UNL Sculpture

A new ceramics exhibit was installed in the Olive Deluce Gallery Jan. 14 and served as an introduction to the art of ceramics.

Veronica Watkins, a ceramics lecturer for the fine arts department, brought the showcase to the Northwest campus.

“The showcase features the first-hand features of the graduate students studying sculpture and ceramics at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln,” Watkins said. “I proposed the idea of inviting them to our art faculty, and they were supportive of the idea.”

The showcase features a number of examples of ceramics ranging from vases to metalworks that reach out of the walls.

“That is another great aspect of this exhibit,” Watkins said. “Many materials and processes are used and with the process demonstrations as well. A student might be inspired or see a new technique or material they can pull into their work that they hadn’t considered before.”

Sophomore art education major Sam Grigsby was happy to see the wide variety of ceramics displayed in the showcase.

“There are just so many things you can do in ceramics,” Grigsby said. “The possibilities are endless. From functional pieces like mugs, steins and teapots to show pieces such as sculptures, raku fired pots and vases. There is just so much to do in this field. It is most definitely a major field in art.”

Watkins sees this showcase as an important opportunity for students interested in art and for those wanting to learn more about ceramics.

“I see this as a beneficial opportunity for us and them, a type of collaboration. Graduate students can benefit from opportunities to talk about their work and process publicly as well as exhibit their work,” Watkins said. “Our undergraduate students get to see some great work and learn more about a graduate school experience.”

Grigsby said this type of showcase is a source of inspiration not only for current undergraduate students but also to inspire future artists.

“It is important to showcase graduate work because it gives us students something to strive for,” Grigsby said. “We can compare style techniques and many other things that will help us to improve our work. It is also very enjoyable to be able to look at other people’s work, especially those who are already successful.”

Watkins shared a similar sentiment and said this showcase would be a win-win for the graduate students of UNL and the undergraduate students of Northwest.

“My intention with this exhibit was to present an opportunity not only for our students but the graduate students of UNL,” Watkins said. “I hoped that the experience of curating their own group show, giving artist talks and process demonstrations would benefit the UNL students as well. If I am right, this will be a win-win scenario for Northwest and UNL.”

Watkins went on to describe this showcase as an excellent example for students that allows them to interact with other artists in the field.

“Our students get to see a nice variety of work at the next level. Also, they will get to see some process demonstrations and artist talks and ask questions,” Watkins said. “For the cost of what would normally bring in one artist, we are able to get several simultaneously so our students see a broader exposure. They will also have the opportunity to meet some of these artists which is good for building professional connections.”

The showcase is on display in the Olive Deluce Gallery until Feb. 7 and will culminate in a demonstration from Sophia Ruppert and Neil Celani, two of the artists featured in the showcase.

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