His passion for his medium—and for teaching—is impossible to miss. Ceramics Professor Benjie Heu talks about what students can gain from working with clay.

Benjie Heu, Professor of Ceramics in the Art and Design Department at SEMO, believes that ceramics are much more than just water and clay. They can be art, function, self-expression, a way to connect with others or with the past—whatever the artist needs it to be. 

And with such a long history, there’s certainly a lot to learn about the medium. Luckily, ceramics offers plenty of opportunities for students to grow their skills. 

While the process of creating an individual piece takes about two weeks, it’s never just one piece. According to Professor Heu, creating ceramics is a numbers game. For example, a student might make ten bowls in order to get one or two good pieces. 

“Practice makes perfect” is an old adage, but a good one for any student. Learning, growing, and relentlessly moving forward—at Southeast and in the ceramics studio, that’s what we do. 

You don’t stress so much about making mistakes because you know you can just recycle it and make another one. It helps you accept fault. It helps you kind of accept that the world’s not gonna be perfect.

Benjie Heu, Professor of Ceramics, Art and Design

ARTrageous Online Auction

As a Yamaha Institution of Excellence, SEMO is participating in the company's Upcycle Program. Damaged guitars donated by Yamaha have been transformed into new works of art. These conversation pieces, along with selected pieces donated by Department of Art and Design faculty, will be auctioned during the ARTrageous Online Auction as part of the Celebrate the Arts event. The ARTrageous Auction goes live on April 21 at 6 p.m. and runs through May 7 at 9 p.m. Auction items will be available to preview on May 5 from 5-7 p.m. at Crisp Museum.

Celebrate the Arts

If you are in the region, the Holland College of Arts & Media presents Celebrate the Arts -- an evening featuring music, theatre and dance performances, and exhibited student art, all to benefit international and national performance tours for Southeast students. Join us an art sale at Glenn Convocation Center on May 5 at 5 p.m., featuring pieces created by Art & Design students and faculty. There will also be a live performance at the Bedell Performance Hall at 7 p.m. the same evening. Call (573) 651-2265 for more information.

Build Your Artistic Voice

Department of Art + Design

The Department of Art + Design offers classes in digital art, graphic design, printmaking, painting, sculpture, ceramics, and interior design. You’ll learn from expert artists while earning a degree that will equip you for a career that you’re passionate about.