April 28th and 29th marked the fifteenth anniversary of Skyline College ceramics students’ participation in the annual California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art in Davis. The conference, hosted by the John Natsoulas Center for the Arts, draws ceramics students from the West Coast to display their colleges’ artwork and to attend exhibitions by other colleges from the region. Each school is provided a space in downtown Davis to transform into a gallery for the weekend. This year Skyline College was in a large exhibition hall with many other institutions, including other California community colleges, CSUs, and private arts colleges.
As a capstone project for intermediate-level ceramics classes, participating students shared their conceptual inspirations, ideas, and techniques with visitors. The large variety of school exhibitions presented a beneficial opportunity for students to connect with instructors and current students from potential transfer colleges. In addition to attending the student shows, several local galleries held statewide and national ceramics exhibitions featuring a wide range of ceramic artwork from professionals in the ceramics field. This concentration of ceramic art and practicing artists provided an engaged community of those passionate about working in clay. In fact, this nationally recognized conference was recently listed as one of the best art activities to do in Northern California by the New York Times!
Skyline’s Student Ceramic Exhibition featured a wide range of clay pottery and sculpture, representing our students’ wide creative and technical span. One featured piece was a sculpture, “Two Paths: Our Choice,” by Valerie Lapin. In a statement about climate change, a globe is presented on an hourglass. The globe’s color is based on a map created by NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, with different hues reflecting the amount of change in average temperatures since the industrial revolution. The hourglass is interactive and can be turned to illustrate the path we are on with fossil fuels on one half, and on the other half depicting a future of solutions based on use of renewable energy.
The student exhibition was collaboratively co-curated by Tiffany Schmierer, Art Professor, Ashley Asaro, Studio Art Lab Technician, and the ceramics students. Ash also exhibited his sculpture in the SFSU student show, and Tiffany’s sculpture was on display at the John Natsoulas Gallery.
Article by Ashley Asaro and Tiffany Schmierer | Photos by Michael De Natale and Tiffany Schmierer