AU Press Releases

Alumnus's utilitarian pottery and vessels on display in exhibition at the Clay Center

An exhibition featuring two potters who have distinctly different styles, “Two Vigiles: Bruce Dehnert and Shawn O’Connor,” will open at the Clay Art Center, Port Chester, NY, Saturday, Aug. 2 with a reception from 6-8 p.m. Bruce is a member of the AU Class of 1991.

In Caesar Augustus’ ancient Rome there were teams of men called “vigiles” whose mandate was to enter burned buildings in order to determine the cause of the blaze. The Clay Center notes: “This duo exhibition of wood fired utilitarian pottery and vessels will construct a cultural connection with our ancestors. Both artists utilize the random and considered effects that wood firing and flame have to offer as ways to realize and express their culturally relevant ceramic processes. Both artists will be present at the reception and will give a Gallery Talk at 7 p.m.

The exhibition runs through Saturday, Sept. 20. The Clay Center is open Mondays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and by appointment. For more information please visit:

A three-time Fletcher Challenge International Ceramics Award winner, Bruce has received numerous awards including a New Jersey Artist Fellowship, the Settlor Prize in Sculpture, and a Carnegie Premier Award for Works on Paper. He was also a finalist in the Robert Wood Johnson International Figurative Competition. His work is held in a number of museums and collections including The Crocker Museum (California), the Yixing Museum of Ceramic Art (China), The New Dowse Museum (New Zealand), and at the White House (Washington, D.C.).

He has remained active as a writer having articles published in numerous journals including, Studio Potter, Ceramics Monthly, and Ceramics: Art and Perception and recently completed a book (Simon Leach’s Pottery Handbook] on Simon Leach for Abrams Publishing of New York.

Bruce lives at Peters Valley Craft Center where he is head of the ceramics program.