Ceramic art pieces in the Varsity Art exhibit at ArtStLouis

Photos and reporting by Robert Kokenyesi, Ceramic Artist, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL, 62035, USA.  If you enjoyed this post, then give me a “like” on my Facebook page.      There is additional information about Beachfront Pottery on my web site.

The Venue

The Varsity Art XXII exhibit took place in the galleries of ArtStLouis from March 2 to March 29, 2018.

This is the entry to the ArtStLouis galleries on Pine Street in St Louis, Missouri.  The gallery hosts regular art exhibits.  For the current exhibit schedule check out their web site.




The Call for Entry

There was no call for entry, because this was an invitational exhibit.  This twenty-second annual group exhibition was curated by art faculties from 21 St. Louis regional colleges and universities in Missouri & Illinois. Professors were invited to select two outstanding undergrad or grad level art students to represent their institution in this multi-media group exhibition. The exhibit featured recent works by 42 student artists from Missouri and Illinois.  Only the ceramic art pieces are reviewed here.

The Ceramic Art Pieces

“A Cry for Help” by Kimberly Mayden, St. Louis, MO

Kimberly writes in her artists statement that her work focuses on “endangered animal species.  This howling pup is modeled after the species Canis Rufus, or Red Wolf”  She writes that the small figure represents the vulnerability of this endangered species, while the howling is a call for help.









“Scintilla” by Chad Hayward, Charleston, IL

On his web site Chad writes: ” I use a variety of techniques and materials in my practice to create works that focus on formal elements of line, form, gesture, mark making, repetition and color. The accumulation of gesture, form, line and color act as a record of the conscious or unconscious state during the making process. The final artwork becomes a space, landscape, or psychological record of that process by acting as an accumulated collection of moments over time in which various mental states were translated onto the surface through formal decisions.     I aim to question, dispute boundaries, play within the formal qualities and tensions in work that straddles the line between two-dimensional and three-dimensional.”

To me this shape looks like a coral with organic form outcrops, and the smaller, round, polyp-like impressions.  Makes me think of coral reefs and oceans.



“Crack Pot” by Kyle Anderson, Greenville, IL

Kyle writes in his artist statement: “This piece was made in honor of friends and family who succumbed to the stresses  and depression that comes with being born human. The splitting skull is an overt reference to the headaches that inevitably arise from life in modern society. The eyes were sculpted to look subdued and calm which represents a coping mechanism that develops to conceal inner turmoil.”




“Hiking Into Art History: Art Today” by Micah D. Caldwell, St. Louis, MO


Micah’s artists statement describes the technical details of sculpting the booth from stoneware. By incorporating two found objects her intention was to explore the role of the craft in contemporary fine art.






“Eyes of Color” by Michelle Shurtleff, Wentzville, MO


In her artist statement Michelle writes that she made the core of this sculpture by the coiling technique.  The ring-shaped decorations started out as a small ball of clay which were slip-attached to the main body.  Once the piece was assembled and dried, velvet underglaze was used to add color.










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