Friday, March 27 marked the opening of the Raritan Valley Community College "Student Art Exhibition, Part I" at the college’s art gallery. One particular ceramic piece in the show caught my attention: “Moss City,” made by artist Savannah LoPrinzi this spring for her Ceramics III class taught by Assistant Adjunct Professor Bill Macholdt.
LoPrinzi’s piece, a combination of earthenware and moss, stands approximately two feet tall and offers to the gallery visitor a view of a miniature Seussian city. Its whimsical towers rise out of a field of moss at such capricious angles that they appear to defy the laws of gravity. Clay is a wonderfully malleable medium that can be readily shaped, allowing the artist to apply either additive or subtractive techniques to create the desired shape. Loprinzi has used both techniques to build her towers, providing form, light, and air, thus animating her work with a sense of crazy dimensionality. Along with these eccentric shapes, she has applied a glaze palette of blues, greens, and reds that gives distinction to each tower and creates a cohesive yet fantastical scene.
When asked about how she got into art, LoPrinzi replied, “Art has always interested me. When I'm in the studio, it is a stress free environment. I am able to forget about all my worries and focus on what keeps me happy. At RVCC I have taken a number of different classes to try to find what I like doing the most, but that has just made me realize I can work and enjoy working with any medium. Although I enjoy all types of art, ceramics is my go to. It is where I feel most comfortable when I'm working with clay. I feel as if it comes naturally to me.”
An artist from a young age, at approximately 9 years old LoPrinzi began drawing with pencil and paper, choosing different places in her home and attempting to precisely capture what she saw. These days she says her inspiration comes from how she might feel on a particular day. She enjoys challenging herself and has recently made a clear packing tape sculpture that has a functioning light source.
That piece will be presented in Part II of this year’s student art exhibition. Most recently she has moved into the world of sculpture using the art department’s new 3D printer. She reports that the software is challenging and her project is currently still in progress. Confident her efforts will be rewarding, she observes, “I feel as if taking this challenge will help me in the long run because 3D printing is becoming ‘the next big thing’.”
The college offers such an extensive list of art classes that each year the student show is split into two parts. Part I includes student work encompassing drawing, color theory, illustration, 2-D design, printmaking, digital art making, and ceramics. Part II runs April 17-May 1 and will include 3D design, sculpture, photography, painting, graphic deign, sound, video and multi-media.
Savannah LoPrinzi’s “Moss City” is just one of the pieces of artwork in the current exhibition, which runs through to April 10, 2015. Visitors to the Art Gallery will enjoy two rooms brimming with somewhere close to 400 different pieces from dozens of talented student artists whose efforts are truly deserving of praise.
Gallery hours are Mondays, 3-8 p.m.; Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Wednesdays, 3-8 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Fridays, 1-4 p.m. The gallery will not open until 6 p.m. on Friday, April 17.
Featured image caption: An RVCC student enjoying "Moss City."