David HiltnerExecutive Director

In the summer of 2005 David, Maggy and their daughter Sophie, moved to Red Lodge, Montana to establish the Red Lodge Clay Center. Prior to moving to Red Lodge David was an Assistant Professor of Ceramics at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas. Before joining the faculty at Wichita State University in 1999, he taught at Syracuse University, Northwest College, and at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

David received his B.F.A. in Ceramics from Wichita State University in 1993 and completed his M.F.A at Syracuse University in 1997.

Jill ObermanCurator & Gallery Coordinator

Jill has been actively involved in the clay world, diligently working to have a positive impact on our field. Moving to Red Lodge from Carbondale, Colorado, Jill recently worked as a studio artist and as an Educator at the Aspen Art Museum. She currently serves as the Secretary of the Board of Directors for the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). Jill earned her MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology School for American Crafts, and her BA from Hamilton College. She has been a resident artist at numerous art institutions, notably the Anderson Ranch, the Archie Bray Foundation, and Arrowmont School for Arts and Crafts. While in her studio Jill focuses on creating minimal, architectural ceramic sculptures that have been widely exhibited throughout the United States, as well as sharing her passion of ceramics through conversation with anyone and everyone who will listen. Past employment includes work as the Executive Director of the Carbondale Clay Center, the Executive Director of the Clay Studio of Missoula, the Programs and Administration Director at the Archie Bray Foundation, and the Studio Manager of the ceramics program at the Anderson Ranch Art Center.

Sean O’ConnellEducation and Communications Coordinator

Sean has been involved in the arts & crafts since an early experience apprenticing with silversmiths in his hometown of Fayetteville, AR. He attended college at the Kansas City Art Institute, and upon completing his BFA in Sculpture, became interested in making functional pottery. After several years working as an instructor in community art centers, Sean pursued his MFA in Ceramics at the School for American Crafts, Rochester Institute of Technology. After completing his degree, Sean was the 2009 Salad Day’s Artist-in-Residence at Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, ME and between 2011 – 2013 completed a two year Fellowship at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT. Sean has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Alberta College of Art + Design, SUNY Brockport, and several other schools in upstate NY. Sean exhibits his work nationally and regularly gives workshops and lectures throughout North America.

Ernest ForwardProgramming & Facilities Coordinator

Beginning with his first high school ceramic class in 1996, shortly after moving to Eagle River, Alaska, Ernest realized his passion for ceramics. He pursued this aspiration when he moved to Fairbanks in 2004 where he spent four years attending the University of Alaska Fairbanks, receiving his B.F.A. in Ceramics in 2008. Ernest was selected to teach Ceramics for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Summer Visual Art Academy. In the Fall of 2008 the artist moved to Montana for a year-long residency at the Red Lodge Clay Center to further develop his work, his dedication, and love for the ceramic arts. In Spring of 2012 he received his MFA in Ceramics at Montana State University. Ernest moved to Oxford Mississippi in the Fall of 2012 to join the Department of Art at The University of Mississippi, as Instructor/Ceramic Technician. In Fall of 2014 Ernest changed roles at the University of Mississippi, becoming Visiting Assistant Professor, Ceramics. Currently Ernest has decided to move back to the great state of Montana to join the Red Lodge Clay Center as Program and Facilities Coordinator, and will reside in Red Lodge MT.