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Harvard University to open new ceramics facility in Allston in September

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  July 19, 2013 04:42 PM

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Harvard University plans to open a new, state-of-the-art ceramics facility in Allston in September.

The 15,010 square-foot building at 224 Western Ave. will create a new home for the ceramics program of the university’s arts office.

The ceramics program, founded in 1969, was run for the last 26 years at 219 Western Ave. Harvard is moving out of that building to make way for a 350,000-square-foot residential and retail development project.

The new ceramics facility will feature a public gallery facing Western Avenue. Artworks there will be both for display and some will be for sale.

Renovations are underway to transform the vacant warehouse building formerly used by Verizon.

The single-story facility will have new cladding, roofing and landscaping.

The studio inside will offer classrooms for wheel-thrown, hand-built and sculptural ceramics as well as clay and glaze chemistry labs, plaster and mold-making design areas, a large kiln room with gas reduction, soda, electric and raku/sagger firing options.

There will be independent workspaces for professional artists, administrative offices, a lounge, a visual presentation and digital resource room, and a research collection of work made by visiting artists.

New ventilation and air conditioning will also be installed.

Another to-be-announced “university tenant” will open later in the building.

“With its new home in Barry’s Corner, the ceramics program will be a more visible and accessible part of the Allston community, serving as a touchstone for the arts for residents and Harvard affiliates alike,” said a statement from Kevin Casey, a Harvard spokesman.

The program also announced new leadership. Shawn Panepinto, acting director since 2010, was appointed this month as director of studio operations and outreach for the program. Instructor Kathryn King was appointed director of education.

“Shawn Panepinto and Kathy King will be a superb leadership team at an exciting transition in our program’s history,” said a statement from Jack Megan, director of the Office for the Arts at Harvard.

“The range of gifts and experience they together bring is extraordinary—in teaching, educational innovation, artistry, and community involvement,” he added. “Their combined expertise will have national and international influence and continue our leading profile in the field.”

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