News Post

Visual Arts Teacher and Students Exhibit at National Clay Conference

Upper School students will have the opportunity to show their clay pieces in an exhibit with professional potters from around the country. Touching Earth: Women Creating Communities will be at the Carnegie Coffee Company from March 3 – 17, 2018, thanks to Upper School Visual Arts teacher and alumna Mary Martin '88.

Martin has invited Upper School seniors Sophia Lebiere, Isel Pollock, and Erika Sogawa to join her in exhibiting pieces along with six other artists, Maria DeCastro, Priscilla Hollingsworth, Erin McGuiness, Nita Schwartz, Nancy McNary Smith, Ceil Sturdevant, and Cheryl Tall.

In the words of the artists, "Sadly it is all too often the case that people with different ideologies and backgrounds find themselves at odds with one another. What we strive to achieve in Touching Earth: Women Creating Communities is to come together celebrating our differences as individuals and uniting through the empowerment that comes with being women, being artists, being ceramicists."

Admission is free. The show hours are Monday – Saturday, 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., and on Sundays from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. A reception will be held for Touching Earth: Women Creating Communities Friday, March 16, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Carnegie Coffee Company.

This exhibition will also be included as part of the National Council of Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Conference, which will take place in Pittsburgh at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center March 14 – 17, 2018.

Read more about Mary Martin's work.

Take a look at images of the students' pieces and read descriptions of their pieces below.


Sophia Lebiere, Compartmentalization, 7" x 14" x 12", Ceramic, Clear Glaze, NFS
"This piece was made in my Intro to East Asian Pottery class. It was inspired by the bust figures of Chinese artist, Ah Xian. Each student was assigned to create their own interpretation of a bust that expressed their own cultural identity. My father is a Belgian immigrant, so I made mine in the style of one of the most famous Belgian artists, the surrealist painter, René Magritte. Specifically it was inspired by the Magritte painting "The Face of Genius," which shows a head with blocks removed in what appears to be a forest. For my interpretation, the head is hollow and the forest is inside the head."


Isel Pollock, Wild Things, 11" x 6" x 7", Ceramic, Covered with bark, lichens, and live mosses, Low Fire, NFS
"A wolf head with open jaws, sculpted with ceramic, acts as a vessel on which all manner of forest plants thrive. Lichens, bracket fungus, bark and flourishing moss cover the muzzle, face and ears. Inspired by the variety and diversity of plants and animals and the interconnectedness of life on earth, this sculpture incorporates living plants into ceramics to make a living work of art."


Erika Sogawa, Fides, 9" x 7" x 5", Ceramic, Low fire, NFS
"This teapot was made in my Handbuilding class. As the assignment was to create a teapot with a specific theme, I embraced the challenge to create a teapot in the shape of spiraling coiled snakes while undertoning the piece with the theme of nature. The earth colored glazes and underglaze was used to create a surface texture that looked like various intertwined serpents. The scales of the snakes were created with a stamped texture using clay tools. Finally the handle was modeled after vines in the shape of an "S." Incidentally, the word "fides" means faith, loyalty, and trust in Latin to represent the bonds between the snakes and their relationship with nature."