Ceramic Arts Legend Joyce Michaud Retires from Hood

FREDERICK, Maryland—Joyce Michaud, an internationally known ceramicist and potter, has announced her retirement as a professor at Hood College, where she began teaching in 1994.

Hired to build the College’s ceramic arts program in 1994, Michaud has been the program director ever since. She developed and founded the graduate certificate in ceramic arts, which began in 2003, the Master of Fine Arts (2006) and the Master of Arts in Ceramic Arts (2013). She was also the coordinator of the studio arts program and helped build the studio arts concentration and the art education concentration.

“Joyce has served our community for many years as director of the graduate program in ceramic arts, and she will be greatly missed,” said Debbie Ricker, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs at Hood. “Her legacy as a teacher, scholar and artist is truly inspiring, and we all wish her the very best!”

In addition to developing curriculum, Michaud has pioneered improvements to Hood’s ceramics facilities. Under her leadership, the ceramics program has added two newly renovated studio and working spaces in the Tatem Arts Center and a ceramics studio in the Hodson Annex building; and a state-of-the-art kiln pavilion, which includes two gas kilns, two soda-firing kilns, a wood kiln and a raku kiln, as well as a pit firing area.

Peter Pinnell, a professor of art at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and a colleague of Michaud, wrote her a letter of recommendation for tenure at Hood in 2010. In the letter, Pinnell said, “Joyce is to be commended for designing and building the ceramics program at Hood College…most graduate programs in ceramics are resident and full time. Joyce has built an innovative program that fills the need that many ceramists have for continued education, while allowing them to continue with their jobs, families and careers. Even better, from my perspective, is that she has done so while maintaining high standards on program content.”

Michaud graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in 1973 from Lycoming College, and she earned her Master of Fine Arts in 1992 from George Washington University. She has exhibited and taught several classes and workshops internationally in China, Australia, Denmark and Great Britain. She has been featured in 27 solo and invited small group exhibitions in the U.S. Her instruction has been published in books, periodicals, DVDs, newspapers and on TV. From 1991 to 2011, she led dozens of lectures and workshops throughout the East Coast.

“I can truly say that Joyce Michaud has been an integral part of my ability to pursue my passion as a career,” said Jenna Gianni, a student of Michaud who graduated from Hood in 2018 with an MFA and is now teaching ceramic arts at Hood. “As an instructor and director, her program taught me vital skills in a multitude of ceramic and artistic disciplines. As a mentor and friend, she has always believed in me and encourages me to keep challenging myself. Joyce’s influence and the program she has built will live on at Hood College after her retirement and will serve the program well as it continues to develop, fostering the creative spirit in our small community of Frederick and beyond.”

For more from Gianni about Michaud’s impact, read the piece “Joyce Michaud: The Legacy of a Lifetime” at hood.edu/joycemichaud.

Hood’s Department of Art and Archaeology is working with the administration to ensure all current ceramic arts students will continue to be fully supported throughout their degree progression. Additionally, a search is underway for a visiting scholar to serve as interim director of the ceramic arts program in the coming year.

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