Sunday, May 26, 2013

My Clay Students

Can I just say how proud I am of my clay students this year? I have an amazing group of students and this May and June seems to be a culmination of their superior achievements. My clay students are winning nominations and awards for their art and their schoolwork. My clay students are strongly represented in the Student Exhibition (and awards) and I have students showing their work professionally at various locations in Yakima.

Tour of Artist Homes
I recently wrote about my home on the Tour of Artists' Homes and Studios. Several of my intermediate, advanced, and independent students showed their work at my home.

work by Grace Keller and John Peterson (photo credit: Gary E. Miller, Larson Gallery)

work by John and Timer Harrison-O'dell (photo credit: Gary E. Miller, Larson Gallery)

work by Shannon Hoptowit (photo credit: Gary E. Miller, Larson Gallery)
work by Katie Schnieder (photo credit: Gary E. Miller, Larson Gallery)

Student of the Year Nomination
Shannon Hoptowit, one of my independent clay students, my most senior clay work study and an invaluable worker for the last few years, was recently nominated by the students of Yakima Valley Community College for the ASYVCC student of the year award. YVCC students can vote for her for Student of the Year. 

Professional Venues
Besides the Tour of Artist Homes, I know of at least 4 other professional venues where students have or will show their work this year. 

Grace Keller, an advanced clay student, has a tiny studio in Glenwood Square on Tieton Drive and displays some of her work at The Glass Kaleidoscope on the main floor.

Mason Cooper, an intermediate student from 2012, displayed one of his pieces at the Emerging Artist show at Allied Arts earlier this year.

Shannon Hoptowit, Grace Keller, and Katie Schnieder, all students who displayed at the Tour of Artists' Homes this year, will also be featured in the Emerging Artists Exhibition at Oak Hollow Gallery in June. The Exhibition opens June 4 with a reception on June 7 from 4-6pm. Monika Lemmon, the painter who showed at my house for the Tour will also have her work in this exhibition.

Additionally, on June 8 my perpetual clay student, Mike Hiler, will be sharing a booth with me. I believe we will be up near Wray's if you are looking for us. Mike is nearing the limit of what one might call a student, as his work is regularly show at Oak Hollow and Larson Galleries and I saw his work in Yakima Magazine's Art Issue. (Look closely at the third picture in the linked article to see Mike's work.)

There is one more place you might be able to see my students' work in the future. I know at least one student is expecting to have work in Larson Gallery's Membership Exhibition, opening Friday June 7 from 5-7pm.

DoVA Show and Awards
The DoVA Student and Faculty Exhibition has been up for some time, but I haven't gotten a chance to mention the awards or show pictures. Seven of my clay students took home awards, including cash awards, purchase awards and Best of Show.

More than two dozen clay students exhibited work in the Student Show. Several student exhibited more than one work and a few showed three pieces, one for each quarter they took clay classes during the previous year.

clockwise from top: work by Sandra Juarez, Katie Schnieder,  Shannon Hoptowit and Shannon Hoptowit. 
Katie Schnieder, hand-built vases
Honorable Mention: Sandra Juarez's hand-built "Twisted Lady"

I taught beginning throwing and beginning hand-building classes this year. I taught throwing classes every quarter and my higher level throwing students have been experimenting with larger and more complex forms.
center: Shannon Hoptowit's "Giant Cookie Jar" wheel-thrown clay Award of Merit
also pictured, clockwise from top right: work by Janice Buckler, Jamie Davis, Amanda Gutierrez and John Harrison-O'dell 
Honorable Mention: Grace Keller's "Lidded Casserole"

My beginning students are making strong, though usually smaller, work. I believe part of the overall quality of my students' work comes from seeing each other working in the studio. I have a strong group of continuing students who demonstrate a solid work ethic. Students see each other working in the studio, recognize hard work as an expectation and thus work harder themselves. The hard work is practice and practice results in more work and better work. 

Shauna Avery, Functional Pottery (first quarter wheel class)
Amanda Gutierrez, Functional Pottery (first quarter wheel class)

My higher level throwing students combine hand-building and throwing techniques, altering their forms off the potter's wheel.

Doug & Laurie Kanyer Purchase Award: Mariah George's "Owl Lamp"
thrown and altered wheel pottery
Janice Buckler's "Paddled Vase"
Shannon Hoptowit's "Fish Kiss Vase"
Katie Schnieder's thrown and altered vase

This past winter I was blessed with an incredible hand-building class. Somehow I ended up with a whole cohort of hardworking student who challenged themselves and their classmates. Some of the strongest work in the exhibition came from first-quarter hand-building students. The class included a couple of students who had taken throwing classes before. Throwing skills may not directly translate to hand-building skills, but familiarity with clay helps with any technique.

Joshua Baxter's "Log Cabin"
Sarahgenie Bliss' "Centaur"
Makaela Duim's "Waterfall"

In fact, the hand-building energy was so strong this past winter that I wrote a new course to be offered next year which will be a second quarter continuation of hand-building. I have one continuing hand-building student this quarter who is testing out some of the hand-building projects that may be used in the new course next year.

hand-built clay Award of Merit: Lydia Gallegos' "Cebollas"

Jessenia Rodriguez's "Pomegranates"
Students in the Hand-building class made work inspired by Yvonne Pepin-Wakefield's "Abaya and Beyond" show, which was up during the winter. "Pomegranates", "Cebollas" and the Purse bag below were all inspired by this exhibition.

Further evidence that the clay work in the DoVA show is strong is that my clay students took home seven awards including Best of Show, a purchase award, a design award and three honorable mentions, as well as two clay specific awards. I also noticed, when I was last in the gallery, that several clay students had sold their work. 

Dick Lord Memorial for Excellence in Design: Timer Nite Harrison-O'dell's "Abaya and Beyond Purse bag"
Assistant Director Honorable Mention: Katie Schnieder's "Cracked Jars"

If you haven't gotten over to see the show, I highly recommend that you do. The show closes on June 1. Larson Gallery is open 10-5 Tuesday-Friday and 1-5 on Saturday. Students may start picking up work after 3pm on Saturday, so get their early. If you do miss it, never fear, you'll hear from these students again.

For some reason, this year's exhibition had a significant selection of dragons and dinosaurs, including a combination thrown and hand-built piece by Janice Buckler
Dragon Alley also featured this thrown and altered teapot by Timer Nite Harrison-O'dell
John Peterson's "The Year that Was"
Best of Show: Katie Schnieder's "Tyrannosaurus Rex"

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