Diverse styles, artists on display at ‘Ink and Clay’

By Daniel Torres

Many gathered at the University Art Gallery for “Ink and Clay
34” Thursday night.

The exhibit featured works by 48 clay and 39 ink artists. Most
artists present were from Southern California, but artists from
Hawaii, Alaska, Nebraska, Arizona and even Vancouver, Canada, were

More than 800 art pieces were submitted, but only 120 were
chosen for the exhibit.

The exhibit first started in 1970, but was inconsistent for the
first couple of years.

This year marks the exhibit’s 34th year of existence, hence the
“34” at the end of the title.

“Colonel Jones [the benefactor of the exhibit] sat down with a
couple of people in the art department back in 1970, and he said he
wanted to give them some money to start an exhibit, and they said,
‘What the hell do we call it?'” said Patrick Merrill, director of
the art gallery. “The chair at the time was a print maker, and the
person sitting across the hall that walked in and sat in on the
meeting was a ceramic instructor, so they said, ‘Let’s just have a
show of print and a show of ceramics.'”

An appealing piece featured was a paper clay sculpture by
Anthony Foo titled “Potential.” When one first looks at the
sculpture, an image of petrified excrement instantly comes to

“I’ve been working with paper clay since 2004, and the beauty
about paper clay is that you can add on and subtract from the clay
at whatever stage in your process, so you really don’t have to
worry about waiting for it to be leather hard and then do your
work,” said Foo.

The outside of the piece looks dark, dirty and unfriendly, but
in the center is a hollowed out space which contains a woeful,
ball-type ceramic piece.

“I just wanted to convey the potential of everything, every
being. We all look hard on the outside, but within each of us there
is the potential to be something beautiful and delicate,” said

Many students were awestruck by the different ceramic sculptures
and paintings that were present at the exhibit.

“A lot of the stuff was really nice stuff, like very high-end,”
said Aaron Mackellar, a third-year computer science student.

An out-of-the-ordinary piece featured was titled “Dog,” by
Nannette La Salle.

The piece featured a small, skinned dog made out of wax and
packaged as if it were supermarket meat. The dog was supermarket
priced at $177.61.

“I wanted people to question their behavior and their choices. I
wanted to make people question the value of what they choose as
food,” said La Salle. “It would be high for a standard one piece
food for most people, but relatively low for a dog. I wanted to
confuse people.”

Many were drawn to the “Dog” including Monique Lee, a third-year
nutrition student.

“The doggy that looks like meat was real interesting. It was
really cute, and I was wondering how they made it,” Lee said.

One painting reminded gallery patrons of a time when they were
being potty trained. “Wipe My Bottom,” a painting by Michaela
Thayer, proved to be a popular piece displayed.

Thayer has plans on expanding “Wipe My Bottom” into more than
just a painting. She plans on continuing with a multicultural
language book on just that phrase.

Steven Horn is one of the veterans of Ink and Clay.

He has worked in ceramics for more than 40 years and has been in
the exhibit 25 times since it started.

“The show’s changed. It used to be all just California ceramic
artists, and now it’s more nationwide,” said Horn.

“A little different look to it, but it’s always been a great
show because of the ink and clay components.”

This year Horn entered two ceramic sculptures into the exhibit,
both inspired by artist George Orr, who died in 1916.

“He made kind of conformed chromed wheel pottery. Twisted,
dented, hinged, bolder, collapsed, all those kind of techniques. So
I utilized his method in these pieces,” said Horn.

Many students did not realize the exhibit was going to feature
works by professional artists, but they were not disappointed.

“At first I thought there was going to be some student artwork.
I wasn’t really aware that there were people from different
places,” said Amber Warren, a first-year graphic design student on
her reaction to the exhibit.

The exhibit runs until May 3.

Diverse styles, artists on display at

Sculptures and drawings on display in Kellogg Art Gallery. (Bottom left) Ron Jones shows his drawing,”InLine Study,”to second-year computer science student Aaron McKellar, on left. (Right) Kelly Berning with her”Circus Outcast.”

Diverse styles, artists on display at ‘Ink and Clay’

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