|"Someone you can go to with any problem"
RELEASED: Dec. 9, 2004
DANVILLE, KYJudith Pointer Jia has been known to compliment all sorts of objects on textureeven treesas part of the art classes she teaches at Centre.
She conveys a deep knowledge of art to her students, as well as a keen excitement about art and the process of making it.
Jia's enthusiasm is something that Jenn Wolford, a senior from Louisville, enjoys about the charismatic teacher.
"She's always pushing us to add texture to our work and to look for examples of this in nature," Wolford says.
Carissa Cardin, a senior art major from Louisville, also praises Jia.
"Her relaxed teaching style makes us comfortable with her and lets us be as creative as possible," Cardin says. "She's a perfect example of a Centre professorsomeone you can go to with any problem."
Jia's students were not surprised when she received a prestigious Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council earlier this year. The award recognizes creative excellence in Kentucky artists.
While in China, she was able to study stellar examples from the Song, Yuan, and early Ming Dynasties the pots that have most influenced her glaze and form choices since beginning ceramic work. Dr. Li Li Fang, a professor at the Chinese Institute of Art and an authority on Chinese ceramics, even invited Jia to to exhibit her work at the Institute in Beijing.
Jia described the trip as "amazing."
"In addition to a wonderful journey through ceramic studios and historical kiln sites, the experience of simply living in such a vibrant and complex society was mind expanding," she says.
"I really enjoy teaching," she adds. "And a college like Centre is a dream job because my colleagues all love teaching so much." Jia joined the faculty in 1998.
According to Emily Green, a senior English major from Tullahoma, Tenn., Jia conveys her love of teaching well.
"Judith is so compassionate in her teaching style and always willing to help students master a skill, which has especially benefited the not-so-artistic students like myself," Green says.
Tricia McReynolds, a senior from Winter Park, Fla., agrees.
"As a teacher, she's greatI'm always excited to get to her class. She's a master at constructive criticism and willing to meet with you outside of class time to help. She's also really skilled at all the aspects of ceramics she teaches us. I've learned a lot and improved markedly from just one semester in her class."
An exhibit of Jia's work, along with the works of other Al Smith Award recipients, will be featured at the gallery of Actors Theatre of Louisville through Jan. 29, 2005.
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