While Clay Bears may not be Missouri State University’s version of Terracotta Army, they are extraordinary in their own way – shown here advocating for world peace in a photo taken in Lanzhou, Gansu Province, China. All were able to get together for a few days in Lanzhou while visiting China.
Three former Clay Bears (former Ceramics students) and Papa Bear (MSU Professor) are pictured: left to right: Keaton Wynn, Patsy Cox, Keith Ekstam, and Dryden Wells.
Keaton Wynn (BFA 1988) is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Georgia Southwestern State University where he teaches ceramics and art history. He is also the Creative Director of the Dunhuang Creative Center at Lanzhou City University, established in 2012. Dunhuang Create Center is the only ceramics program in Gansu Province.
Patsy Cox (BFA 1995) is currently a Professor of Visual Art and Head of Ceramics at California State University-Northridge. She was invited to serve as a visiting artist during summer 2018 at the Dunhuang Creative Center.
Dryden Wells (BFA 2004) is currently a Co-Director of Education and International Artist Residency program at The Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China.
Keith Ekstam is a long-time Professor of Art + Design at Missouri State University who was also invited to serve as a visiting artist during summer 2018 at the Dunhuang Creative Center. He was honored with the 2017 National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Excellence in Teaching Award for demonstrating excellence in teaching and creative research and making a profound impact on his students and the field of ceramics. Missouri State University recognized him with the 2017 Foundations Award for Excellence in Research.