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.

Jenn ColeCurator & Gallery Coordinator

Jenn Cole is a functional potter from South Eastern Ohio. She graduated from Ohio University in Athens, OH with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics in 2012. Following graduation, Jenn spent a year as the Resident Artist at The Ceramics Center in Cedar Rapids, IA. Her enthusiasm for craft took her to Tennessee Tech University’s Appalachian Center for Craft in Smithville, TN where she was the Artist-in-Residence of Exhibitions. Shortly after, Jenn began a full time position as the Gallery Manager at the Appalachian Center for Craft’s Goldenrod Gallery. She now brings that same enthusiasm and dedication to the Red Lodge Clay Center.

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.

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.