John Roberts has been a working artist and educator since 1999. After finishing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, he continued to the graduate program at Georgia State University, where he completed a Master of Fine Arts degree in 2001.
In 2014, John completed a series of work, focused on hand thrown ceramic forms with incised drawings through black engobe (sgraffito). John states, “This new series of sgraffito work began as an exercise to reopen my subconscious mind. Without any purpose or focus, these stream of conscious drawings revealed my interests in science, nature, and astronomy, while creating a dialogue between my real and surreal worlds.” These pieces were featured in a solo exhibition at Mudfire Gallery in Decatur, GA. John was also chosen to present this work at the Invitational Group Exhibition, “Ceramix”, at the Hartsfield/Jackson Airport, in Atlanta, GA. In 2017, his new reduction fired work was juried into the "Strictly Functional Pottery National" where he won the Form and Function award.
During John’s career in Atlanta, much of his time was involved working at Chastain Arts Center under the City of Atlanta, Office of Cultural Affairs. There, he started as an Art Technician, managing and building up their ceramics program by offering classes, maintaining/building kilns, and eventually, helping to coordinate the renovation of the pottery studio. Later, John became Chastain’s Project Coordinator where he administrated and helped manage all of Chastain’s art studio departments, and was an integral part of the gallery installations.
After 16 years at Chastain, John worked as a Visiting Artist Lecturer at Georgia State University. His focus was to help rebuild the pottery program at the University, while teaching ceramics and 3-D Design classes, until the summer of 2016.
Currently, John is the Ceramics Program Director at Callanwolde Arts Center, teaching up to 5 classes a quarter. On his transition to this new position: "It is such an honor to be selected as the new Director of Pottery for Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. After working in Atlanta as an instructor and studio manager for the past 18 years, I have grown to love this city's great ceramics community. It has become family to me and I am so fortunate to continue to be a part of it. Glenn Dair has built and maintained a world-class studio for the students at Callanwolde and I am proud to be following in his footsteps to carry on his legacy. I am very happy to be a part of this new community, and I look forward to how this opportunity will continue to inspire me and help me grow as an artist, teacher, and mentor."