Just a few months after Katie Pack graduated from the Penn State School of Visual Arts’ BFA program with a focus in ceramics in December of 2018, her art career got a major jolt.
Pack is one of five artists selected from a national pool of candidates to participate in the Advanced Student Project Network (ASPN) at Red Lodge Clay Center (RLCC) in Montana.
Located just southwest of Billings, the RLCC has long served as an incubator for budding ceramics artists. The center hosts annually the ASPN, which is a unique three-week residency specifically designed to provide undergraduate artists in a BA or BFA ceramics program with an opportunity to explore new ideas or directions in their work within a group of like-minded, motivated peers.
Each year, universities and colleges from across the country are invited to nominate one advanced junior or senior student from their program. The student nominees are then juried by a committee composed of RLCC staff and one invited juror, who will also attend the residency as a visiting artist and mentor. The 2019 invited juror is Pattie Chalmers, associate professor of ceramics and head of undergraduate studies at Southern Illinois University.
Nominated by Shannon Goff, associate professor of art, Pack will work closely with Chalmers to develop her skills and explore new techniques and scales during the residency, which runs from May 3 until June 1, 2019.
“I remember when I got the email. I was stopped in a McDonald's in the middle of a cross-country road trip back home to Texas, somewhere in Alabama. I burst into laughter I was so happy,” Pack said. “I considered it a huge honor to even be nominated by my professor and friend, Shannon Goff. She has been a guiding force in my life since I entered the BFA program at Penn State.”
While Pack credits Goff for her guidance and nomination to the ASPN, she is also quick to mention several SoVA women who she said she is “truly lucky to have.”
“She and Bonnie Collura, Ann Tarantino, Sidney Mullis, Ciara Newton and countless other women in SoVA have inspired me in both my art and character,” Pack said. “Now at the end of my road at Penn State, I look back on my time here with gratitude and love.”