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LEFT: Lowell artist Yary Livan teaches a student how to throw a pot in the Ceramics Studio.
RIGHT: Livan's work reflects his formal training at the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh.
Faculty Focus //
Yary Livan
There's more to working
with clay than first meets
the eye, according to
Yary Livan, a master of
Cambodian ceramics.
"Making things with clay is easy it's soft and
you can make it do whatever you want. But
learning how to do it right is hard," the Lowell
artist explained.
Trained at the Royal University of Fine Arts in
Phnom Penh, Livan is believed to be one of the
few ceramists to survive the brutal Pol Pot-era
genocide. He teaches two to three sections of
"Ceramics I & II" each semester. And, over the
next two years, Livan will expand his teaching
outside the college, thanks to a $40,000 grant
from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Designed to preserve the endangered
Cambodian ceramic tradition, the grant
will allow Livan to lead ceramics courses for
Lowell Public Schools (LPS) students and the
community. He will also train LPS teachers in
the art and history of Cambodian ceramics.
Livan's teaching revolves around MCC's
traditional Cambodian ceramics kiln,
constructed on the grounds of Lowell
National Historical Park. Most student projects
as well as his own work are fired in the
smokeless, wood-fired kiln.
Clearly the master of MCC's Ceramics
Studio, Livan patiently teaches the three basic
techniques of Cambodian ceramics: how to
make pinch-, coil- and slab-vessels. "You can
make anything with these three skills. Once
you know these things, you will have a good
foundation," he explained. "Then, you will
learn to create!"
That's not as simple as it sounds,
according to "Ceramics I" student Kelsy
Duran, of Lawrence. "I thought this class
would be easy and relaxing but it was really
challenging," she said, laughing. "Although,
once you get the hang of it, it really is fun."
Theresa Gray, of Lowell, discovered
something even deeper. "I found my passion
through Yary. I was here just two days and
knew this is where I was meant to be," said
Gray. "When I'm working with clay, I just go
into another world."
Kathy Register
Art & Graphic Design
Keeping Up with Changes While Never Losing Sight of the Basics
MCC Moment: When I first came to Middlesex, I explored the health and psychology fields, but they
were not for me. Once I took "Intro to Computer Graphics," it felt like I was going in the right direction.
Graphic design is everywhere in our everyday lives, whether we realize it or not. Designers make their
projects look so easy, but it's so complex and complicated which is what makes it all so beautiful!
Future Plans: After I graduate, I hope to get a job as a graphic designer then finish my bachelor's
degree in graphic design.
Loretta Cedrone
Graphic Design