Photo and text by Robert Kokenyesi, Ceramic Artist, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL, 62035, USA.
The Varsity Art XXI exhibit was open from March 3, 2017 to March 30, 2017, in the gallery spaces of the ArtStLouis in the City of St Louis.
The call for entry
There is no regular call for entry for this exhibit. The artwork of 40 graduate and undergraduate students from colleges and universities around the St Louis area from both the Missouri and the Illinois side.
The ceramic art pieces
Marica describes her work as “there are parts of life that are as crucial to our existence as they are invisible”. Some tiles represents stages of journey in the afterlife, revealing where we might journey. I interpret this as casting the reincarnation process into ceramic tiles.
The clay tiles picture students from Helena, Arkansas. The writing on the mirror repeats:”I will not hit the kids”. David considers his work as an occasion to reflect on systems of opression, and such reflection will help to close the achievement gap in schools.
This porcelain plate was made to appear that a layer is being pulled off the plate, and the decoration is different under the sheet that’s being pulled off. In her words, she discusses in this piece the “relationship between postmodern discourse and recycling culture”. Such discussion allows the viewer to reflect on whether they contribute to the issues.
Sandy writes that her creative passion is ignited by many visual experiences of nature. She was inspired by pottery from her native China, and that inspiration makes her to create functional pottery.
Scott writes that “metamorphosis, heat, weathering and tectonics are the forces that form and transform the earth.” Because those processes make rock formations out of ubiquitous materials. Scott believes stripping the clay down to its basic nature reveals the rawness of the material. He says that the dramatic craggy surfaces carry a dignified presence of solemnity. In addition, Scott believes that the undulations and irregularities give these formations fortitude. Such fortitude is compatible with the earnestness of life as opposed to the gravity of death.