Kempler joins HCC art department

Erica Kempler

(Release: July 30, 2014)— The English and Humanities Division at Hagerstown Community College recently announced that artist Erica Kempler has joined HCC’s art department as an adjunct faculty member.

Kempler is a ceramics artist who works with porcelain and uses a variety of firing techniques to create installations that address topics such as modern throwaway culture or the beauty of nature in everyday life. Some of her work is mixed media and combines clay with non-traditional materials. In recent years, she has exhibited work at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.; the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, D.C.; the Alexandre Hogue Gallery at the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Okla.; the Artists Hand Gallery in Indiana, Pa.; and the First Street Gallery in New York, N.Y.

Kempler has a bachelor of fine arts degree in ceramics and painting from Frostburg State University and a master of fine arts degree in ceramics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. At HCC, she will be teaching beginning and advanced ceramics courses in which students will learn to throw pottery on the wheel, hand-sculpt figurative and abstract forms, and experiment with different firing techniques.-MORE-

“We’re thrilled to have Erica join our department,” said Joan Bontempo, associate professor of art appreciation and art history and the HCC art department coordinator. “The studio art professors at HCC are a highly credentialed, award-winning, and actively exhibiting group. It’s important that our students learn from artists who are working in their disciplines, and the students will benefit greatly from Erica’s talent, vision, and experience.”

HCC’s art department currently consists of skilled faculty artists in disciplines such as drawing, sculpture and ceramics, painting, two- and three-dimensional design, fine art photography and photojournalism, jewelry-making, and art history. According to Bontempo, courses are structured to introduce beginners to the creative arts and challenge experienced artists to continue developing their craft and techniques throughout their lifetimes. Recent curriculum enhancements have made it easier for students to transfer to four-year colleges like Hood College, Shepherd University, Towson University, and the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) for continued study in the arts.

To learn more about HCC’s arts and humanities programs, visit