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Beth Calengor (aka Beth Bialkowski)

American, b. 1952


3.75 x 10.25 x 10.25 in.
Gift of the artist

Beth Calengor’s MFA work at Utah State University primarily involved altered and decorated porcelain bowls. This 1991 Untitled bowl (though Calengor refers to it as Blue Celadon Bowl with an Altered Rim) proposes a playful dynamic between the bowl’s segmented edge and its three-dimensional form. The glaze is a replication of a Lung-ch’uan blue celadon made during the Song dynasty (960–1279). Many hues of this soft blue-green glaze were made during the Sung, Yuan, and Ming dynasties. The Chinese found these glazes to be profoundly moving, reflecting as they did the deeply ingrained Chinese belief in modesty, a feeling for landscapes, and the appeal of the subtle colors of jade.

Pottery did not come easy for Calengor. Her first experience with the craft was a ceramics class she took as part of her BFA at Eastern Michigan University, where she studied painting. She took more ceramics classes when she moved to Salt Lake City, and this time she fell in love with the art form. Calengor bought a wheel and a kiln, and began her MFA at USU. She sold her work at fairs for a while, but said teaching ceramics was her dream job. Calengor has been teaching for twenty-five years at Cache Valley Center for the Arts, giving her the ability to have a studio, make her work, and teach.

Billie Sessions, PhD

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