will debut her installation, “Where There Was Nothing, Now There Are Roses,” in Bethel College’s Weaver Art Gallery which is located inside the Everest-Rohrer Chapel/Fine Arts Center. The opening reception is Friday, Sept. 7 from 5-7 p.m. The ceramic sculpture exhibit will run Sept. 8 – Oct. 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but will be closed on Sundays.

The show is an extension of Mauro’s 2011 show "The Flower Girls" with a theme of spiritual transformation. Mauro describes this show as a three-dimensional composition.

“In a painting an artist will draw out shapes and arrange them in a composition on a flat two-dimensional surface,” says Mauro. “I am in essence doing the same thing, only I am making all of the visual elements or forms out of clay and then arranging them in the gallery space to try and capture the vision I have in my mind.”

The forms in the show are a combination of porcelain and stoneware clay. Mauro has combined all ways of making three-dimensional forms that she’s learned during the last 15 years of her ceramics career: wheel throwing, slab, slip-cast fabric and pinching.

“What I have learned the most is that in order to make incredibly, visually dynamic forms out of clay, you have to be able to incorporate many different methods of formation in a way that the processes become hidden and may only be evident to the maker,” says Mauro.

Most people who are familiar with clay think of it only as a material with utilitarian potential, which means if you work with clay you must make dishes or pottery, says the sculpture artist.

“I would hope people would walk away with a new understanding that clay is a material with unlimited potential and with a little thought and ingenuity, the artist can use this material to visually communicate many important ideas,” says Mauro.

Mauro grew up in South Bend, Ind. She graduated from Purdue University with a B.A. in fine arts with a minor in psychology in 1999. She attended the University of Notre Dame and graduated in May 2003 with an M.F.A. in studio art concentrating in ceramic sculpture. After completing graduate school, Suzanne attended St. Mary’s of-the-Woods College where she earned her Indiana State Teaching License. She spent four years teaching art to students in the South Bend Community School Corporation. Suzanne teaches a variety of classes at Bethel including ceramics, 3-D design, drawing and art education for elementary school teachers.

Bethel College is an accredited Christian college offering associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in more than 70 areas of study. The current enrollment of more than 2,100 includes students from 34 states and Puerto Rico, 19 countries, more than 25 denominations and 16 percent from culturally diverse backgrounds. Scholarships are available based upon a variety of factors including academic achievement, talent in the arts or athletics, ethnicity and church affiliation. In addition to its beautifully wooded 75-acre main campus in Mishawaka, Ind., Bethel also offers specific academic programs at sites in Elkhart, Ind., Fort Wayne, Ind., Dowagiac, Mich., and St. Joseph, Mich. Nursing programs are also offered in cooperation with Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind.