Alisa (AL) Holen
Alisa Holen is a functional potter and educator who earned her BA in liberal arts from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and her MA and MFA from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. She has taught ceramics and sculpture in numerous visiting positions, including the University of Iowa in Iowa City; University of Nebraska, Omaha; and University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. Holen taught ceramics at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Mississippi, and is currently an assistant professor of art at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, Indiana. Holen strongly advocates using art to engage the community; she organizes “Empty Bowls” events to raise money for local charities and to introduce people to working with clay. Her work focuses on formal and metaphorical relationships, often staging forms in postures of dependency, elevation, support, aggression, or comfort. By throwing closed forms on the wheel, she is able to use the air inside as a movable volume that allows strong alterations of these forms.