Legacy of Learning

Legacy of Learning


In a fitting celebration, ASU faculty, artists, and friends joined Don Reitz (above) at a party to recognize his future gift - and to unload kilns at the end of a workshop he recently led. Photo: Daniel Swadener, courtesy of ASU Art Museum

Master ceramist Don Reitz, 81, considers himself a teacher's teacher. So he's given future Arizona State University art students an extraordinary gift: four acres of his property near Sedona, including a studio and gallery, eight kilns, and works by himself and other artists, all donated to the university's Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, its School of Art, and the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center. A residency program at the "Reitz Ranch" is in development.

"Don has been so committed to teaching all his life, and he wanted to give students an opportunity to learn outside the classroom environment," says his longtime friend Peter Held, curator of ceramics at the CRC. "Developing a mind" is key to his teaching philosophy, Reitz says: "I envision not only ceramists working here, but poets, writers, painters, and sculptors, to share and exchange ideas that will expand their vision of the arts."

In other ASU news, the Windgate Charitable Foundation has awarded a major grant to the Art Museum to fund a traveling exhibition of its distinguished craft collection, along with new acquisitions and a curatorial fellowship in contemporary craft.

Joyce Lovelace is American Craft's contributing editor.