An innovative collaboration of visual and performing arts and education in the unique historic setting of the former DC prison.

Dale Marhanka

Artist Medium


Artist's Statement

Vessel Forms

Figural dialogue in our everyday environment is a major influence in my work. My sculptural vessel forms are intimate gestural forms created in response to that stimulus, whether it is conscious or sub-conscious.

My intent is to produce an analogy about the balance or tension between the feminine and masculine association. These sculptural vessel forms are products of the feelings, values and sensitivity I have actualized through clay. The many years I have spent making pots has made me realize how fundamental touch and spirituality are to my work and life. I have chosen the teapot, jar, vase and ewer form, as the vehicle I feel will best express this analogy and intimacy.

By using the potter's wheel, then altering and handbuilding these forms, I have the ability to express myself intuitively in a very personal way. The varied surfaces, the use of the post reduction process, and the use of Terra-Sigillatta and various glazes are used to enhance the possibility of a reciprocal response from the viewer.

Dale Marhanka


Dale Marhanka

Dale Marhanka received his BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1987 and his MFA from Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas in 1991. He attended the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana as a resident artist in the summer of 1987. From 1993-1997, he taught ceramics and sculpture as an Adjunct Asst. Prof. of Studio Arts at Mount Vernon College in Washington, D.C. He has also taught at Montgomery College in Takoma Park, Maryland, and Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Virginia. He was Chair of the Art League Ceramics Program from 2000-2008 and was a faculty member there from 1997-2008. In 2000 he was a Virginia Commission for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship recipient and he is also featured in the book "The Ceramic Design Book" a compilation of national and international ceramic artists by Lark Books with an introduction by renowned Ceramicist Val Cushing. Dale is currently the Ceramics Director, a faculty member and a resident artist for the Lorton Arts Foundation/Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Virginia, showing his work both nationally and internationally.