In Memoriam: Stephen Rolfe Powell

Stephen Rolfe Powell (1951-2019) was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1951. He studied painting and ceramics at Centre College and received a Bachelor of Arts in 1974. Before attending graduate school at Louisiana State University, Powell spent several years as an art instructor, first at the Draper State Prison and later at the Indian Springs School in Alabama. Between 1980 and 1983, he attended LSU and earned a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics, where he first began working in glass. 

Stephen Rolf Powell, "Poochy Serpentine Striker"

Stephen Rolf Powell, “Poochy Serpentine Striker”

Since 1983, Stephen had been a professor at Centre College in Danville, KY where he founded a glass program. In 1991, a window shattered as he was attempting to free a bird from his Danville studio space atop the Norton Center for the Arts, severing a tendon, a nerve, and an artery in his right hand. After a complicated surgery and months of physical therapy, Powell returned to the fire and his work reached new heights.

Stephen Rolfe Powell, "Lurid Salacious Viper" Detail - photo from Habatat Galleries 2018 International Invitational.

Stephen Rolfe Powell, “Lurid Salacious Viper” Detail – photo from Habatat Galleries 2018 International Invitational.

In 2004, he broke his left wrist and tore an Achilles tendon, and briefly worked on a smaller “Whacko” series while he recovered. Recently, in 2012, Powell was presented with the Distinguished Educator award from the James Renwick Alliance.

Stephen’s work both as an artist and as an educator provides a powerful and enduring

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