Ceramicist Boosting Skills, Résumé Through State’s Only Post-Baccaulareate in Ceramics

Silver City, NM – Making pottery was once solely a creative outlet for Susie Meskill, who is now working to turn her hobby into a career. The first artist in the Western New Mexico University Post-Baccalaureate in Ceramics program, Meskill needed both the skills and the guidance to follow her chosen path. WNMU Assistant Professor of Ceramics Courtney Michaud is able to offer training and insight in a setting that promotes community involvement.

Since beginning at WNMU last fall, Meskill has gained a better understanding of the medium, learned how to critique and describe her work, and beefed up her skills and her resume.

“There are so many different components that go into making a pot that I didn’t consider before,” Meskill said.

After having served as the teaching assistant for Michaud’s beginning clay class this spring, Meskill ran a hand-building workshop.

“Everyone got to make a mug or a catch-all dish. I fired them and glazed them for everybody. It was a fun, free event that brought different people from different areas all together to be creative,” she said.

During the Silver City CLAY Festival, Meskill will hold a solo show in the Grant County Art Guild Annex and also assist visiting artist Jamie Bates Sloan for the festival’s headlining workshop at WNMU.

Meskill just signed on for a second year at WNMU. “I’m hoping to be a teaching assistant again and get a portfolio together to apply to grad schools,” she said.

But before the fall semester starts up, she will be participating in a two-week wheel throwing workshop at the prestigious Haystack Mountain School of Craft in Maine. Meskill received a full scholarship to attend.

Post-bac students at Western New Mexico University are given workspace and access to ceramic facilities in exchange for weekly work to help the ceramics program and studio function. Each student is will participate in advanced ceramics coursework and receive a weekly studio visit with faculty. Serving as a mentor to undergraduate students in an academic environment without a graduate program, post-bac students are held to high expectations and receive individualized attention. This opportunity is tuition-free and requires a strong work ethic, ambition and dedication.

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