Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Fine Arts (Integrated Arts and Education)

Department or School/College

Creative Pulse Program

Committee Chair

Richard Hughes

Commitee Members

Karen Kaufmann, Greg Twigg


arts, ceramics, education, visual arts


University of Montana


Abstract: The purpose of this final creative project addresses the pursuit of a dual professional career and the impact this pursuit has had on my classroom instruction. Traditionally, my passion for art education has been rivaled by my drive to contribute to the professional field of ceramic arts. However, this project led to my understanding that this duality could benefit both of my professional worlds. ! While I do not struggle with the act of making art, I have battled with pursuing and maintaining a professional art career. I anticipated that this creative project would be an avenue by which I could start anew with my professional art career. I did not anticipate, however that I would discover a transformation in my role as an educator in addition to the change this project would have on me as an artist. In the field of ceramics, a passionate and responsible educator requires constant studio practice to maintain a level of mastery of technique. Additionally, an educator must remain current in his knowledge of contemporary artists and in the field of ceramics as a whole. Through my final project, I would also argue that the act of making art is not the only approach to teach students how to learn. The merit of outwardly communicating the internal dialogue of the artist serves as an extremely valuable opportunity to educate. Sharing in the developmental stages of idea creation allows students the opportunity to gain insight to the creative problem solving process. Ultimately, My creative project came directly from a desire to be producing within the field of ceramic arts in addition to being an educator. This paper provides an outline of the creative process and personal reflections that led to the culmination of a complete body of work. The goal in this creative project was to produce and exhibit a finished ceramic installation in a professional setting. The installation entitled, “Polar Opposites” will be exhibited in the Missoula Art Museum through the months of July, August, and September of 2011. i

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© Copyright 2011 Patrick Joseph Hoffman