Bede Clarke is a Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri, having taught at Missouri 1992- 2021. He received his MFA from the University of Iowa (1990) and a BFA from Eckerd College (1982). Bede maintains a studio in Columbia, Missouri where he continues to create and exhibit his work. Bede’s work is found in collections in the U.S. and abroad, such as: Taipei County Yingke Ceramics Museum, Taiwan, Ichon World Ceramic Center, South Korea, South Bend Museum of Art, Martin Museum of Art, Baylor University and Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Utah State University. Bede has conducted over 100 workshops and lectures around the country and internationally.
Awards have included: • Kansas City Artist Coalition Lighton International Artist Exchange Award • Sturt Australian Contemporary Craft Center Residency Award • Fletcher Challenge Ceramic Award, New Zealand • Kennedy Center Fellowship for Teachers of the Arts • University of Missouri Byler Distinguished Professor Award
I think I have always cast a pretty wide net in terms of my exploration of clay. Pots and the vessel have held the center but there has been a strong overlay of interest in drawing, color and leaving a trace of the hand. I navigate both the clay and drawing with an emphasis on “touch” and a felt response to the materials and to my own inner rhythms and sensibilities. I am guided by a dialogue with the work and find myself in agreement when it speaks in a voice that has commitment and conviction, but also the allure of mystery and enigma. I am always most pleased when the work strikes a balance between wildness and restraint. Through all this work I am most interested in distinguishing the record/moment of the hand touching clay and the actual quality of feeling surrounding the work.