Ceramics students display work at art show

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By Reese Wang, Staff Reporter

In the ceramics section of the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, ceramics students are hard at work, throwing, molding, and sculpting the clay. From Jan. 14 until Jan. 27, the sculptors shared their space with the Clay Programs of Excellence Exhibition, which featured the work of Greater Philadelphia’s high school students. Displayed sculptures were chosen by each school’s teachers. Conestoga art teacher Joanne Wagner chose to send the works of senior Sean Nalbone, senior Sean Naimoli, junior Vivien Kay and junior Cocoro Kambayashi.

Wagner is a graduate of Tyler School of Art and regularly receives emails on Tyler Art School’s art education events. When she received an email about a clay exhibit, she jumped at the chance.

“I decided to put my students pieces in this exhibit because it is the only show that I know of that displays 3D ceramic work in the area,” Wagner said. 

Not only was this an opportunity for their work to be displayed before they finish high school, however, older students could also add their experience to their college portfolios and receive a credit for taking an art class at Tyler School of Art. Wagner also looked for items that were made through different techniques and displayed student creativity.  

One such example was Nalbone’s thrown teapot.

“I’d describe my work as patient,” Nalbone said. “Sometimes teapots and other things with multiple parts just take forever to make.” 

In addition, Nalbone had to adjust to the unforgiving nature of glaze.  

“You might have to make a few lids in case a few don’t fit quite right, you have to be careful with drying and handle attachment and be very precise with glazing so the holes for the tea don’t glaze over,” Nalbone said.  

Ultimately, Nalbone’s work stood out from the rest of the pottery.  

“There didn’t seem to be a lot of people made teapots and I feel like there was a lot more sculptural work there as opposed to thrown pottery,” Nalbone said. 

The exhibition closed with a reception on Jan. 27. Students as well as Tyler School of Art’s professor of ceramics Roberto Lugo attended. Lugo stressed that students should pursue ceramics and practice to enhance their abilities, according to Nalbone. The students also examined the work of their peers.  

“I saw a couple of pieces that I thought were cool that I might try to make myself,” Nalbone said. 


Reese Wang can be reached at [email protected].