On Thursday, Sept. 5, the annual Visions in Clay exhibit opened at San Joaquin Delta College’s L.H. Horton Gallery.
Visions in Clay is a known event where artists from all over the country are selected by a juror for display. This year’s juror was Sarah Millfelt, executive director of the Northern Clay Center. The show features more than 50 pieces displayed, including some local artists from here in Stockton.
“This is our tenth year doing this clay show. It’s a super popular clay show known around the country because it’s one of the largest ceramic-only shows. Every year, the artists are continually bringing the most amazing work, and I’m just happy that they keep coming back and keep getting great art out here for the students to see and learn from,” said L.H. Horton Gallery Director Jan Marlese.
Among this year’s artists was Delta College alumna Kayla King, who graduated from Delta in 2017, then this year graduated from San Francisco State.
Her piece “Communal Backwash” was a highlight of the show for her, considering she used to be a student who worked in the gallery during her time at Delta.
“For me the name of the piece is Communal Backwash, so I was imagining something that has one mouth but four chambers, so the idea is something you pass around cause it is a functional vessel, it’s heavy but you can put water in it,” said King. “I had worked at the gallery for the last two Visions in Clay that I was at Delta and I entered as an afterthought thinking that would be cool and when I got the email I was literally jumping up and down, because that felt like my homecoming back to Stockton.”
All that was showcased meant something to the artists and it showed the art had reached out to the crowd who came to the exhibit.
“I like making things that look somewhere between organic and almost like a prop from the Flintstones movie where its over the top, I really wanted to make sure that I was letting the natural clay body show, then I did some underglaze on the top and went crazy with the drips.”
All the pieces have different themes that isn’t always just a particular subject within the show. Some artists represent what’s in their lives and others focus on what’s around them.
“The other thing that’s great about this show is that it’s so diverse and there’s a different type of art in every piece, from things that are figurative, to things that are abstract; creatures and animals — just a lot of visual eye candy,” said Marlese.
The pieces displayed ranged from the fun and whimsical, to the abstract and meaningful, some with messages about today’s society.
Vicki Gunter’s “It’s Not One Thing…..It’s Everything” was about of loss in her life and her community as a whole.
“I was working on a series about loss and it started with personal losses of my grandparents, the family dog, my parents, and then it turned into working with social losses,” said Gunter. “It was during the Occupy Movement, it just came to my mind to have a different set of losses for each of the 13 stripes of the flag, the losses that we are all experiencing, the 99 percent of us, in a way.”