posted 2012-04-25 23:27:02

Art in the Thomas Hunter Basement

Thomas Hunter Projects displays student artworks

Peter Dunifon

Associate Arts and Entertainment Editor

Photos by Mimiko Watanabe
Currently on display for the Thomas Hunter Projects is the work of students in an advanced ceramics class. Two of six students in the class, Emily Miller and Shelly Richards, prepared thematically- connected pieces of their work and set them up for display on April 16. The four other students in their class will also put their work on display in the coming weeks.

For Emily Miller, a double major in art and urban studies, Thomas Hunter Projects offered a first chance to display her ceramic work in such an open setting. Her work, made of clay and Egyptian paints – with an especially gummy glaze that can be added onto if re-fired in the kiln – is a soft-spoken eulogy for the beach in southern Georgia where she was raised.

“The beach I grew up on, I’m no longer allowed to go in, because it’s so contaminated,” Miller said. One of her works, officially untitled but holding the working title, “bloop,” examines the issue of water pollution. In sea blue and sandy tan tones, the piece almost immediately calls the water to mind, and its shape suggests a discarded box slowly breaking apart and colliding with other waste in its decay. Above this, Miller has attached a small spout-shaped structure, colored in the same dirty blue and arranged to face downward, as if to claim ownership of the scene below it. Miller’s other work similarly explores sand, stone, and the water that shapes it, complementing her peer’s aesthetics well.

Shelly Richards uses clay, glass and other material, all in the same dusty hue, to create an abstract view of the Israel and Palestine conflict. Two round vase- like containers sit next to each other, one holding glass shards and the other a smooth, gold sphere. Beside them, on a lower platform, lies a naked clay body sprawled on the ground, limbs in pieces.

Conceptually strong in their work, both Miller and Richards show promise. And as just one third of their class to exhibit, more well-crafted work can be nothing but imminent on the Thomas Hunter Projects’ horizon.