Hawks in the Mud

A ceramic sculpture of a man huddled by several bags set in a pile in a shopping cart. The man is in a large, puffy winter coat with a red winter cap. His arms are wrapped around himself as he gazes down at the pile. The background and base is that of an American flag.
Photo by Hector Ochoa

HFC’s Sisson Gallery hosted the Michigan Mud exhibit which features pottery work from both student artists and professional artists in their respective crafts. The event lasted from October 23 to the following day though the artwork is still on display at the Sisson. Fine Arts Professors such as Hashim Al-Tawil and Steve Glazer participated along with students like Nate Zrnich, Sophia Hart, and Sarah Boswell. All represented HFC in the exhibition that included various other schools from Michigan and Northern Ohio.

Most of the colleges involved in the Mud exhibit are four year Universities; HFC is one of only two community colleges that participated. Since the Mud exhibition consists of student art, quite a bit of leg work was required to organize it. HFC professor Steve Glazer mentioned that “it is extra work to round up student work, drive it across the state, then pick it up, and this is often beyond what people have time for. I feel my students are worth the extra trouble to do this when I can.” This implies that there is a great deal of talent at Henry Ford.

The event also provided a platform for piquing the interest of student artists and other students. Glazer stated that “it was quite an honor, though a ton of work, to have the MCAA ask HFC to host Michigan Mud 2015. In the past, when schools host this conference, the corresponding exhibition is only on display for the duration of the conference. It was my choice as Director of Exhibitions at HFC to have the exhibition up longer, for a full month.” A full month of this exhibit provides students and faculty with an ample amount of time to peruse the artwork thoroughly.

As mentioned earlier, the participation of Henry Ford students is a huge factor in deciding to host this event in the Grant Mackenzie fine arts building at HFC. One of the pieces provided by Sophia Hart, a Henry Ford student and accomplished artist, is a pair of ceramic boots that were inspired by Van Gogh. About her work and participation, Hart stated “I wanted to do something challenging to refine my skills in ceramics. I never expected the outcome of them to be so exceptional … As far as Michigan Mud, it was cool to see how ceramics can be a profession. I’m a painter and always have been. Mud showed me how I can take that further while incorporating my love of painting with ceramics as well.” Michigan Mud provides students with a chance to display their artwork alongside works from peers and professionals alike.