Clay Art Center Presents: Two Vigiles: Bruce Dehnert and Shawn O’Connor


Thursday, August 14, 2014
10:00 am - 4:00 pm


Clay Art Center presents

TWO VIGILES: Bruce Dehnert and Shawn O’Connor

In Caesar Augustus’ ancient Rome there were teams of men called “vigiles” whose mandate was to enter burned buildings in order to determine the cause of the blaze


Cla Art Center is proud to present TWO VIGILES: Bruce Dehnert and Shawn O’Connor an exhibition featuring two potters who have distinctly different styles. This duo exhibition of wood fired utilitarian pottery and vessels will construct a cultural connection with our ancestors. Both artists utilize the random and considered effects that wood firing and flame have to offer as ways to realize and express their culturally relevant ceramic processes.  The exhibit will run from August 2- September 20, 2014 with an opening reception on Saturday, August 2  from 6-8pm. Both artists will be present at the reception and will give a Gallery Talk at 7pm.  Shawn will also lead a workshop Saturday and Sunday, August 2- from 10am – 4pm, entitled “Making Work for Wood-Firing.” To register, visit  Admission to the gallery and the SHOP at CAC, featuring one-of-a kind handmade pottery and sculpture, is free. Featured artwork in the SHOP:  wood-fired work by members of the Clay Art Center community.


Bruce Dehnert has a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana and a MFA in Ceramics from Alfred University. He has taught at Hunter College and Parsons School of Art and Design [New York City], The School of Art [New Zealand], the University Malaysia Sarawak [Malaysia], and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth [New Bedford].


A three time Fletcher Challenge International Ceramics Award winner, Dehnert has received numerous awards including a New Jersey Artist Fellowship, the Settlor Prize in Sculpture, and a Carnegie Premier Award for Works on Paper. He was also a finalist in the Robert Wood Johnson International Figurative Competition. His work is held in a number of museums and collections including The Crocker Museum [California], the Yixing Museum of Ceramic Art [China], The New Dowse Museum [New Zealand] and The White House [Washington, DC].


Dehnert has remained active as a writer having articles published in numerous journals including, Studio Potter, Ceramics Monthly, and Ceramics: Art and Perception and recently completed a book (Simon Leach’s Pottery Handbook] on Simon Leach for Abrams Publishing of New York.


Bruce lives at Peters Valley Craft Center where he is head of the ceramics program.


Shawn O’Connor was born and raised in Minot, ME and completed his BFA at the University of Southern Maine in 2005. After Undergraduate studies, Shawn went on to be a resident and staff member at Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, ME. He also completed a six-week residency at the Robert M. MacNamara Foundation on Westport Island, ME. In May of 2010, Shawn received his MFA in Ceramics from Syracuse University. The main focus of his research in graduate school revolved around wood firing. While at Syracuse Shawn designed and constructed a Train style wood kiln. He later went on to publish his first article about his kiln in the Log Book, an international Journal devoted to wood firing. Shawn completed a year long Artist-in-Residents at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, in Gatlinburg, TN in 2011. In 2012 traveled to China as a visiting artist for West Virginia University. Most recently Shawn was a visiting artist and adjunct professor at the University of North Dakota.


Clay Art Center is a not-for-profit ceramic art organization offering exhibitions, clay classes for adults and children, studio spaces for clay artists and outreach programs in the community.  It is located in the heart of Port Chester at 40 Beech Street, Port Chester, NY 10573.   Gallery and SHOP hours are Monday through Saturday, 10am-4pm or by appointment.  For more information or images, please contact Caitlin Applegate at [email protected] or 914-937-2047.


***Additional high resolution digital images available upon request.






Event Location and Ticket Information

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Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, New York 10573
Handicap Accessible? Yes

Date: Thursday, August 14, 2014
Times: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Ticket pricing:
Free event

Presenter: Clay Art Center
Presenter Phone: 914-937-2047
Presenter Website:

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