St. Paul, Minn. – Macalester Art Prof. Gary Erickson will exhibit his work titled “Experiencing China:  Jingdezhen Porcelain Spirals,” November 21 – December 18, 2013, at the H. Williams Teaching Gallery, Concordia University, 1301 Marshall Ave., St. Paul, Minn. There will be two public receptions: one, from 5-7 p.m., on Thursday November 21, and the other from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, November 23.  All events are free and open to the public.

Erickson has been to China 10 times over nine years to create his unique porcelain artwork in Jingdezhen, the porcelain city of China.  He first worked as artist-in-residence at the Sanbao Ceramic Art Institute and for the past two years he rented private studio spaces. 

He has brought Macalester students to Jingdezhen, and this past summer, four Macalester first-year Chinese students assisted him in his studio while they were home.  

Jingdezhen continues to be an active industrial town where Chinese and foreign artists explore the unique properties of the historic porcelain clay.  The geology of the clay allows for production of vases 16 feet tall and tiles four feet by twelve feet at 3/8” thick, dimensions that cannot be replicated with domestic U.S. clays.

Erickson’s work was exhibited at the Jingdezhen International Academy of Ceramics in Jingdezhen during the summer of 2011.  This past summer he lectured at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and has established gallery representation at the SAS Gallery in Shanghai.  With support of a 2013 Minnesota State Arts Board Career Opportunity Grant, he has shipped his porcelain sculpture back to Minnesota for this exhibition at Concordia University-St. Paul and at Mankato State University in January.

Erickson commented on his art. “The concept of Yin-Yang 阴阳, the interaction of two energies that cause everything to happen, is the foundation for my slip cast porcelain sculptures that embody a unique natural elegance, simplicity and purity. My symbiotic relationship with China is reflected in the interdependence of forms nestled within or balanced and perched on top of each other.  These life experiences have made the work extremely personal and reflective of my growth as an international artist.”

Gary Erickson is a fiscal year 2013 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to the legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.  This exhibition is partially funded by a generous grant from the Chinese Heritage Foundation. 

Erickson received his B.A. from Hamline University, St. Paul, Minn. and M.F.A. from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in Alfred, NY. His sculptural work is in many collections:  National Museum of American Art/Smithsonian Institution’s Renwick Gallery in Washington D.C., Cuban Institute of Friendship with the People in Santiago de Cuba, Jingdezhen Sanbao Ceramic Art Institute in Jingdezhen, China. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board. Erickson is a visiting assistant professor of Art-Ceramics at Macalester and works from his Minneapolis studio.  Contact Erickson at 612-379-0306, or his website

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 2,011 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement. Learn more at

October 28 2013

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