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Mixed media exhibit explores body image

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Erica Sanchez
Staff Writer

“The Incongruous Body,” an exhibit at the American Museum of Ceramic Art, uses humor as a way to understand the human body.

The exhibit features the work of 14 artists in clay, acrylic paint, words and other media.

Pattie Chalmers, a narrative artist, sculpted a girl wearing a pink dress with her eyes closed, hands open and feet on wild grass, enjoying the wind. 

She titled the piece “I Know This Wind.”

“The piece is this bridge that connects me to people through their experiences,” Chalmers said. “They meet me across the bridge.” 

Any interpretation of what the girl in the piece reflects is left to the viewer, there is more than one way to view it Chalmers said.

“When you’re a grown person you’re going to be standing in the wind and you’re going to feel the sun and feel the wind and you’re going to be transported back to a place when you were much younger,” Chalmers said.

Walking through the exhibit, there were figures made of clay with the body of a human but the heads of different birds, created by Alessandro Gallo.

People model the poses and their photograph is taken, then the sculpture is created from the photograph, said Gallo.

He said the bird heads are all different based on the body pose, this is done in relation to the bigger message being conveyed.

Gallo said he uses humor in the majority of his art.

Molly Bishop drew pictures on plates for a piece titled the 13 plates “Women in the World,” showing how ceramic art comes in different forms.

There were 13 different plates showing various ways a woman interacts with the world, whether she is alone stretching or in a restaurant talking to friends. The background of this piece is a wallpaper made up of Roman statue-like women.

These plates were meant to provoke the thought of what it means to be female and how personal that can be knowing the history of being a woman, even though much of what women know is showed to them from the perspective of a man, said Bishop. 

“I really like how each plate is a little world that you can discover, I think it is fun when people can see something and then get closer and have it open up to them,” said Bishop. “I wanted the viewer to have a similar experience of discovery.”

“What is enjoyable about the arts is that there is an opening where one can walk through the door of an experience, thus allowing people through this portal to subsequently have their own experiences,” said Chalmers.

“The Incongruous Body” highlights the deformity of the body in ways to bring acceptance to everyone’s differences.

Kim Tucker expresses her view of the human body by portraying the psychological nature of humans.

“My goal is to express or represent our internal world, they are about feelings or more about the psychological state more than the physical state,” Tucker said.

Tucker’s work, titled “Good Love and Bad Love” was represented in multiple pieces. 

Each piece was a distorted depiction of the body, including one with two heads and one with frog faces, such as having two heads, frog face.

“A lot of my work is about acceptance of imperfections, feelings, spirituality and being human,” said Tucker. “Conditional and unconditional love is the basis of our human experience and all of my work falls under that umbrella, it speaks about conditional love, unconditional love and pain.”

Different artists gathered to portray their understanding of the human body in this exhibit.

“Group exhibitions are great in value because there are many different answers to the one theme or idea, it shows perspective,” said Tucker.

This exhibit will run through Jan. 20, at the AMOCA gallery at 399 N. Garey Ave. in Pomona. 

Erica Sanchez can be reached at

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