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Colby-Sawyer College Hosts Retrospective Exhibition of Selected Works by Artist and Professor Emeritus Don Campbell

NEW LONDON, N.H. -- The Colby-Sawyer College Fine and Performing Arts Department is currently hosting an exhibition, “Don Campbell: A Retrospective of Selected Works (1957-2011),” featuring ceramics, drawings and photography.

The exhibition opened with a reception on Thursday, Jan. 26, in the Marian Graves Mugar Art Gallery at the Sawyer Fine Arts Center. Campbell offered a Gallery Talk about his life and work in Gordon Hall.

Campbell, a resident of Elkins, N.H., was a professor of art at Colby-Sawyer College from 1960 to 1990, teaching studio courses in ceramics, design and drawing, as well as classes in art history. He served as chair of Fine and Performing Arts Department and was named professor emeritus following his retirement.

Born in Fort Wayne, Ind., Campbell liked to draw as a child and discovered ceramics as an undergraduate at Indiana University, where he earned a bachelor of arts and master of teaching degrees. He went on to Tulane University, where he earned a master of fine arts degree in ceramics and art history.

Campbell arrived at Colby Junior College for Women in 1960, shortly after the Sawyer Fine Arts Center was completed. He had the opportunity to design the college's first ceramics studio and create the Ceramics Program for the college, which previously offered studio art courses in painting and drawing.

In the early years, Campbell taught studio courses in ceramics, as well as art history and art appreciation classes. In the late 1970s, when the college became a baccalaureate institution – Colby-Sawyer College – the Fine and Performing Arts Department began to offer bachelor degree programs in ceramics, painting and sculpture.

Campbell enjoyed teaching and working with students, as well as the opportunities the college provided for him to develop as an artist and scholar. “I'm grateful that I was able to utilize the excellent facilities the college provided, as well as three wonderful sabbaticals in Denmark, Holland and Burgundy, France that allowed me to pursue ideas and develop my artistic skills,” he said. “For half of my sabbaticals, I was expected to travel and visit museums to learn more about artists and artist history, which would enhance my classes and make me a better teacher.”

Campbell has exhibited his work widely in New England, around the U.S. and in Holland. He was won several awards for his ceramics, and his work is included in the permanent collection of the Currier Gallery of Art in Manchester, N.H. and the Boymans Van Beuningen Museum of Rotterdam, Holland. In addition to Colby-Sawyer College, he has taught at the University of New Hampshire, New England College, Tulane University, Murray State University and the Worcester Craft Center.

-Kimberly Swick Slover