Functional, Sculptural Ceramics.
Alisa (AL) Holen
Alisa (AL) Holen is an artist and educator who received a bachelor of arts in liberal arts from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota and a Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Upon degree completion, she has taught ceramics and sculpture in numerous visiting positions including University of Iowa, University of Nebraska, Omaha, and University of Wisconsin, La Crosse.
A full time position at the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Mississippi introduced Holen to the South, where she taught ceramics for three years, embracing the region’s impressive history of clay art and artists. She is currently a tenure track assistant professor of art at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, IN.
Alisa Holen strongly advocates using art to engage the community and organizes “Empty Bowls” events to raise money for local charities and to introduce people to working with clay. Her ceramic work focuses on formal and metaphorical relationships, often staging forms in postures of dependency, elevation, support, aggression or comfort. By throwing closed forms on the wheel, she is able to use the air inside as a movable volume that allows strong alterations of these forms. Holen keeps “function” at the heart of her work, with the history of ceramics and the unflinching commitment of William Morris always in her mind.
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” - William Morris