California State University, Dominguez Hills senior studio arts students Luis Avalos and Marco Cabrera, along with assistant professor of ceramic arts Jim Keville, have been selected to exhibit their ceramic art work at the American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA) in Pomona. The exhibit “KilnOpening.edu 2012,” which showcases ceramic works of Southern California instructors and their students, opened with an artist’s reception on April 14, and will continue through June 30.
For the selection process each student was allowed to submit one piece and each ceramics professor could submit up to three pieces. The pieces submitted by Avalos and Cabrera (whose entry is actually a pairing of two pieces) and all of the three submitted by Keville were accepted for the exhibit.
Although Keville had his work featured at AMOCA in a 2007 exhibit, this is the first time he will show alongside his students. He said he was excited that at least two of his students will get the invaluable experience exhibiting at this scale offers.
“This is their first public showing in a national gallery,” said Keville. “This will lead to other things and will give them exposure. Luis has eyes and mind set on a graduate program. [At the reception] he’ll be able to meet and talk to some instructors from around Southern California.”
Drawing inspiration from deep-sea creatures, Avalos began exploring forms using a method he identified as “pinch pot,” in which the clay is hand-pressed to produce a shape. He is showing one of his more recent pinch pot forms at the AMOCA exhibit. He plans to show others, as well as at least one of his acrylic paintings and some of his photography, during the studio art installment of the “Annual Student Art and Design Exhibitions: B.A. Graduates,” to be held in the University Art Gallery from May 7 through 17. He has shown his work in previous campus exhibitions.
Describing his current work, Avalos said, “I try to envision creatures that haven’t been discovered yet. If you could travel deep, deep into the sea; that’s the way I imagine they would look.”
Avalos got into ceramics while he was at community college because it was a required course. He tried his hand at traditional pottery ceramics, but it was an introduction into abstract ceramics that captured his imagination.
Of his student, Keville said, “He’s really been developing a tremendous vocabulary of forms — interesting organic biomorphic shapes.”
Cabrera also become interested in ceramics after taking a required entry-level course; although he still considers himself primarily a two-dimensional illustrator.
“When I first got into ceramics one, I liked it, so I took ceramics two. I started to like it and it just grew on me,” Cabrera said, adding that the reason he likes it is, “It’s not flat anymore. It’s about making it unique on every angle.”
Keville said Cabrera “developed a nice sensibility for making slab pieces that look like fabric.”
Although he’d like to continue to create and show ceramics, Cabrera hopes to work for an animation or comic book company doing digital illustration. In the meantime, he will showcase his more of his ceramic work on campus for the first time, also at the May “B.A. Graduates” exhibition.
“KilnOpening.edu 2012” is showcasing ceramic works from CSU Dominguez Hills and about 20 other institutions including Azusa Pacific University, CSU Fullerton, CSU Los Angeles, CSU Northridge, Cerritos College, Pierce College, San Diego State, and the University of Southern California.
For more information about AMOCA, visit: www.amoca.org.
For more information about the CSU Dominguez Hills Studio Arts program, visit: cah.csudh.edu/art.
Works to be exhibited (click on the photo to enlarge):