We were so impressed by the senior fine arts exhibition, "New Propaganda," at Armstrong State University, that we wanted to invite one of our artists, Jessica Broad, to write a review of the show. If you didn't have the opportunity to visit the gallery during the month of November, here are some thoughts and images from the exhibition.
For Sanders, the two standout works were Harmony in Nature and Innovation and the group of sculptures with the titles Centered, Lean and Collapse, Well Rounded, Avoiding Extremes, and From All Sides.
Though the series of sculptures were given separate titles, they function best as a group, and would not be as interesting viewed individually. Together the give a feeling of dancing and spinning that would not be as pronounced if they were separated. The graduation in height of the pieces, and variety of textures on the surfaces, are balanced by the unity of the tall thin forms. I was particularly attracted to the texture of Well Rounded, which reminded me of the surface of a Tom Kerrigan sculpture inspired by the desert.
Of this group the one that attracted me the most was Flowers Everywhere. The contrast of the lighter decoration on the black clay body made it more unique than its lighter colored cousins. The style of the decoration, which is reminiscent of Art Nouveau floral patterns, was arranged in a way that compliments the form of the vase, and leads the viewer’s eye from top to bottom, and around the piece. The form itself is rather static, but the decoration gives it a sense of implied movement that makes it feel much more lively.
The tall narrow form of Vase of Flowers is decorated with a botanical pattern that seems to be influenced by Japanese designs. Like on Flowers Everywhere, the pattern adds a sense of movement to a rather static form. The black lines that are incised into the pot add a nice contrast to the lighter background.
Field of Flowers has more of a standard European feel to the decoration, which again fits well around the form. This form, with its swollen center, has that feeling of something breathing in, typical of this type of shape. It makes the object itself feel more alive than the other two, which is good because the decoration is more static. If the pot itself had been straighter on the sides, the decoration would not have worked as well.
With these seemingly disparate descriptions of Havy’s vases, they all work together well because of the similarities in the sensibility of the decoration.
In all, it was very exciting to see such well crafted and carefully considered undergraduate work together in one show here in Savannah. I hope this is an indication of a strong future for ceramics in our community.
Jessica Broad is a ceramic artist and a professor of ceramics and foundations at the Savannah College of Art and Design. To view more information, visit her profile under the "Artists" page.