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UMobile Hosts Exhibit by Ceramics Artist Maria Spies

The University of Mobile art department will host artwork from local ceramics artist Maria Spies at the Marilyn Foley Art Gallery through Feb. 28. Spies will present a demonstration at 1 p.m. on Feb. 27 with a reception to follow. The gallery is located in the Ben May Building on the UMobile campus, 5735 College Parkway.

Spies first learned to work clay in Mobile in 1973. Before returning to the city, she taught pottery in various states outside Alabama including Texas, Washington, and Pennsylvania.

“Fall of 2007 brought me full circle when we returned to Alabama to be close to family,” said Spies. “I began to work again in my home studio with private students and workshops as well as teaching in Fairhope at Eastern Shore Art Center and at Space 301 in Mobile.

“In 2011 I oversaw the renovation and expansion of the Eastern Shore Art Center’s pottery studio, and in 2013 I organized and assisted in the construction of a 24 cubic foot wood kiln there.”

In her 40-year career, Spies has studied with many prominent American and international artists. In one unique workshop, she studied at the University of Tokyo Fine Arts for a month. During her attendance, she visited major Japanese pottery centers and two National Living Treasures at work.

“All of my travels have provided a very rich mixture of influences on, and opportunities for, my work,” said Spies. “ I have woodfired in a variety of anagama kilns across the country, a ground hog kiln, saggar fired, Raku fired, and more electric kilns than I could count.

“I enjoy sharing all of these experiences through both my work and teaching,” said Spies.

Phillip Counselman, associate professor of art at UMobile, said, “Maria has such great control over the medium of clay. To be able to hear Maria talk about her years of experience as an artist, as well as see her works, will be a great benefit for our students and the community.”

Counselman added, “There is such a diversity of technique and skill exemplified in her works,” he said. “The colors, forms, and mixed media aspects are very hard to combine. This certainly makes the work very interesting.” 

For more information regarding the University of Mobile Art Department, contact Counselman at (251) 442-2283, or visit

About the University of Mobile:
The University of Mobile is a Christian university located in Mobile, Ala., on an 880-acre campus near Gulf Coast beaches. More than 1,600 students are enrolled in more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Christian Leadership, School of Business, School of Christian Ministries, School of Education, School of Nursing, School of Worship Leadership, Center for Performing Arts/School of Music and Center for Adult Programs.

For more information about the University of Mobile, visit the website at or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.

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