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HMA to Welcome Maria Dondero as Walter Gropius Master Artist

The Huntington Museum of Art will welcome ceramics artist Maria Dondero as a Walter Gropius Master Artist in February. Dondero will speak about her work in a free public presentation at HMA on Thursday, February 8, 2024, at 7 p.m. A reception follows the discussion.

An exhibit of work by Dondero goes on view at HMA on Dec. 16, 2023, and continues through March 31, 2024. Dondero will conduct a workshop at HMA titled “Let’s Make Friendly Pots” from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, February 9, through Sunday, February 11, 2024. For workshop fee information or to register for the workshop, call (304) 529-2701 or visit hmoa.org.

Dondero was born in Yaoundé, Cameroon, the youngest of five children, and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, with her family in 1983. After high school, she spent more than a year living and learning in Latin America. She attended her first pottery class while in Guanajuato, Mexico, and went on to study ceramics at the University of Georgia, where she earned a BFA (2005) and an MFA (2008).

In 2009 Dondero opened Marmalade Pottery, a studio and gallery in Athens, Georgia. Then, in 2016, she renovated a former industrial space and established Southern Star Studio, a vibrant community pottery studio and gallery. She has taught at universities and led workshops across the country. In 2023, she and three other women began an international cooperative ceramics studio in Cortona, Italy. She is represented by prominent galleries nationwide and her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions.

The artist has shared the following thoughts about her work: “I love pots and am honored to make pieces that people bring into their lives. I love eating and am amazed at the way a delicious meal becomes an even more beautiful experience when served in a thoughtful, handmade dish. I love drinking tasty things and feel connected to the maker when I choose a particular cup. These daily rituals of creating beauty in experience have kept me interested in making pots for the last 20 years. I aim to create friendly pots that are warm, comfortable, loose, and vulnerable. Pieces that folks will enjoy having around. I connect to pottery for the long history of potters worldwide who have made art objects to be used in everyday life. I choose terracotta for the rich color and the likeness to Georgia Clay. I use a kaolin slip to add texture and a surface to draw back into. I respond to the form itself with imagery from my life and surroundings. I seek to balance the immediacy of quickly sketched drawings with the permanence of a piece of pottery that could be around long after I am.”

This exhibit is presented with support from the City of Huntington Mayor’s Council for the Arts.

This exhibit is presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

For more information on events at the Huntington Museum of Art, visit hmoa.org or call (304) 529-2701, HMA is fully accessible.

West Virginia residents may obtain a summary of the registration and financial documents from the Secretary of State, State Capitol, Charleston, WV 25305. Registration does not imply endorsement.