Molding the future for ceramic artists

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On Aug. 31, the L.H. Horton Jr. Gallery held its annual Visions in Clay exhibition. Ceramic artist and former faculty member from California College of the Arts John Toki was this year’s juror.

Toki selected all 58 works showcased in the exhibit.

John Toki gives an explanation behind his reasoning for selecting the art pieces on Aug. 31 at the L.H. Horton Gallery in the Shima Center. PHOTO BY ALEX COBA

He also awarded the Visions in Clay awards which gave cash prizes to the top four winners.

This exhibition featured ceramic pieces by artists from across the nation.

Among the artists was Delta College alumnus Daniel Alejandro Trejo who expressed joy in being one of the artist show in the exhibition with his piece I’ll Make You So Proud Of Me.

“It’s really great being back here and figuring out how to give back to the community in a way that like, I’m a person of color and ceramics is pretty much dominated by white men so I’m making a political standpoint by being brown and also like queer too so I’m here and I’m contributing to this canon contemporary ceramics.”

Toki explained what his thought process was when choosing which pieces would win the Visions in Clay Awards.

“If there was one piece here, which one would I grab and run out the door right? And or look at every day and believe me it’s not that easy there are some, which pieces would that be?” he
asked.

Artist Mari Emori shared what went into making her piece Homage to the Pima ll.“Sgraffito is an Italian word which means ‘scratching the surface’ so after I make the shape, I applied angel which is color. Then I scratch so it reveals the clay color underneath, that’s how I create the pattern,” she said.

Second place winner Hadi Aghaee elaborated on his piece Unguarded and Fractured, which highlights the human trafficking issue we face today.

“It happened that I read a story on the Internet about human trafficking and the statistics were so bad that it just stayed with me and when I took a class I didn’t have a choice on how the model posed and it turned out to be the perfect pose. I took the pose and the story together and said ‘wow this is perfect.”

This was Aghaee’s first ceramic piece.

Visions in Clay runs through Sept. 15 in the gallery here at the Delta College campus, where the art shown in the exhibition can be seen as well as the winners.