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Exhibition > Featured Artists

Kent Rothman

Kent Rothman: “Stoked”

The term “Stoked” (or to stoke) relates to the process of adding fuel (usually wood) to the fire. As a Ceramic Artist, this is part of the labor intensive process of firing a wood kiln, the final step that can leave beautiful surface effects from the fire and wood ash. It is interesting that Surfers also use this term; to convey their enthusiasm or excitement. Surfers get “stoked”. A good wave, watching the Dolphins jump or just being in the water with friends can make a surfer “stoked”. This term coexists between Ceramic Artists and Surfers. There are many relations between the two.

I tell my students; to make good art, they need to be “In the Zone”, the clay zone that is. This means that they need to have no distractions and focus their 100% concentration on making good art. Surfing has its own zone, concentration levels along with intuition naturally become intense and all else is forgotten. Surfers and Clay Artists share nature and become in touch with its elements. The Elements of Art are also inter-related between Clay Artists and Surfers. Ceramic Artists use various types of “Balance” through the process of creating which leads to the gesture of the final art form. This can be asymmetrical or symmetrical. To use the potters wheel, one usually strives to find the center balance. People who have been working with clay for many years often try to find the beauty of asymmetrical balance. I tell my beginning students they have the natural ability to find this type of balance. Surfers also find this balance naturally. “Movement” is another art related term used during the physical process of creating Ceramic Art and is often conveyed as part of the finished piece. When surfing, not only are we moving, but the surface that our surfboard is on is also moving (the wave). This association also relates to the process of throwing on the potters wheel, the clay is moving along with the potters wheel. Artists often use “Line” as a simple or complex part of an overall composition of art work. Surfers also draw “Lines”, on their waves.

Ceramics is one of the most complex Art Mediums, endless possibilities with the use of Earth, “Fire and Water”. This show, Stoked is an experience of fresh Ceramic Art made by Artists who Surf. I am “Stoked” to be a part of this show and to be working with this group of Ceramic Artists.

Written on the beach with a fractured rib and a broken surfboard watching my son (Mason) surfing Salt Creek.

2007-2006 Dominican University of California, San Rafael, CA. Ukiah campus
Secondary Art Education Teaching Credential, CLAD certified
1997 Nepal, Field Exposition
Studied with Potters of Deokuri, Kathmandu and Thimi
1991-1989 Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California
Master of Fine Arts
1989-1985 New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University, Alfred, New York. Bachelor of Fine Arts
2011-2007       Alta Loma High School, Alta Loma, California
Art Teacher
2007 -1993      Mendocino Art Center, Mendocino, California
Director of Ceramics – Instructor
2007-2006        Mendocino High School, Mendocino, California
Art Instructor – Ceramics & Photography
2006-2002       College of the Redwoods, Fort Bragg, California
Associate Professor of Art
2005 Potters Council Conference, Mendocino, California
Facilitator and Instructor
2004 California State University, Hayward, California
Guest Artist – Workshop Instructor
2003 Sierra Nevada College, Incline Village, Nevada
Guest Artist – Workshop Instructor
2002 Mendocino College, Ukiah, California
Guest Artist – Workshop Instructor
1993-1992       Cerro Coso Community College, Ridgecrest, California
Full Time Associate Professor of Art: Ceramics & Sculpture
1991 Claremont High School
Guest Artist – Workshop Instructor


2009-2008       Alta Loma High School
Tile-Mosaic Mural Project – Leader
2007      Mendocino High School
Tile-Mosaic Mural Project - Leader
1995   Mendocino Middle School
Tile Mural Project - Leader


2011-1987        National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts
2011-2000        California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art
2011-1995        Association of Clay & Glass Artists of California
2006 & 1984     Mexico, Cabo San Lucas to Puerto Escondido, Art + Surfing
1997   Nepal
1988 Quebec, Canada
2007 Alta Loma High School “Most Inspirational Teacher”
2008 Alta Loma High School “Most Inspirational Teacher”
2009 Alta Loma High School “Most Inspirational Teacher”
2011  Alta Loma High School “Most Inspirational Teacher”
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