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Print Pioneer Pond Donates Works to Hiram

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Noted artist and print-maker Clayton Pond has donated 21 of his limited edition silk-screen prints to Hiram College.

Pond, who pioneered silk screen print-making processes in the 1960’s and ‘70s, and gained notoriety in association with the New Realism and Pop Art communities of artists, who converged on New York City’s Soho district, said he made the donation to Hiram because it is where he took his first-ever art class and it shaped his future as an artist.

“I was born and raised in Long Island, but my mother was from Circleville, Ohio,” he said. “She said I should go to school in the Midwest where the “nice people,” as she called them, were. There was only one art teacher at Hiram when I was there, but that first art class (with the late Professor Paul Rochford) really set me on the path.”

Pond spent three years at Hiram, but did not graduate, moving on to earn his BFA from Carnegie-Melon University in Pittsburgh and an MFA from the Pratt Institute in New York City. His early-career contemporaries included Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, and Tom Wesselmann (who also attended Hiram briefly in the early 1950’s), and he earned critical acclaim for his own style which transforms familiar objects, even utilitarian items like chairs, radiators, and fans – into monumental icons of American culture. His characteristic use of bold color, and glossy varnish techniques were self-taught and innovative, and have kept his work in demand to this day. Pond has had more than 70 one-man exhibitions in galleries, libraries, and universities, and his works are held in corporate, academic and private collections worldwide.

“We are overjoyed Mr. Pond has seen fit to donate some of his work,” Chema said. “We are honored that Hiram had some small part in shaping his style, and that we will have the opportunity to display them for students, parents and visitors for generations to come.”

Hiram hosted a month-long exhibition of Pond’s work in January 2011 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his time in Hiram.