Dara Hartman is a full-time studio artist based in Salt Lake City, UT. She received a B.F.A. from Virginia Tech and an M.F.A. from Montana State University. In 2005, she was an artist-in-residence at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT. After graduate school she moved to Washington and was an adjunct professor at Clark College in Vancouver, WA, and at Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, OR. While in Oregon she was commissioned by Marriott to create 70 figurative sculptures for their Courtyard by Marriott Portland City Center hotel. Most recently, Dara’s life has taken her to Salt Lake City, where she worked for three years as a product designer and as a design team leader, and traveled to China to work with factories on model design and production. Dara was a presenter at the inaugural symposium in 2011, became the assistant director in 2018, and is now director of the symposium.
Donna Polseno developed and founded the Women Working with Clay symposium in 2011. She received a B.F.A. from the Kansas City Art Institute and her M.A.T. from the Rhode Island School of Design. She moved to the mountains of Virginia after graduation and has been a studio artist since 1974. She started her career making pottery which she continues to do, but diverged to a parallel career of making figurative sculpture in the 80’s. She has received two National Endowment of the Arts Grants and a Virginia Museum Fellowship. Essays about her work have been published in many magazines including Art & Perception and Ceramics Monthly. She is in several books about pottery and sculpture including Sculptural Ceramics (cover photo) by Ian Gregory. She has taught many workshops and summer programs at schools including Penland School of Crafts, Arrowmont School of Crafts, The Bascom, Appalachian Center for Donna Polseno workCrafts, Long Beach Foundation, and Anderson Ranch Art Center. She has been an invited participant at a symposium in Izmir, Turkey, has taught twice at the WVU exchange program in Jingdezhen, China, and teaches each summer at La Meridiana- International School for Ceramics, in Italy, as well as showing in the second annual “Concreta” exhibiton in Certaldo. She taught ceramics at Hollins University since the inception of the ceramics program in 2004, through her retirement in 2020.