HIGH POINT, N.C., April 5, 2021 – High Point University welcomes Ben Owen III, an American studio potter, as Artist in Residence.
Owen joins a long list of faculty in residence at HPU. The Access to Innovators program at HPU connects students with industry leaders for networking and mentorship opportunities. Owen joins Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak, HPU’s Innovator in Residence; Netflix Co-founder Marc Randolph, HPU’s Entrepreneur in Residence; Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall, HPU’s Sports Executive in Residence; Former U.S. Ambassador and FCC Chairman William “Bill” Kennard, HPU’s Global Leader in Residence; ABC News’ “Nightline” Anchor Byron Pitts, HPU’s Journalist in Residence; American Actor, Producer and Television Presenter Dean Cain, HPU’s Actor in Residence; and many others.
“Our list of global leaders keeps expanding, and we are excited to have Ben Owen join our university,” says HPU President Nido Qubein. “Mr. Owen will provide outstanding mentorship to our students with his artistic skills.”
Owen currently works in Seagrove, North Carolina, and was born into a traditional pottery family. He was first introduced to clay by his grandfather when he was eight years old.
“I look forward to sharing my experiences and skills with the students at High Point University,” says Owen. “It’s an honor to be a part of the growing list of impressive individuals in HPU’s Access to Innovators program that help students network, learn and build on the life skills-focused education they’re already receiving.”
Owen’s natural talent and unusual level of interest led to an apprenticeship with his grandfather and father by age 13. Throughout high school, he carefully studied the shapes, glazes and traditions of his family’s aesthetic and learned to appreciate the history and legacy of generations of the craft. During college, his interest in form, design and color piqued, and he began to forge his own unique path in clay. Through technical exploration and academic influences, Owen’s clay vernacular began to evolve.
“We are particularly excited about the addition of Mr. Owen to our Innovators in Residence program because his works provide a unique link between tradition and innovation; between past and future, a relationship that is critically important to the evolution of society,” says Dr. John Turpin, dean of HPU’s School of Art and Design.
Owen has traveled throughout the United States attending workshops and conferences. He also participated in a fellowship in Japan where he continued his research. He has studied Chinese, Australian and European styles.
Works created by Owen are included in numerous museum collections including the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.; The International Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico; The Schein-Joseph International Museum of Art in Alfred, New York; and The Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Over the past decade, he has addressed the needs of designers and collectors to create custom works to be installed in a series of premier hotels and public spaces including the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Tokyo, Japan; Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, North Carolina; the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts; and Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah. Many of these vessels are much larger in scale and carefully designed to enhance the hotels’ stunning interiors. He has received many awards and honors, including North Carolina Living Treasure, 2004; and induction into the North Caroliniana Society.