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College of Liberal Arts
University of Mississippi

MFA Ceramics Student Selected to Represent UM in China

OCTOBER 9, 2019 BY Olivia Whittington

MFA ceramics student William McKinney

William McKinney, an MFA ceramics student. Photo by Olivia Whittington.

This October MFA ceramics student William McKinney is representing the University of Mississippi at the Taoxichuan Creative Fair in Jingdezhen, China. Selected by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, McKinney is one of seven students chosen to represent universities in the United States.

“It’s a huge honor…it was pretty amazing I got this opportunity to do this,” said McKinney, who received his BFA in ceramics from West Virginia University.

“It will be good to get out of my comfort zone. I’ve been at Ole Miss for two-and-a-half-years and this trip is going to challenge me.”

His work in ceramics is experimental in nature and investigates function verses abstraction, and explores the environmental changes that are happening across the United States, specifically in his home state of West Virginia.

McKinney is looking forward to new artistic ideas and perspectives and hopes that his experimental approach to ceramics will bring something special to the fair.

“I’m hoping to show people that this is a traditional material for pottery, but it can be adapted into very sculptural means and push those boundaries.”