Student Wins Michigan Ceramics Art Association Scholarship

Thursday, August 25, 2016
HFC Student Denise Widen wins Michigan Ceramics Art Association Scholarship.

Denise Widen, an HFC student studying ceramics, was one of two community college students who recently won a $500 scholarship from the Michigan Ceramics Art Association (MCAA).

“I’m grateful. It’s at a point where this recognition convinces me that I can keep moving forward,” said Widen, of Wyandotte.

According to the MCAA, this scholarship encourages students to further their ceramics education. To be eligible, a student must be a U.S. citizen and currently enrolled at a post-secondary institution within the state of Michigan. They must also aspire to a career in ceramics arts and/or the teaching of ceramics arts.

Students were judged on completed works only. The scholarship was awarded based on the submission of their work, a statement of intent and a letter(s) of recommendation. Their artwork was judged on talent, skill, inventiveness, originality, craftsmanship, form and subject matter. The MCAA Governing Board, which consists of 10 members, rendered the final judgment.

“The MCAA has been sponsoring this scholarship for almost 20 years. Our mission is to support ceramics art and education. This year’s two scholarship winners submitted exemplary work,” said James Adair, acting president of the MCAA.

A Dearborn Heights native, Widen has been a teacher for 23 years in the Woodhaven-Brownstown Public Schools. For the last 12 years, she has taught kindergarten. A graduate of Annapolis High School (AHS) in Dearborn Heights, she earned her undergraduate degree in Art Education, as well as certifications in early childhood education and K-12 art education from Wayne State University in Detroit.

Widen’s goal is to earn an master’s of fine arts (MFA). According to HFC Ceramics Instructor Steven Glazer, students must have a portfolio of completed artwork to submit when applying for an MFA. Widen’s reason for taking ceramics classes at HFC is to sharpen her skills and have completed, updated artwork for her portfolio, stated Glazer.

“Denise is very hard-working and very dedicated – both as a student and as a teacher. As one of my more non-traditional students, I’ve gotten to know her on a personal level. She’s very deserving of this scholarship. In my experience of having her in my class, she is very focused and very passionate about her artwork – her sculptures are extremely thought out and meticulous,” said Glazer.

Widen has high praise for HFC’s ceramics program.

“HFC has a very good ceramics facility and its program is known in this area for having high-quality faculty. Because it exists, many ceramic artists get a good quality education, which is important and needs to be supported. The HFC ceramics program is good for so many people on so many levels,” said Widen.