By Alyssa Uyeda
25 students from the The Culver City High School Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA) Visual Art Department will be having their 6th exhibition, “CENTERED” in association with the Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) on Saturday, April 21st, from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. “CENTERED” An Exploration of Ritual and Ceremony will be the culmination of a 10-week intensive artist-in-residency program using ceramics with featured artist, Wayne Perry, and CAFAM program manager, Fabrizio Flores, sponsored by Sony Pictures Entertainment. Through this program, AVPA artists were introduced to various ceramic techniques in the process of learning how to craft various kinds of vessels and other creations. Students were required to create pieces for three different ceremonies which represented a rite of passage. Each student created a vessel to hold personal items they wanted to free from their possession, a box to house their meaningful objects, and vessels for a beverage ceremony of the student’s choice.
Freshman AVPA artist, Prema Reyes, explained the process was difficult at first, but stated that “Wayne is a remarkable teacher and mentor. He has taught me so much about ceramic techniques from his vast knowledge relating to his craft and has made the process much easier through his passion and patience.”
Every item created was carefully planned and thought out by the student. Each of the vessels were meant to represent and be used for a purpose personally related to the artist and therefore, had a significant meaning to their life. Although the process was challenging at first, many students were able to grow from their experiences and felt fulfilled with their finished pieces. Freshman AVPA artist, Brendan O’Brien explained, “This program has really broadened my view of art. I have never really been introduced to this medium and now I really understand why people pursue ceramics. I’ve learned that clay and the art of ceramics can be used to creatively express yourself in so many different ways.”
Wheel throwing, glazing, and scoring were a few of the many techniques that AVPA artists learned through the instruction and guidance of Wayne Perry. In addition to traditional ceramic techniques, students decorated each of their creations by creating various patterns, adding their own twist on the assignment, and pushing their artistic boundaries. As this medium was new for many AVPA artists, Wayne gave demonstrations teaching students one-on-one lessons to help the AVPA artists with the process. Senior AVPA artist, Michelle Avila expresses, “It isn’t as easy as you expect the process to be at first. However, after gaining more experience with the medium, it has taught me that ceramics is very fun and has made me realize the variety of different ways that I can express my creativity through this medium.”
The exhibition “CENTERED” will be on Saturday, April 21st at the Craft and Folk Art Museum located at 5814 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90036. The AVPA Jazz Combo will also be featured during the reception. The event is FREE and open to the public. This exhibition was inspired by the current exhibition at CAFAM, “Melting Point: Movements in Contemporary Clay” and will feature all of the ceramic pieces and vessels that represent these rites of passage the students have created throughout the program. A special thank you to Sony Pictures Entertainment for this once in a lifetime experience.