Installation 188 Neil Tetkowski

Opening January 28, 2004

The Schein International Museum of Ceramic Art is pleased to host Installation 188 beginning January 28, 2004. Organized by artist Neil Tetkowski, Installation 188 is part of the Common Ground World Project, a conceptual work focusing attention on global interaction. Installation 188 measures 24 feet long and features a series of glass bottles numbered 1-188 held securely by an aluminum pedestal. The bottles contain samples of earth from each of the United Nations’ 188 Member States in January 2000. Tetkowski’s desire was to create “a collaborative work that would inspire humanity toward unity.” A short video accompanies the exhibit and helps explain the project.

Neil Tetkowski

The work was first exhibited at the United Nations Headquarters in New York during spring of 2000 to coincide with the creation of the World Mandala Monument. The mandala is a circular design symbolic of the universe and used to represent renewal and reconciliation in many cultures. The World Mandala Monument is an eight-foot sculpture exhibited at the United Nations incorporating all 188 clays.

Tetkowski, a 1977 Alfred University graduate and 1980 Illinois State MFA graduate, feels the project allowed him to tackle “issues that are far too threatening…to deal with in any other way - issues about the environment, issues of world hunger, issues about how all of humanity is interacting with each other in terms of wealth, power, military.” The work is a symbol of the world’s community of communities. The project has been featured in several museums and publications and includes a catalogue.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Tetkowski will take part in the Bergren Forum lecture series sponsored by the Division of Human Studies. On Thursday, February 26, 2004, Tetkowski will speak on "Neil Tetkowski: The Common Ground World Project at the United Nations" at 12:10 p.m. in Nevins Theatre, Powell Campus Center. A reception in the Museum will follow later that afternoon.

Tetkowski has shown work in numerous solo exhibitions and his work is included in the public collections of several esteemed institutions including the Smithsonian, the Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, and the Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY. After seven years teaching at SUNY Buffalo and Denison University in Columbus, Ohio, Tetkowski opened his own studio in New York City, where he currently resides and works.

For more information, please call the Museum at 607-871-2421 or visit our website at An accompanying catalogue is available.

The Common Ground World Project is officially endorsed at the United Nations by the department of Economic and Social Affairs. The project is made possible by the sponsorship of the New York Foundation for the Arts, a grant from the Ford Foundation and the generous financial contributions of 275 individuals. With their support and the participation of people in 188 countries, this global project has been successfully realized.


Installation 188 (2000), 300"x 48"x48" aluminum, glass, cork, clay and sand




Installation 188 (2000), 300"x 48"x48" aluminum, glass, cork, clay and sand

Detail of wall label of the 188 countries that contributed earth to the project





Detail of wall label of the 188 countries that contributed earth to the project