Mac’s Applebee Gallery showcases “Experiments in Historic Flight”

Mac’s Applebee Gallery showcases “Experiments in Historic Flight”

MacMurray College will showcase the aviation-themed works of Wisconsin artist John-Thomas Richard in the Applebee Gallery until Feb. 28.

Richard grew up loving planes, for both their technical beauty of construction and their seemingly impossible ability to fly. Richard is currently exploring the idea of human flight through the use of ceramic forms, silhouettes and structures.

His family was a major influence. Richard’s grandfather flew around the South Pacific during World War II on different planes fixing communication equipment on the islands. His grandmother worked at an airplane plant in Detroit during the war. Richard’s father built a sailplane in the family barn with a friend and was responsible for introducing Richard to all things aviation by taking him to air shows. No one in his family has ever been a pilot but that has not stopped them from being part of the aviation spirit. Ultimately, Richard is aware that his ceramic planes and parts may never truly fly but he wants to provoke the idea of flight in the minds of the viewer.

For more information on the exhibit, contact Khara Koffel, professor of art and Applebee Gallery director, at 217-479-7092 or

About John-Thomas Richard — Richard was born and raised in Southwestern Wisconsin. He first developed his interest in clay during sophomore year of college at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Richard graduated in 2006 with a degree in art and American history. He worked for two years developing a portfolio for graduate school and then spent the following three years at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, working toward a master’s degree. Richard graduated with an MFA in May 2011. In August of 2012, he moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to start a year residency with The Iowa Ceramic Center as well as working at Kirkwood Community College from 2011-2017. In 2014, Richard started working at Mount Mercy University where he currently teaches ceramics, sculpture and intro to art classes, while also running the campus art gallery, Janalyn Hanson White Gallery.

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