Paducah, KY, June 13, 2018—After years of coordinating an artist in residence program that brings visiting artists from across the globe to Paducah, Kentucky, Paducah Arts Alliance (PAA) Chair Mitch Kimball has reversed his role. Kimball is currently participating in a month-long residency that began on June 1 at The Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China, a mutual UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art.
Kimball is the current chair of PAA and a member of the visual arts faculty at McCracken County High School, where he teaches alongside his wife, Shand Stamper. In addition to their careers as art educators, Kimball and Stamper make one-of-a-kind, hand crafted ceramics and jewelry, which can be found at Ochre, their co-op shop in the historic CocaCola building at 3121 Broadway.
Kimball specializes in functional pottery, creating original designs in tableware handcrafted from locally dug Kentucky clays. The appeal of the porcelain producing city Jingdezhen and its international ceramics center has long been of interest to him. “I have patiently waited for the timing to be right (over 18 years) to visit Jingdezhen, China,” said Kimball. “I am really looking forward to sharing Paducah’s vision and love of folk craft with the porcelain capital of the world as well as bringing that centuries old tradition back to our home–Paducah, Kentucky.”
Experiential learning is the core mission of The Pottery Workshop Jingdezhen, an international ceramics center focusing on the development and enrichment of ceramics in China and abroad. While in Jingdezhen, Kimball is being immersed in learning traditional Chinese ceramics techniques with local masters and experiencing life in Jingdezhen. James Chen, of the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute, has been sharing the Chinese culture with his Kentucky guest. He recently facilitated bringing a television crew to interview Kimball. “This opportunity is worth recording as the friendship and cooperation between our cities continues,” said Chen.
“The CVB is delighted to facilitate these types of experiences for our local artisans through our participation in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN),” said Mary Hammond, executive director of the Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau, local UCCN focal point. “Our designation generates new opportunities for global collaboration and exchange. Paducah has worked with Jingdezhen since their joining of the network in 2015, and Mitch’s residency solidifies a valuable relationship with this like-minded city on the other side of the world.”
Follow along with some of the highlights of Kimball’s pottery workshop on PAA’s Facebook page at facebook.com/paducahartsalliance.