Our new Get to Know Your A2AC Instructors! Series dives into who the amazing A2AC instructors are, what they do outside of the A2AC, their favorite teaching moments, fun facts, and more.
The next instructor in this series is Julie Schnell Madden!
Click on the Questions to see Julie‘s answers!
“This is your safe space. No one is a natural potter. All of us started out the same.”
Tell us about yourself.
Hi! I am Julie Schnell Madden, a ceramic artist who has worked with the material for over 35 years, creating both functional and non-functional clay objects. My work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and I served as Visiting Artist at various institutions, often creating curriculum and teaching strategies while in residence.
I received her BFA from Ohio University and MA and MFA from Bowling Green State University. Spending most of my career teaching at various universities, I recently relocated and have settled into teaching and creating work in her hometown of Toledo, OH. Occasionally, I have been known to wander onstage to perform stand-up comedy.
What does your creative practice look like?
Ceramic sculpture, pottery. I rotate between non-function ( sculpture) and function ( pottery) with regularity. Sculpture feeds the need to express myself, while throwing keeps my skills sharp and satisfies the need to make something valuable and beautiful. Spontaneity plays a part in everything I create. Despite the thought process and planning behind a piece, one does not choose a material like clay without knowing that things may not go as planned. My studio is in my home.
What is next for your artistic career?
There is always a next: a next topic to discuss, a next shape to explore, a next glaze to formulate.
What are your favorite teaching moments?
I love Ann Arbor and always loved that there was a studio with windows for walkers to look into pottery classes.
I am most proud when someone “gets it.” When the understanding of the mechanics of centering finally clicks. I am all about the process. Teaching reminds me why I love this material so.. to watch as a student explores the endless possibilities of this material.
What would you say to someone interested in art but nervous about taking a class?
This is your safe space. No one is a natural potter. All of us started out the same.