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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Oct. 16: Documentary film on Potter Warren MacKenzie

Documentary of 89-year old Minnesota potter to be shown in CSU's Northeast Ballroom.

2013-10-17
Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 10-4-2013

Mankato, Minn. – A documentary film of renowned 89-year-old potter Warren MacKenzie (pictured) at work in his studio will be shown at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 16 in the Northeast Ballroom of Centennial Student Union on the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus.

The documentary showing is free and open to the public.

The documentary, titled “Warren MacKenzie: A Potter’s Hands,” follows the potter through his complete firing cycle and captures MacKenzie sharing his own stories. It provides a view into the creation of the art form and imparts to Minnesotans the artistic value of pottery, as well as its historic and cultural significance to society as a whole.

The showing at Minnesota State Mankato is one of five this fall for the documentary, which premiered Sept. 5 at Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Coon Rapids, Minn. The film was also shown Sept. 20 in Duluth, Minn. It will be shown Oct. 10 at the University of Minnesota before coming to Minnesota State Mankato.

After serving in the Army during World War II, MacKenzie returned from Japan and attended The Art Institute of Chicago. He apprenticed with English potter Bernard Leach from 1949-1952. In 1953, he and his wife purchased a farm near Stillwater, Minn., and constructed a studio where he continues to work today.

Over his career of more than 60 years, MacKenzie has made vast contributions to our society’s cultural heritage. His simple, wheel-thrown functional pottery, heavily influenced by Korean folk pottery, is internationally recognized. According to the Smithsonian Institution, MacKenzie is credited with bringing to Minnesota the Japanese “Mingei” style of pottery—“hand-crafted art for ordinary people.” He joined the University of Minnesota art faculty in 1952 and remains a professor emeritus today.

This documentary was funded by a Minnesota State Arts Board – Folk and Traditional Arts grant, and made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

For more information, contact Harlan Bloomer in the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art by email at harlan.bloomer@mnsu.edu or by phone at 507-389-6017.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,413 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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