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Honoring Wayne E. Potratz

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On April 25, 2013, Wayne Potratz, Professor and Scholar of the College from the University of Minnesota, was awarded the prestigious International Sculpture Center’s Outstanding Educator Award for 2013. Over 100 of Wayne’s friends, colleagues, and former students came to support and witness him receive the award and congratulate him on his many exceptional achievements of his career as both educator and artist.

Presentation of the award was given by the ISC Executive Director, Johannah Hutchison, who spoke about the importance of the Outstanding Educator Award program and recognizing deserving educator-artists. She was joined by Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, James A. Parente, who introduced Wayne, outlining the many attributes that make him so deserving of this award. Potratz’s former students and professor colleagues said that Wayne has a gift for balancing highly rigorous technical training, with a conceptual understanding of art, and a firm grounding in the history and cultural traditions around casting and metal production. Professor Potratz has taught over 1,600 undergraduate and 600 graduate students in over 152 classes. A former student, Meagan Daus spoke about why she nominated Wayne: “Mr. Potratz has always been supportive of my goals. He is extremely knowledgeable and he is able to share that knowledge in a way that inspires others to seek out more”. The University of Minnesota was also excited to share the creation of a Wayne Potratz Scholarship Fund. After the ceremony, guests enjoyed refreshments and reconnected with friends and colleagues who have all had the privilege of working with him.

Wayne has been a faculty member in the University of Minnesota's Department of Art since 1969. He was Chair of the department from 1985-1998 and is currently Professor and Scholar of the College. His work has been exhibited in 30 one-person or two-person exhibitions and 340 group exhibitions regionally, nationally, and internationally since 1964; and is represented in 28 public and corporate collections and 165 private collections. He was the Co-founder of the International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art and has an extensive record of lectures, workshops, and professional service since 1966.

The ISC established the Outstanding Educator Award program in 1996 to recognize individual artist-educators who have excelled at teaching sculpture in institutions of higher learning. An exemplary career combining personal studio practice and measurable academic performance form the evaluative basis of this award. The 2013 Outstanding Educator Award program resulted in a record number of faculty nominations from thirty-nine (39) institutions of higher learning from four (4) countries. The unanimous selection of Wayne Potratz as the award recipient was made from this large pool of applicants and is a testament to the dedication and excellence demonstrated by this artist/educator.

For more information about the Outstanding Educator Award and nominations for the 2014 program click here.

To read an article about Wayne E. Potratz in the October 2013 issue of Sculpture magazine, click here.