The theme for this semester is CONNECTION.
We are all artists. We create, we build, we interpret our surroundings and we add to the culture of our program, our school, and our community. Our work does not come from a void – it comes from the connections we have to the people and experiences that make us each a unique person. This semester, we will create artwork with CONNECTION in mind. We will seek to mine existing connections, as well as build new ones.
“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton
Project #1 – Connect to our Actions – Verb Project – You will create a work of art (objects, video, performance, image, documentation of an event, etc.) that visually describes a verb of your choosing. You may use any of the materials at your disposal in the ceramics studio, however, the clay must not be fired.
Project #2 – Connect to Things Otherwise Passed By. – For this project, we will read Barry Lopez’s short story, “Apologia”. After reading the story and responding to the provided questions about it, you will creatively interpret your answers to those questions with physical objects. Objects may be sculptural, thrown vessels, or a combination of both.
Project #3 for the Throwers – Sustenance as Connection – Our collective rituals of eating food have been a source of connection for people throughout history. For this project, you will create a set of objects that are designed to be used for eating your favorite food. It can be any of your most favorite foods, but think about why it is your favorite – is it the flavor? Is it the process of eating it? Is it the PLACE you eat it? Is it a memory you have that is associated with that food? Make a series of vessels that build off of, interpret, enhance, and are SPECIFIC to those foods and connections you have to them.
Project #3 for the Hand-builders – Ritual as Connection – For the hand-builders, you will also use the concept of RITUAL as a jumping off point for this project. You may use the example of “sustenance as connection” listed above and build a set of sculptural and handbuilt functional objects for use with food. OR you may choose to look at the concept of ritual from a broader sense and create an object or series of objects inspired by a ritual other than that of eating food.
Project #4 for Throwers & Hand-builders – Connect to a Stranger – We were all strangers to each other once. For this project, you will introduce yourself to, and have dialog with, an artist you do not know personally. Choosing any of the almost 400 artists on Artaxis.org, you will interview one of them either on the phone, via video conference, or by email. You will then write a transcript of that interview and post it on the Claybucket.com website (with images and any other accompanying information you feel is necessary). THEN you will create an object or series of objects based on something you learned from this person (who used to be a stranger to you). Your interview will be due BEFORE you start this project.
Project #5 – Exhibition of our work – To serve as a capstone to our semester of connectedness, we will show our artwork in our community. For this project, we will be installing and hosting an exhibition of our artwork in the Winfrey Blackburn Gallery at the Mary Anderson Center for Arts in Mt. St. Francis, Indiana. You don’t need to make any additional work for this project. For this part of the course, we will put our energies into getting our work “out there” into the world! We will host an opening reception on Friday, April 22nd and gallery sit on Saturday April 23rd and Sunday April 24th (hours to be determined). Installation of the show will happen over the weekend of April 16th – 17th.