Western Connecticut State University will sponsor a special event with renowned potter Matin Malikzada, a refugee from Istalif, Afghanistan, who has had his work shown around the world, on Saturday, April 1, from 9:30 a.m. until noon at the university’s pottery studio in White Hall, Room 017, on the Midtown campus, 181 White St., Danbury. Registration is required to attend this event at wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com.
Malikzada, a seventh-generation Afghan master potter, fled the Taliban to resettle in New Milford with help from New Milford Refugee Resettlement. His work is internationally recognized for its technical skill and elegant designs, and has been displayed all around the world, including in the Japan International Museum, Tokyo, Japan; the Islamic National Museum, Doha, Qatar; Leighton House and Buckingham Palace, London, United Kingdom; the Smithsonian Institute’s Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C.; and at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
In Kabul, Malikzada served as head of the Ceramics Department at the Turquoise Mountain Institute, where he studied in his youth. After graduating, he was hired as a Master of Ceramics and eventually led the department. Additionally, Malikzada earned a bachelor’s degree in Law from Tabesh University in Kabul, has earned certificates in Design and Crafts from the City and Guilds Institute of London, was a visiting artist at the Institute of Ceramic Studies at Shigaraki, Japan, and authored books on Istalifi pottery. Malikzada revitalized the nearly lost art of Istalifi pottery and has trained more than 100 artisans in these ancient techniques.
Malikzada will provide a presentation on his experiences and a demonstration of his craft. The event is sponsored by the WCSU Department of Art, the Office of Diversity and Equity and the Muslim Student Association, and WCSU Adjunct Professor of Ceramics Jurg Lanzrein will serve as co-host. Space is limited; registration for this event is required at wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com.