“Hey, It’s Clay” – AVPA Artists @ Craft & Folk Art Museum

cafam glazingThe 26 visual art students from The Culver City High School Academy of Visual and Performing Arts have been exploring the art form of ceramics. During an eight-week program sponsored by Sony Pictures Entertainment, AVPA art students are participating in an artist-in-residency with the Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM), led by ceramicist, Tetsuji Aono, and CAFAM Program Manager, Fabrizio Flores.

In the workshop series, AVPA art students have been exploring the theme of personal identity as experienced through ceramic art and Made In China: New Ceramic Works By Keiko Fukazawa currently on view at CAFAM through May 8th. Students demonstrate an understanding of terms and techniques related to ceramic art. All ceramic works made by the AVPA art students will be on display at the Craft & Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) for one day only Saturday, April 16, 2016 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. 11th grader, Emily Shin, explains her excitement for the residency. “I really love pottery,” she said, “I cannot wait to work with this new medium this year. I’m interested in exploring ceramics and using an unfamiliar material to express myself and my ideas.”

During the intensive program, each student created a low-relief medallion by making a plaster press mold duplicated into a three-dimensional vessel. Tetsuji gave introductory lectures on ceramics. The students learned about various types of clay and the firing processes, which hardens pottery into permanent art pieces. As the students worked with the material, they learned how to manipulate the clay into forms called, “pinch pots,” simple bowls shaped by pinching a ball of clay into a hollowed shape.

In the following sessions, art students combined two of the bowls into a head shape and filled it with a ball to make a bell head. Each bell head relates to an aspect of the artist’s identity. Senior, Laksmita Candrisari explains, “My bell head is modeled after a traditional Indonesian mask representing my culture.” Students made self-portraits, animals similar to their personalities, or sculptures that symbolized aspects of themselves. Junior Allison Goldsmith explains, “Finding your own identity can be difficult because it can feel like you are restricted to certain limitations, and if you go beyond that then you’re considered an outsider. To demonstrate how wrong these limitations are, and how being an outsider isn’t a bad thing at all, I sculpted my bell head to look somewhat like an alien; the epitome of all outsiders. The alien-like figure is meant to encourage myself and others to embrace our individual personalities in order to truly find our unique identity.”

AVPA artists were also invited on a field trip to the museum on February 19th to attend a guided tour of Made in China: New Ceramic Works by Keiko Fukazawa, featuring curator Holly Jerger and guest speaker, Curator of Public Engagement, Andres Payan. Fukazawa is a Japanese artist living in Los Angeles. Fukazawa spent 3 years creating porcelain work in China and her unique cultural perspective forms the basis for her artwork. Made in China explores the interaction of consumerism with traditional Chinese culture. Some of Fukazawa’s pieces on display at CAFAM include sculptures of Mao Zedong engulfed by ceramic flowers and traditional Chinese landscapes decorated with Louis Vuitton logos. According to senior Alex Cerutti, “I thoroughly enjoyed Keiko’s sculptures of modern consumer products made of porcelain. They delivered a powerful message and how we often treat inanimate objects as if they were fragile like porcelain.” The field trip concluded with a lecture from artist Andres Payan, who uses mixed media including ceramics, neon lights, and found objects to make art emphasizing personal identity and his family background.
Ceramicist Tetsuji Aono and Fabrizio Flores have guided the AVPA art students through a complex series of projects during their residency and will be on view at the Craft and Folk Art Museum on Saturday, April 16th from 2:00-5:00 p.m. located at 5814 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90036. The museum is free and open to the public during the opening reception. The AVPA art dept. would like to express their deepest gratitude and a very special thank you to Suzanne Isken, Executive Director at CAFAM and Janice Pober, Sony Pictures Entertainment.

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