Centre teacher and artist is Kentucky Professor of the Year
DANVILLE, KY- Centre College teacher and artist Stephen Rolfe Powell is the 1999 Kentucky Professor of the Year, according to an announcement made today in Washington. The award is cosponsored by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Powell is an internationally acclaimed artist whose tall glass vessels are held in collections around the world. He also is an associate professor of art at Centre, where he is known for spending long hours working with students in the studio and for taking his student-apprentices to important gallery events in New York and Chicago.
A native of Alabama, Powell graduated from Centre in 1974. He subsequently earned a master of fine arts degree from Louisiana State University and taught in settings that ranged from
public high school art departments to prison recreation programs.
Powell joined the Centre faculty in 1983 and quickly showed an entrepreneurial spirit. He convinced local businesses to donate scrap glass and, with his students, built a hot glass studio. In 1997, with help from Kentucky companies such as Corning Glass, Philips Lighting, Corhart and General Electric, Powell and his students designed and built a new, state-of-the-art glass furnace. It occupies a prominent place in the Jones Visual Arts Center, which opened at Centre in 1998.
Powell and his students also have built a 30-foot outdoor anagama kiln for firing pottery.
As an artist, Powell has been featured on CBS-TV's Sunday Morning and Kentucky Educational Television and in print media including American Style, Glass, Kentucky Living and Ceramics Monthly. He was one of eight Americans chosen for Venezia Aperto Vetro 1998, a prestigious glass exhibition in Venice.
During sabbatical leaves from Centre, Powell has been a guest teacher and artist in the Soviet Union, Australia and New Zealand. His glass vessels are held in collections worldwide.
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. At Centre, he has been honored as the Cantrell Associate Professor in the Humanities.
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