Opening January 28, 2004
The Schein-Joseph International Museum
of Ceramic Art is pleased to host Installation 188 beginning January
28, 2004. Organized by artist Neil Tetkowski, Installation 188 is
part of the Common Ground World Project, a conceptual work focusing
attention on global interaction. Installation 188 measures 24 feet
long and features a series of glass bottles numbered 1-188 held
securely by an aluminum pedestal. The bottles contain samples of
earth from each of the United Nations’ 188 Member States in
January 2000. Tetkowski’s desire was to create “a collaborative
work that would inspire humanity toward unity.” A short video
accompanies the exhibit and helps explain the project.
The work was first exhibited at the United Nations
Headquarters in New York during spring of 2000 to coincide with
the creation of the World Mandala Monument. The mandala is a circular
design symbolic of the universe and used to represent renewal and
reconciliation in many cultures. The World Mandala Monument is an
eight-foot sculpture exhibited at the United Nations incorporating
all 188 clays.
Tetkowski, a 1977 Alfred University graduate and
1980 Illinois State MFA graduate, feels the project allowed him
to tackle “issues that are far too threatening…to deal
with in any other way - issues about the environment, issues of
world hunger, issues about how all of humanity is interacting with
each other in terms of wealth, power, military.” The work
is a symbol of the world’s community of communities. The project
has been featured in several museums and publications and includes
In conjunction with the exhibition, Tetkowski will
take part in the Bergren Forum lecture series sponsored by the Division
of Human Studies. On Thursday, February 26, 2004, Tetkowski will
speak on "Neil Tetkowski: The Common Ground World Project at
the United Nations" at 12:10 p.m. in Nevins Theatre, Powell
Campus Center. A reception in the Museum will follow later that
Tetkowski has shown work in numerous solo exhibitions
and his work is included in the public collections of several esteemed
institutions including the Smithsonian, the Museum of Modern Art
in Tokyo, the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, and the Everson Museum
in Syracuse, NY. After seven years teaching at SUNY Buffalo and
Denison University in Columbus, Ohio, Tetkowski opened his own studio
in New York City, where he currently resides and works.
For more information, please call the Museum at
607-871-2421 or visit our website at ceramicsmuseum.alfred.edu.
An accompanying catalogue is available.
The Common Ground World Project is officially endorsed
at the United Nations by the department of Economic and Social Affairs.
The project is made possible by the sponsorship of the New York
Foundation for the Arts, a grant from the Ford Foundation and the
generous financial contributions of 275 individuals. With their
support and the participation of people in 188 countries, this global
project has been successfully realized.