Stephen Hawks, born in Washington D. C., has lived most of his life in Georgia. After early training in art, music and theater, he received his BFA from Valdosta State University and his MFA from Florida State University. He was Resident Potter at Westville, a living History Museum for 19 years and an independent Artist for over 30 years. He is married and has two grown Daughters and has recently moved with his wife, Nancy, to Brownsville to teach in the visual Arts Department at UTB. He is currently a visiting lecturer at UTB Ceramics Dept.
“My expertise is in wood fired, salt and slip glazed stoneware. I have conducted extensive research specifically in southern folk pottery traditions, and vapor, wood and slip glaze techniques and also worked extensively with gas and electric kilns and alternative firings. Recently I have produced experimental works using raw clays and slips in painting, installation, and performance works. I have helped manage and maintain at least 6 ceramic studio spaces, including: Sugar Creek Pottery, UGA ceramic department, Hogs Head Studio, Westville Pottery, and FSU ceramic department.
As resident potter for 19 years at Westville, a living history museum in Southwest Georgia I was in charge of all aspects of ceramic production and maintenance. I fired a 130 cu ft, wood-burning kiln, involving a community of interested people including local area college students. I became expert at explaining processes, interacting with up to 1,000 people a day. I taught workshops to all age groups, including appropriate technology workshops for Habitat for Humanity.
I have been represented in professional publications, exhibitions, and galleries throughout my career. Besides ceramics, I have worked with a wide range of materials including fibers, metal, and wood. My Master’s Thesis included digital video with original sound recordings, fabricated objects, collage, and performance.”
I believe in a balance between discipline and freedom. Students should be given access to knowledge and skills. The development of critical thinking, investigative practice, and experimentation should be encouraged without stifling creativity and intuition. As a teacher my role is to facilitate this process. I encourage an inquisitive atmosphere without instilling a fundamental doubt and skepticism, which I believe ultimately, discourages fruitful work. I demonstrate regularly for my students, giving direct instruction and imparting skills that come from long experience. I also give them plenty of time and space to find their own way. If a student needs individual instruction, I give it to them and am available to my students. If they seem to need another approach then I steer them to other sources for instruction also encouraging students to interpret skills and ideas for one another. I believe in mentorship. In a world where authority seems to have dissipated and been replaced by relativism, I see the cultivation of mutual respect and trust between student and teacher as integrally important to personal and cultural development and a more meaningful existence. I would go so far as to say what is needed is a reverential attitude towards learning, for the privilege of gaining and imparting knowledge both for the teacher and the Student.
Art as a discipline cannot simply be set aside from the culture at large, but is the vital active force in all culture which generates life and meaning.
Longer Artist’s Statement:
Stephen Hawks' Statement
MFA from Florida State University
BFA from Valdosta State University
AA (Theater) South Georgia College
CV/VITAE: Hawks Vitae
Refer to Vitae
Area of Specialty and Responsibility:
Ceramics, Intermedia, and Art History
Refer to Vitae