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Steve Belz

Steve Belz Ceramics, Contemporary ceramic artist

View Steve Belz’s works featured on Ceramics Now Magazine

/ Featured in Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue Two

"The environment is in a delicate balance between well-being and decline. For a healthy society, we must be responsive to the fact that all of our activities affect the Earth. My sculptures express the beauty of nature and the tension created by man’s manipulation of our environment. I use the beauty of form to increase the viewer’s emotional connection with nature. This connection to nature can expand one person’s, and ultimately our society’s compassion for the natural world.

Historically we have manipulated plants by gathering seeds, grafting limbs, and controlling pollination of plants with traits we find favorable. These qualities were gradually developed over countless generations. What is different about our more recent modification of plants is the far-reaching selection of traits from organisms that would not be accessible without genetic engineering. For instance, splicing a fish gene with a strawberry to make the strawberry more resistant to cold could not occur if not for techniques developed by scientists. This kind of manipulation is dramatically different from our prior system of plant selection and has potentially profound effects on the Earth.

I use manufactured elements in my work to create a tension meant to bring about a consciousness within the viewer, to open a dialogue about contemporary society’s association with nature. This discussion can raise awareness of the danger that our current situation poses. A lack of responsibility and stewardship for the Earth creates many problems for the planet, among them degradation of our basic life support systems, as reflected in the loss of biodiversity, increased toxicity of our food systems, inefficient use of natural resources and global climate change. I hope that my art will encourage viewers to educate themselves and become increasingly proactive in assuring a sustainable future.” Steve Belz



Steve Belz's C.V. (resume) - View his works

EDUCATION
2009-12 - MFA Candidate, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, graduating May 2012
1995 -  BS, Environmental Studies, Ceramics minor, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA
1992 - AA, Associate in Arts, South Puget Sound Community College, Olympia WA

ACADEMIC TEACHING EXPERIENCE
Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, (unless otherwise noted)
2012 - Instructor of record, Ceramics 2 ART 565, (multi level ceramics course) - Advanced Hand Building: large-scale sculptures, hand built functional work, installation theory and practices, electric, gas and pit firing practices, student artwork/research presentations, photographing 3D artwork
2011 - Instructor of record, Ceramics 2 ART 565, (multi level ceramics course) - Special Topics: extensive glaze formulation, kiln design and building, sustainable studio practices, advanced wheel throwing and hand building, electric, gas and atmospheric firing practices
- Instructor of record, Ceramics 1, ART 265, hand building and wheel throwing
- Instructor of record, 3 Dimensional Design, ART 200
- Instructor of record, 2 Dimensional Design, ART 100
2010 - Instructor of record, 3 Dimensional Design, ART 200
- Instructor of record, 2 Dimensional Design, ART 100
- Instructor of record, Art for Elementary Education, ART 425
- Graduate Teaching Assistant, 2 Dimensional Design, ART 100
2009 - Graduate Teaching Assistant Ceramics I, ART 265, hand building and wheel throwing
- Graduate Teaching Assistant 3 Dimensional Design, ART 200
2002 - Instructor/ Visiting Artist, The Institute of Fine Arts, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
- Introduction to Ceramics - hand building, wheel throwing and sculpture
- Instructor/ Visiting Artist, The Institute of Fine Arts, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
- Advanced Ceramics - hand building, wheel throwing and sculpture

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS
2012 - NCECA National Student Juried Exhibition, National Group Exhibition, Juried by Kathy King and Mark Burns
- Jacob Lawrence Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
- 4th Biennial Concordia Continental Ceramics Competition, International Group Exhibition, Juried by Sarah Millfelt
- Concordia Art Gallery, Concordia University, St. Paul, MN
- Niche Awards 2012 Finalists, International Juried Group Exhibition Online, Student/Mixed Media Category
- Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA
- Niche Awards 2012 Finalists, International Juried Group Exhibition Online, Student/Ceramic Category
- Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA
2011 - Feats of Clay XXIV, International Group Exhibition, Juried by Donna Billick
- Gladding - McBean Terra Cotta Factory, Lincoln, CA
- 31 CICA 2011: Concurs Internacional De Ceramica De L’Alcora, International Juried Group Exhibition
- Museum of Ceramics, Alcora, Castellon, Spain
- Uncommon Ground: Impact and Influence, NCECA Exhibition, Regional Group Exhibition, Juried by Linda Ganstrom
- Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Arvada, CO
- Clay and Glass National (ACGA), National Group Exhibition, Juried by Jo Lauria
- City of Brea Gallery, Brea, CA
- 2011 National Ceramics Exhibition, National Group Exhibition, Juried by Jason Hess and George Speer
- 3 works selected, University of Northern Arizona Art Museum, Flagstaff, AZ
- Topeka Competition # 30, National Group Exhibition, Juried by Richard Notkin
- Alice C. Sabatini Gallery, Topeka, KS
2011 - University of Dallas Regional, Regional Group Exhibition, Juried by Cynthia Bringle
- Beatrice M. Haggerty Gallery, Dallas, TX and Wichita Falls Museum of Art, Wichita Falls, TX
- Niche Awards 2011 Finalists, International Juried Group Exhibition Online, Student/Ceramic Category
- Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA
- Workhouse Clay National 2011, National Group Exhibition, Juried by Ellen Shankin
- Workhouse Art Center Gallery, Lorton, VA
- Our Favorite Places, Invitational Group Exhibition
- Strecker-Nelson Gallery, Manhattan, KS
- K-State Ceramics, Invitational Group Exhibition
- The Mercer Gallery, Garden City Community College, Garden City, KS
2010 - 3rd Biennale Contemporary Clay, National Group Exhibition, Juried by Pete Pinnell
- Western Colorado Center for the Arts, Grand Junction, CO
- Material Masters, National Group Exhibition, Juried by Dylan Beck and Glen Brown
- Strecker-Nelson Gallery, Manhattan, KS
- Kansas Collegiate Aesthetics, Regional Group Exhibition, Juried by Karla Prickett
- Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery, Lindsborg, KS
- Kansas Artisans and Craftsmen Association, Regional Exhibition, Juried by Dylan Beck
- Chapman Gallery, Manhattan, KS
- Crafted: a Collector’s Series- Mugs, Invitational Group Exhibition
- Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburg, PA
- From Soup to Nuts, Invitational Group Exhibition
- Shift Space Gallery, Wichita, KS
- Heat + Pressure, Invitational Group Exhibition
- Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina, KS
- Between Order and Chaos, Group Exhibition
- The Kemper Gallery, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
- Graduate Students of the Visual Arts, Group Exhibition
- The Kemper Gallery, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS   
- Beyond the Visible Spectrum, Group Exhibition
- The Chapman Gallery, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
2009 - Inspired by Nature, Solo Exhibition
- The Piper Gallery, Crested Butte Center for the Arts, Crested Butte, CO
- K-State Ceramics, Invitational Group Exhibition
- The Mercer Gallery, Garden City Community College, Garden City, KS
- 19 Random Vernaculars, Group Exhibition
- The Chapman Gallery, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
2008 - Café D’ Art, Invitational Group Exhibition
- Main Gallery, The Gunnison Art Center, Gunnison, CO
- Representing an Era: 20 Years of Crested Butte Artists, Invitational Group Exhibition
- The Piper Gallery, Crested Butte Center for the Arts, Crested Butte, CO 
2007 -  Nueva Era, Invitational Group Exhibition
- Main Gallery, The Gunnison Art Center, Gunnison, CO
- Artists of the West Elks, Group Exhibition
- Upper Gallery, The Gunnison Art Center, Gunnison, CO
- Artists of the West Elks: Deck of Cards, Group Exhibition
- The Piper Gallery, Crested Butte Center for the Arts, Crested Butte, CO
2006 - Stoneware and Porcelain Creations, Solo Exhibition
- The Piper Gallery, Crested Butte Center for the Arts, Crested Butte, CO
- Artists of the West Elks, Group Exhibition
- Main Gallery, The Gunnison Art Center, Gunnison, CO
2005 -  Artists of the West Elks, Group Exhibition
- Upper Gallery, The Gunnison Art Center, Gunnison, CO
- Upper Gunnison Valley Artists, Invitational Group Exhibition
- The Piper Gallery, Crested Butte Center for the Arts, Crested Butte, CO
2002 - Raku and Stoneware Ceramics, Solo Exhibition
- The Piper Gallery, Crested Butte Center for the Arts, Crested Butte, CO

GRANTS AND AWARDS
2012 - Graduate Teaching Assistantship, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
2011 - 3rd Place, 2011 National Juried Ceramics Exhibition, Juried by Jason Hess and George Speer
- University of Northern Arizona Art Museum, Flagstaff, AZ
- Graduate Teaching Assistantship, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
- Travel Grant, awarded by The Graduate Student Council, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
2010 - University Small Research Grant, Sustainable Practice, Sustainable Concept: Moving towards a more sustainable practice with the design and production of a natural gas fired soda kiln with recuperative air modifications to increase fuel efficiency. Fully funded ($6,400), co-author with Assistant Professor Dylan Beck
Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
- Graduate Teaching Assistantship, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
- Travel Grant, awarded by The Graduate Student Council, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
2009 - Graduate Teaching Assistantship, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
2005 - Sustainable Home of the Year, Awarded by The Town of Crested Butte, CO - Based on exceptional compliance with energy efficient new home design, construction methods and codes

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
2011 - Chapman Gallery Technician, Chapman Gallery, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
2010 - Lead Designer and Builder of Soda Kiln, led design/build team on a energy efficient 14 cu’ cross-draft soda kiln, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
- Renovation Coordinator, Spring Semester, managed the move of the entire ceramics department’s facility / Coordinated communications between professors, outside contractors and university contractors Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
- Renovation Coordinator, Summer Session- supervised workers, managed, designed and built work spaces and storage areas for the entire ceramics facility. Additionally, coordinated communications between professors outside contractors, and university contractors, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
- Renovation Coordinator, Fall Semester- supervised workers, managed, designed and built work spaces and storage areas for the entire ceramics facility. Additionally, coordinated communications between professors outside contractors, and university contractors, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
2009-10 - Vice President, Kansas State University Potters Guild, Manhattan, KS
2000-09 - Professional Ceramic Artist/ Studio Potter, Steve Belz Design LLC, Crested Butte, CO
retail and wholesale pottery and sculpture business
- Instructor of community classes, wheel throwing, hand building, glazing
2004-08 - Sustainable and Environmentally Conscious Contractor, Steve Belz Design LLC, Crested Butte, CO
- Numerous projects as owner, general contractor and lead carpenter for new construction and remodels
2006-07 - Event Coordinator and Member of The Paragon Gallery: Artists’ Co-op (retail art gallery), Crested Butte, CO
2005-07 - Education Coordinator, Board Member, Artists of the West Elks, (non-profit artists association), Crested Butte, CO
2000-02 - Director and Member of The Paragon Gallery: Artists’ Co-op (retail art gallery), Crested Butte, CO

VISITING ARTIST ACTIVITIES
2011 -  Workshop, Hand Building with Slabs and Coils, Garden City Community College, Garden City, KS
- Lecture, Garden City Community College, Garden City, KS
- Workshop, ART 600 Advanced Drawing, Professional Development, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
2010 - Panel, Artistic Expression and the Graduate School Experience, Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina, KS
- Visiting Artist Activities Continued
2009 -  Workshop, ART 665 Ceramics 3, Hand Building Demonstration, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
- Lecture, ART 565 Ceramics 2, How to be a Working Artist, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
- Workshop, Creativity Salon: The Ceramic Vessel, weekend workshop with community members
- The Crested Butte Center for the Arts, Crested Butte, CO
2005 - Workshop, Creativity Salon: Hand Building with Slabs, weekend workshop with community members
- The Crested Butte Center for the Arts, Crested Butte, CO

CURATORIAL AND EXHIBITION EXPERIENCE
2011 - Exhibition Organizer, Liz Howe, mixed media sculptures, show in conjunction with two-day workshop and lecture
- Ikeda Ceramics Gallery, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
- Installation Mentor, BFA Group Exhibition, Chapman Gallery, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
2010 - Juror, Wrap it Up, 2 and 3 dimensional fine craft exhibition, Manhattan Art Center, Manhattan, KS
2008 -  Judge, Best in Show, Ceramics, Crested Butte Festival for the Arts, Crested Butte, CO
2005 - Judge, Best in Show, Ceramics, Crested Butte Festival for the Arts, Crested Butte, CO

BIBLIOGRAPHY
2012 - Niche Awards Finalists, image, Ceramics & Mixed Media category
2011 - “MFA Factor: Kansas State University”, Ceramics Monthly, January 2011, pages 52-53
- Potters Council Sculpture Calendar, cover of the Sculpture Calendar and January
- 31 CICA 2011 Concurs Internacional de Ceramica De L’Alcora, Catalog, page 34
- Uncommon Ground: Impact and Influence, NCECA Exhibition Catalog, pages 8-9
- Feats of Clay XXIV, Catalog, page 7
- Niche Awards Finalists, image, Ceramics category
- First Annual Workhouse Clay National Ceramics Exhibition, Image of sculpture in The Huffington Post Blog, August 16th 2011
- Innovative Use of Ceramics Featured at Exhibition, Northern Arizona University News, image
October 17th 2011
2010 - Kansas Collegiate Aesthetics, Catalog, page 7
2009 - Mercer Gallery to Host Kansas State University Art Professors & Graduate Students, Article in GCCC News
- Garden City Community College, Oct 31, 2009
2002 - Mongolian Television, Interview and video of teaching ceramics at The Institute of Fine Arts, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, November 2002 
2000 - Profile: Steve Belz, The Crested Butte Weekly, August 3, 2000, written by Sharra Rutberg, interview and photographs regarding the creative process and raku firing

TECHNICAL EXPERTISE
 - Expert skills in ceramics, wood and sculpture studio operation, organization and maintenance
 - Energy efficient kiln design, construction and maintenance
 - Firing proficiency with: electric, gas, wood, soda, salt, raku & pit firing
 - Comprehensive knowledge of glaze and clay body formulation
 - Sculptural production: woodworking, metal fabrication (TIG, MIG, oxyacetylene), bronze and aluminum casting
 - Mold making: plaster, wood, foam, urethane resins, silicone, oil clay and water clay
 - Many skills related to sustainability in design and studio practices

ORGANIZATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS
2010-Present - Kansas Artisans and Craftsmen Association (KACA)
2009-Present - Kansas State University Potters Guild
2006-Present - National Conference for the Education of the Ceramic Arts (NCECA)

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