By Tia Lynn Ivey
The Steffen Thomas Museum of Art (STMA) may be closed to the public due to the ongoing threat of the novel coronavirus sweeping across the nation, but the members of the public have the chance to win a little piece of art to take home for themselves.
The STMA is holding a Spring Fundraiser raffle to support the museum’s exhibitions and educational programming. Each month, in April, May, and June, the museum will introduce a new prize for the raffle.
April’s prize is a handmade lidded jar created by Ben Owen III, valued at $300. The piece was donated by Hathia and Andrew Hayes and pictured at right.
According to the STMA, “Raffle tickets are $10 each, 3 for $25 and 5 for $40. A winner will be chosen at the end of the month and notified via email.”
To purchase tickets, please visit: https://steffenthomas.org/spring-fundraising-raffle-april.
According to the STMA, “Ben Owen III is a potter from Seagrove, North Carolina. His forefathers came to North Carolina (NC) from England as early as the late 1700s to make a new living in the USA. Some of these early generations learned skills in craft by making pottery and furnishing storage jars along with other utilitarian wares for early settlers. Ben’s grandfather, master potter Ben Owen, Sr., admired the early Asian pottery he saw displayed in museums and collections while working at Jugtown Pottery (1923-1959).
He translated those works into his own style later at Ben Owen Pottery (1959-1972). Ben III studied pottery as a young apprentice first with his grandfather in the late 1970s-1980s and later at East Carolina University (1989-1993). Like his grandfather, Ben creates pottery that reflects a foundation in traditional early American designs, and incorporates influences from Asia, Europe, and Persia. Ben has participated in workshops and conferences throughout the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and recently in China. His work can be found in many museums nationwide, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Smithsonian Museum of Art. Ben’s commissions grace the lobby of the Ritz Carlton Tokyo Hotel in Japan and The Umstead Hotel and Spa in NC.
Singer/songwriter James Taylor and golfer Arnold Palmer are among the notables whose collections include works by Ben Owen III.”