Painter, writer and teacher Dean Schwarz is best known as a potter. Born in Cedar Rapids, Schwarz developed his interest in ceramics while a student at the University of Northern Iowa. Serving in the US Navy in the early 1960s, Schwarz took the opportunity to visit as many potter’s studios as he could, especially in Japan. Studying with Bauhaus potter Marguerite Wildenhain in California in the mid-1960s was especially influential.
Schwarz taught at Luther College in Decorah for more than 32 years, as well as co-founded South Bear School, a summer arts school in Highlandville.