|Ceramics students help shape two art shows|
June 2, 2003
A splashy abstraction and an elegant fruit bowl brought home awards for two art students at a statewide competition last month.
"Accumulated View" is a colorful, playful vertical assemblage of shapes that defy both gravity and easy characterization. Created by Tiffany Schmierer, a second-year master of fine arts student, the 30-inch-tall sculpture won the John Natsoulas Purchase Award at the 14th Annual California Clay Competition in Davis.
Another prize went to Jason Dunn, a graduating senior. His stoneware piece, a wide, shallow functional fruit bowl marbled with orange soda-fired glazing, received the Association of Clay and Glass Artists Award.
Richard Shaw, a noted ceramics sculptor and professor at UC Berkeley, judged the competition. Sifting through hundreds of slides from students and professionals throughout California, Shaw selected 37 artists, including a total of three SFSU students, to display works at the show.
In the customary juror's statement, Shaw said he chose pieces that showed "a personal feeling for the material, ideas that pushed the material, and originality, holding both sculptural and functional works to this criteria."
A separate exhibit, Ceramics 2003, also in Davis as part of an annual state ceramics conference, was an all-SFSU affair featuring the ceramic works of 19 graduate and undergraduate artists. SFSU was one of a dozen schools invited to stage an exhibit at the conference. The event was organized by Jeff Downing, SFSU assistant professor of art.
In his first go at curating an exhibit, Downing embraced the full range of styles and techniques taken up by SFSU ceramics students. "I tried to get a good cross section of work as an example of what we do here," he said.
Grad student Tomoko Nakazato presented pieces at both the California Clay Competition and Ceramics 2003. Her "Murahachibu," at Ceramics 2003, features 12 emotive chicken figurines standing in a semi-circle wearing classical European garb. At the center a small one in a colored kimono -- and the only without a pale complexion -- weeps while the others look on.
Nakazato, a native of Japan, said many of her works explore Japanese relations with the West. "After I came to this country I tried to identify myself culturally," she said.
-- Public Affairs Student Writer Scott Heil
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