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Distorted creatures in art create a new reality

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Raylene Lopez
Staff Writer

Original works in an open space welcomed guests as they ventured inside the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, but what reeled them in was the attention to detail, color palettes and unique concepts of the ceramics on display.

From animals and distorted people in platters and vases, there was a wide variety of ceramics that peaked several interests. 

Nathan Stanfield, exhibition manager for AMOCA, said the theme of the exhibit is diversity in ceramics. 

“A lot of that work that you’ll see in the exhibition is coming from artists who are very innovative in their field,” Stanfield said. “So a lot of the processes and techniques are one of a kind.”

The museum’s founder David Armstrong and his wife Julianne Armstrong have been collecting ceramics since the 1990s. 

The exhibit “New Acquisitions from Julianne and David Armstrong” shows their hard work as collectors.

“The detail is really amazing to me,” said Richard Dagget, Upland resident. “I was expecting to see pots like those old type my grandmother used to have.”

While some pieces were intricate, the planning behind them were not always the same. Gina Lawson-Egan, artist and ceramics professor at Cal Poly Pomona, said her 2013 “Krazy Wabbit” piece was actually a demonstration for one of her classes.

She said she wants her students to experiment with out of the box concepts and step out of their comfort zones. 

The piece is of a rabbit with a soft beige face and a blue body with a lilac colored face on its stomach. The face is outlined in a rusty burgundy and it’s facial features are distinguished by light brown paint, the face shape is a long oval and has closed eyes. The rabbit is also holding a doll with a human body wearing green clothes but the doll has a brown bird’s head and claws for hands. 

“I started exploring kind of putting together animal [and] human [features], a lot of it is self discovery … I like to kind of show the students what you can do,” Lawson-Egan said.

The piece by artist Richard Shaw, “2002 Untitled Platter,” was inspired by collages and his fascination with creating plates. 

“It’s just kind of a spontaneity of working but you have to really prepare…even though they have that feeling of having like kind of thrown together fast,” Shaw said. 

The rustic platter is circular and painted mostly ocean blue with the rest being a light army green. The two dominant colors were minimal lime green paint splatters. 

A pale yellow image attached of a brown distressed horse head took up the most space on the platter.

“Harvester” was written above it in brown text. Surrounding it were four smaller images, one of which was a ripped piece of cardboard from a box of playing cards.

The exhibit will be on display through June 21 at AMOCA and will be open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

Tickets are $7 for the public, $5 for students and seniors, and free for members and visitors under 12 years old.

Raylene Lopez can be reached at raylene.lopez@laverne.edu.

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