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Ceramics Professor Brian Snapp Retires

Brian Snapp demos a wheelthrown bowl

Professor Brian Snapp has left an indelible mark on the Department of Art & Art History, the College of Fine Arts, and the University of Utah. For the past 24 years, he has been instrumental in running the Ceramics Area and has been the Area Head of Ceramics since 2010. He also served as the Chair of the department from 2009-2016.

Brian is an exceptional artist who has given artist talks and shown his work locally, nationally, and internationally. His work has been shown in noteworthy biennials, including: Internacional De Ceramica Marratxi at the Museo De Marratxi in Majorca, Spain; Li Ziyuan International Ceramics Collection in Qingdao, China (his work was selected for the permanent collection); International Forum for Ceramic Arts in Zibo, China; 54th Premio Faena International Ceramic Art Competition in Faenza, Italy (his work received an Honorable Mention); and the Rocky Mountain Biennial at the Fort Collins Museum of Art in Fort Collins, Colorado. He has had solo exhibitions and been part of numerous national and international group shows. Professor Snapp has also published his work in important journals, including: Ceramics Ireland, Australian Ceramics, La Ceramica: Moderna and Antica, and others.

An exhibition of Professor Snapp’s work will be on display in the Gittins Gallery opening in August. This show will provide an opportunity to celebrate him and his legacy.

He has taught and mentored a generation of artists, art educators, and scholars. His classes are referred to as "life changing”.

Brian was the reason I got an MFA and he was the most wonderful and inspiring mentor. He pushed my work and was so insightful. I feel lucky that he is now a lifelong friend.  - Colour Maisch (MFA 2013)

Brian Snapp's energy in the classroom is infectious. His generosity, support, and mentorship encouraged students to dig deep and immerse themselves in their creative pursuits. I am so thankful to have had Brian on my team. - Nikita Nenashev (BFA 2019)

In the short time that I have known Brian he has been nothing but support and overall a great educator and mentor. His ceramic skills were a great asset to the University of Utah, which he has left behind in the form of his learners, sad to see him go. - Carlos Miranda-Rodriguez

Brian always had an inspiring way of pushing me to think deeper about what was possible with clay. He always encouraged experimentation and play, and I think that’s really important to keep in practice with a medium like clay having infinite possibilities. - Christy Yanco (BFA 2017)

Dear Brian, I do not think I could ever put into words how impactful your guidance and mentorship has been in my life. You are such an amazing teacher and I know that all of your students past and present can attest to the positive impact you have had on their life. You make people feel seen, heard, and supported, something that people so desperately need in this world. Thank you so much for always going above and beyond, for teaching me that "Indeed, it is not, dead, yet!" Your teachings both in clay and life live on through your students. Thank you for always making a safe space for people! As the fabulous Ms. Tina Turner would say, "You're simply the best!" - Vanessa Romo (MFA 2017)

Brian is someone who captures your attention with action and words alike. His teachings are nutritious and delicious, but at times leave you with more questions than answers, to which he's "run out of". This encourages self exploration and reflection, he guides you, not by walking with you, but by providing you the tools to find your own way, to answer them yourself. Brian is influential, monumental and a true life educator. - With love and thanks, Griffin Hale (BFA 2022), and your many students.

Brian was recently granted esteemed Emeritus status by the University of Utah. He is a beloved professor, artist, and colleague who will be dearly missed. We wish him all the best in his next adventure!

- Beth Krensky, Professor in Art Teaching