Groovy students gather for art fundraiser
June 24, 2010 at 1:24 a.m.
National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts
Every year, the council holds a conference, which next year will be in Tampa, Fla., March 30-April 2.
The theme for the conference is "Tidal Forces: The Next Wave" and will celebrate new works being created while, at the same time, examining the power of traditional art.
The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts is a nonprofit educational organization that is dedicated to providing resources and support for individuals, schools and organizations that have an interest in the ceramic arts, according to their official website, http://nceca.net.
It's the summer of love. Or at least it was Thursday afternoon in the ceramics studio at Victoria College.
As the Jackson 5 jammed in the background, artists wearing tie-dyed shirts and flower wreaths hunched over pottery wheels. The smell of clay was heavy in the air as was the sound of laughter.
It was the 1960s-inspired Flower Power Throwing Hour and it was all to help raise money to send Victoria College art students to the 2011 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts in Florida. Put on by Victoria College art instructor Debra Chronister and several of her students, both current and former, the group was gathered to create and paint ceramic, flower-shaped lawn decorations, which they hope to sell, Chronister said.
"We have about a dozen people here tonight. We don't have a goal of how many we want to make, we just want people to come and have a good time," she added as she stirred a pitcher of Tang. "We're going to have more of these events and our plan is to sell the lawn decorations at various locations around Victoria and use the money to send students to the conference."
Chronister said she goes every year to the four-day conference and next year she'll be presenting her own program called "Yoga and Meditation for Potters."
"It's wonderful when students get the opportunity to go. This is an art form that is thousands of years old and yet there is always something new, some new technique or idea coming from the medium," she said. "The students get to make real connections there, find graduate schools and people they want to learn from. And it's a way to get students out of Victoria to see other parts of the country."
Prior to attending last year's conference in Philadelphia, art student Sarah Smith, 21, had never been out of the state. The opportunity gave her a chance to not only get inspired creatively, but to also expand her horizons just by traveling, she said.
"I really want to go again. I learned so many things and met so many artists. The amount of information and inspiration is really cool," she added. "And I really have the travel bug now. Last year's conference was my first time on an airplane. It was a lot of firsts, actually. My first time on a train, on a city bus. Even just getting lost in the city was fun."
The cost to attend the conference is several hundred dollars per student, including plane tickets, hotel accommodations and money for food, Chronister said.
Price and locations of where the ceramic lawn decorations will be sold will be announced at a later date.