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Mark Pharis is an American ceramic artist and professor residing in Roberts, Wisconsin. Pharis is the Chair of the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota where he has been a faculty member since 1985. Pharis was a student of Warren MacKenzie.
Biography and artwork
Pharis studied ceramics at the University of Minnesota [Minneapolis] with Warren MacKenzie. Between 1971 and 1985, Pharis was employed by many universities (mostly Midwestern) as a visiting faculty member, sabbatical replacement and summer session faculty. During this time Pharis showed in many group and two person shows as well as several solo exhibitions. In 1985, Pharis began as a professor in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota, where he has also served as the Chair of the Department.
In an interview with Jeanne Quinn (faculty member of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Colorado at Boulder) Quinn describes MacKenzie’s artistic strength as his very narrow focus in clay—his ability to work within a structured set of rules. Quinn queries Pharis about his own working with clay. Pharis responds stating that it is his choice to make functional vessels, he states: “I was in love with the whole functional world and I could operate confidently in that world—I like the fact that this is [function is] structured—functional pots happen in a certain framework, both defining and liberating at the same time. It is interesting to investigate the boundaries of that.” Pharis states: "I want my pots to have that potential to flip or alternate, to appear to be about use at one time, but to be visually independent and clear enough to be other than functional as well."
His exhibitions are numerous and his work can be found in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England, Gardner Museum, Toronto Canada, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, Ferguson Collection, the Kansas City Art Institute, The Woodman Collection, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, Everson Museum, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, amongst others.
- What Follows Interview at the University of Colorado at Boulder:
- Akar Design
- Department of Art: University of Minnesota:
- Ferrin Gallery:
- Trax Gallery:
- LaCoste Gallery:
- Pharis, Mark; The Spice of Life, The Studio Potter 33 no 2 Je 2005
- Mark Pharis, Akar Design, http://www1.akardesign.com/art/ceramics/pharis/pharisdetail.htm
- What Follows Interview, University of Colorado at Boulder: http://www.researchchannel.org/prog/displayevent.aspx?rID=2018
- Eden, Victoria; Metamorphosis; Ceramic Review no190 Jl/Ag 2001