Bunny McBride received an M.F.A. from Alfred University. He was head of the ceramics program and taught beginning and graduate-level courses. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts grant from the Archie Bray Foundation. McBride's ceramic work has been honored at the International Ceramics Competition (1989, 1992), Mino, Japan; Cedar Creek National Teapot Show, Cedar Creek Gallery, Creedmore, N.C.; regional Nine States Ceramic Exhibition, Kansas City, Mo.; The American Coffee Cup, National Invitational, Rochester Art Center, Rochester, Minn.; and the National Contemporary Craft Exhibition, Tulsa, Okla.
My love, thoughts and prayers have been with Justin, Ryan, Heather and Arlene McBride these last few days. Bunny was incredibly humble, and one of the finest men of character I have known. We live beyond ourselves in the lives of others, and Bunny is a person who many times I asked myself to work hard to be like. Bunny’s example of care for others and especially his family had a solidness the world needs more of. In the School when you were in his presence you were in the presence of care.
We would like to have a memorial in the School when the pandemic lifts.
Three of our colleagues – Andy, Heidi and Benj – were mentored as students by Bunny and I would like to share their remembrance; please see below.
"As the three former students of Bunny McBride who are still working in the Ceramics Program at The University of Iowa, we are deeply saddened by his passing. We are also forever grateful and enriched by his life, and the knowledge, humanity, and mentorship that he shared with us.
Bunny cared for our families, spouses, and children, with as much sincerity and attention as he showed for our artwork. He opened his house to us, fed us, loaned tools and vehicles, all while reading our artist statements, graduate theses, and offering us a lifetime of material knowledge related to our work in clay.
It was this combined focus; the professional and the personal, of which Bunny was a true master. He was a craftsman of the highest order in the studio with his work, and in his teaching of ceramics, but he was also a master mentor, and role model for all of us. Whether loading kilns, manipulating porcelain on the wheel, or in our last encounters with him; quietly whittling a piece of apple wood, Bunny was one with his work, and with those fortunate enough to be around him. It was this same oneness that we felt in his presence, and in his shared humanity.
His kindness, and support of us will not be forgotten. His generosity, even in passing, with the establishment of the Bunny and Arlene McBride Visiting Artist in Ceramics Fund, ensures that students will continue to benefit from his altruism for years to come.
We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with, and to know Bunny. It is an honor to continue his work in ceramics at Iowa, and we are forever inspired by his life, and the example he set for us."
Andrew Casto, Heidi McKay Casto, and Benj Upchurch