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SC Arts Commission Grants Awards

SC Arts Commission 2018 Craft Fellow

Elizabeth Keller

Jonathan TabbertCeramic artist and educator Elizabeth F. Keller of Conway is noted for her narrative ceramic sculptures and whimsical teapots. Her sculptural forms exhibit a layering of symbolic imagery addressing spiritual concerns, while her teapots reflect a life-long appreciation for nature. Tree imagery and the utilization of surface texture/wood mimicry are central foci and currently serve as her principle inspirations. Yet, she never leaves behind the craft demand for function; she is as keen to address function with each teapot form as she is to explore ceramic excursions into sculpture.


Previously an educator at Coastal Carolina University, Keller retired in May 2017 and was named distinguished professor emeritus. Throughout her teaching career, Keller’s focus had been on preparing students in 3D design and ceramics, teaching all levels of ceramic construction from beginning to advanced.


During her 23 years at CCU, Keller was active in more than 90 exhibitions, including 37 national juried exhibitions and eight international juried exhibitions. Additionally, her work has been featured in a number of invitational and solo exhibitions and is included in several public and private collections, including the South Carolina State Arts Collection, the Columbia Museum of Art, the Anderson County Arts Council, and the Nanjing University for the Arts in China. Keller has won numerous awards for her work in regional, national and international settings. A number of her sculptures and teapots have been featured in books, magazines and catalogs.


She holds two BA degrees, the first from the University of Massachusetts in anthropology and the second from Furman University in fine arts. She received a MFA degree in ceramics from Clemson University in 1992.