From pinch pots to plaster, 3D art show showcases visual art pieces


Celine Kiriscioglu, Staff Writer

The Fisher Hall gallery opened a 3D art show featuring distinctive clay, cardboard, and plaster artwork pieces last week. The gallery includes kinetic pieces, marble runs, and foam sculptures from Visual Arts teacher Mirrie Choi’s sculpture classes, and clay pieces from Visual Arts teacher Kenneth Renner’s ceramics classes. The show will remain open until Wednesday, May 12.

The gallery provides the opportunity for students to view their peers’ work and celebrate the hard work and talent of the school’s students, Choi said. 

Students in Renner’s Ceramics 1 class created some of the pieces showcased in the gallery during their “Pinch Pot Parts” project, which involved using pinch pots to create more complex pots, Renner said. They also created coil pots designed to hold flowers for their “Coil Pots with Negative Space” project.

Ceramics 2 created wheel thrown bowls and Ceramics 3 made jars and other pouring vessels, Renner said. Students had to consider how other people would interact with their artwork because its functionality was now of importance, he said. 

The Ceramics 4 and Directed Studies classes worked on a “2×2” project, which required students to design miniature works that fit into a two inch by two inch space. 

In addition to showcasing work that students made in the studio, the gallery features work that students created during quarantine. Renner and Studio Manager Emily Lombardo provided sketch paper, glue, scissors, polymer clay, and plasticine clay in take-home-kits for Renner’s ceramics students, he said. With these materials, students molded and shot claymation films, which are stop-motion films created by photographing clay objects, at home. Their films are currently on display outside the gallery.

“It’s amazing to see how a simple project with the same prompt leads to so many different outcomes based on each person’s experiences and their visual style,” Choi said. 

Ahana Nayar (10) created an hourglass-shaped jar and lid for her Ceramics 3 jar project. “Working on the piece was kind of an afterthought, but as I saw the potential of the piece, I put more effort into it and had a great time doing so,” she said. 

While making her piece, Nayar learned how to make a lid specific to the shape of a jar, which was something she had never done before. 

Choi’s classes created hand sculptures by making plaster models of their hands and designing them to represent an element of each of their identities, Mikail Akbar (10) said. When Choi introduced the hand sculpture project to her Sculpture 1 class, Akbar immediately wanted to design his sculpture to look like the local basketball court he plays at because it would represent a place he enjoys to spend time in, he said.

Trisha Tran (10), created a sculpture of a hand holding a miniature colorful skateboard inspired by an 80’s windbreaker jacket, they said. 

Creating the hand sculpture taught Tran about the “virtue of patience” because of the time consuming nature of the work, they said. Similarly, Nayar learned to be patient in her attempts to complete her jar and lid. 

In her sculpture “Boardwalk Attraction,” Louise Kim (10) used small objects such as coins and key chains to create a miniature-sized sculpture modeled into a fair, they said. In addition to providing her with an artistic output, the action of constructing the sculpture allowed Kim to process the activities they missed because of quarantine. “Making my sculpture gave me a chance to explore a different art form and revealed the importance of pursuing new interests and discovering my creativity,” she said.

Although Choi’s classes faced challenges with consistently working on the class project due to the multiple quarantines, she is proud of how each student overcame a different set of obstacles to create unique works of art, she said. 

“Ceramics is this juggernaut of a process. Once you start it, you can’t stop. You’re always working on it and you don’t fully see the work until you pause and refine the work you’ve done,” Renner said. After each reduction firing, Renner discovers at least one thing that is completely new and demonstrates students’ creative use of the glazes, he said. “My classes never ceased to amaze me.”