About Ursula Hargens

Ursula Hargens, co-founder and Program Head for MN NICE, has extensive experience as an artist and educator. She earned her MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University; her MA in Art & Art Education from Columbia University, Teachers College; and she studied ceramics at Nova Scotia College of Art & Design.

In addition to working as a studio artist, she has taught at universities, colleges, and adult education programs throughout the region, including Northern Clay Center and the University of Minnesota. She also frequently teaches workshops at leading art centers around the country.  

She is a three-time McKnight Artist Fellow and has received additional awards from the Jerome Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board. She exhibits her work nationally, including recent shows at The Ceramic Center, Cedar Rapids, IA; 1807 Baltimore, Kansas City, MO (NCECA Conference); and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska, MN.

Of her own ceramic work, Ursula says,

My work speaks of negotiated relationships. Flowers blossom, unite, and compete as they traverse my vessels, creating an active dialogue between form and surface. The botanical imagery in my tile compositions highlights tensions between the human and natural world—real versus imagined, native versus invasive, destructive versus regenerative. In both bodies of work, I strive to capture the intimacy and complexity of life. Layers conflict and coexist with one another. Relationships may be challenging, but they contain a unique beauty and rhythm. Confronted by a world full of conflict, I use my work to try to bring things into harmony and balance.

Ursula’s studies in Art Education at Columbia University Teachers College and her experience teaching in a variety of educational settings have given her a strong and flexible pedagogical foundation. Through her broad experience in the field, she has gained unique insight into the changing landscape of education. She states,

Many individuals are eager to further their ceramic education and seek a professional credential, but family, employment, financial, and time constraints limit their ability to do so within a traditional academic structure. This certificate program is designed to fill this gap, providing a flexible, yet challenging environment that responds to the needs of non-traditional students, giving them quality information, academic rigor, critical dialogue, and critique as they develop their artistic practice and strengthen their work.

Northern Clay Center is proud to partner with her on the MN NICE program.