Centre College Faculty
Stephen Rolfe Powell• H.W. Stodghill Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Art
Personal Web site: www.stephenrolfepowell.com
Stephen Powell is professor of art at Centre College. He has taught at Centre since 1983. He was named 1999 and 2000 Kentucky Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Counsel for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). He has held Stodghill Professorship since its inception in 2004. In 2004, he was awarded the Acorn Award for outstanding professor at a Kentucky college or university.
Beyond the campus, Powell is an internationally known artist whose elaborately colored glass vessels are held in permanent collections throughout the world. He has been featured on CBS-TV's Sunday Morning and Kentucky Educational Television and in print media including American Style, Glass, Ceramics Monthly, and Kentucky Monthly, which named him one of Kentucky's top 20 artists of the 20th century. Powell was one of eight Americans chosen for Venezia Aperto Vetro 1998, a prestigious glass exhibition in Venice. He demonstrates his technique around the country, including at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In contrast to his delicate, almost unworldly art, Powell is a hard-working, down-to-earth teacher. He puts in long hours in intense small-group instruction to insure that students master the technical aspects of hot glass. Powell also teaches the business aspects of art and gives his students hands-on opportunities to learn about kilns, ovens, and other equipment essential to ceramicists and glass artists. He secured extensive donations that made it possible for Centre students to build a 30-foot anagama kiln that is hand-fired two or three times each year for instructional purposes. Powell also secured donations and then supervised student construction of a state-of-the-art hot glass studio in Centre's new visual arts center (opened in 1998).
The quality of Powell's teaching was evident when a 1997 exhibition featuring Kentucky glass artists was dominated by artists who have graduated from Centre during his tenure here.
During sabbatical leaves from Centre, Powell has been a guest teacher and artist in the Soviet Union, Australia, and New Zealand.
Powell holds a B.A. in painting and ceramics from Centre, and an M.F.A. from Louisiana State University.
To read about Powell’s receiving The Artist Award by the Governor’s Awards in the Arts, the commonwealth’s highest honor in the arts, click here. To view a video about his artwork that connects mathematics with blown glass ornaments, click here.
File last updated: 5/2/13