Published Sunday, November 11, 2012
By MARIANNE THOMASSON
“Back in 2005 my best ceramic arts students had amazing work and no venue to display it,” said Dale Sizemore. So he and his wife, Nancy, started the only statewide ceramic arts exhibit and workshop in Georgia.
“We tried entering art shows, but they were aimed at two-dimensional work. It was easier to hang a picture than it was to come up with a bunch of pedestals,” he continued. “At one, they made a sawhorse table and covered it with a plastic tablecloth” and the art teacher was not happy.
“I thought we had a beautiful venue with the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts,” Sizemore said. He pitched the idea to Don Nixon, director of the Centre in Newnan, and “Don thought it was a wonderful.”
Using seed money, from the Centre, the Sizemores sent postcards to every high school in the state that had an art department. “This was in January and we were told we’d never be able to pull it off by April. So Don and I and others got to work and put together 50 pedestals and exhibited 63 pieces of art in April, as scheduled. Twelve high schools were represented.
This year, 24 high schools and 27 ceramic arts teachers were represented at the week-long exhibit. About 100 high-schoolers attended workshops Saturday, getting hands-on experience. The work was judged by Professor Tim Taunton of LaGrange College, who selected 120 works for the show. He also selected 21 “winners” of the show, all of equal importance.
Local award winners were Jessica Teagle of East Coweta High School, Chris Wainscott of Newnan High School, Lyndsey Davis, Dongeum Kim and Brittany Scarborough, all of Northgate High School. Alexis Jacob of Brookwood High, won the “Best of Portfolios” award, judged with digital photos rather than the actual works. Her teacher is Chris Vigardt.
The event is sponsored by Daven’s Ceramic Center in Atlanta.
LaGrange College, Columbus State College, the University of West Georgia and Piedmont College all had booths set up Saturday to inform students of ceramics programs, scholarship opportunities and demonstrate techniques that they teach at the college level.
The symposium workshops included:
• Raku firings with Andy Cunningham of Woodward Academy, Heidi Wickham of East Coweta High and Jeni Hall of Northgate High School
• Clay slab-built bottle making with Martha Cook of Norcross High School
• Image transfer to clay slabs and pottery with Deanna Ranslett of Atlanta Clay
• Special glazing techniques for raku with Chris Vigardt of Brookwood High School and Mark Knott of Pace Academy
• Clay animal sculpting with Douglas Adams of Newnan High School
Sizemore concluded, “Many hours of volunteered time and effort go into making this event successful, from the teachers who submit their student work, to those who teach the workshop sessions, to the Centre staff and Director Don Nixon with their providing the wonderful facilities, technical support, poster printing and hours of set-up time. My partner and wife, Nancy, teaches ceramics at Northgate and helps with every aspect of this event. Newnan High School art teachers Douglas Adams, Carol Toole and Jodie Hobbs also contribute their talents.
“This show provides students with a venue to show their creative talent, to communicate ideas and emotions and to experience the sheer joy of art making,” he concluded.