Pace Art Faculty Show What They’ve Got
Feb. 15-25, the FAC hallway was a source of inspiration, filled with artwork by Pace’s art teachers: Lower School art teacher Silke Cliatt, Middle School art teacher Jane Sibley, and Upper School teachers Rick Berman, Donice Bloodworth, and France Dorman. The works were on display for the annual faculty art show.
Mr. Berman said that he did not take his first pottery class until he was 25 years old and a student at UNC Wilmington. “I was part of the civil rights, ultra liberal, anti-war, tree huggin,’ granola eatin,’ rock and rollin,’ long haired, hippie movement, and come to think of it, I haven’t changed at all. Could be a little bit farther left,” he said. After just a few months of classes, he fell in love with the art form. “I caught on fairly fast, and I knew deep down that this would be my career,” he said. Since then, Mr. Berman has drawn inspiration from other cultures, especially Japanese ceramics. The pottery he submitted for the show featured salt, raku, and Salku firing techniques, and was inspired by the ceramic objects used in Japanese tea ceremonies. Some of the pieces were new, but others had been made years ago. Mr. Berman explained that his techniques “hold [his] interest for long periods of time,” but added that they are “always evolving, moving forward.”
Mr. Bloodworth’s collection of paintings this year featured his signature vibrant color palette and some familiar faces. Mr. Bloodworth has been drawing his whole life, but like Mr. Berman, he didn’t take his first painting class until he was an adult, and then quickly realized that art was his passion. He took many classes in color theory, which explored emotional responses to different colors. For example, Mr. Bloodworth explained that the color yellow makes children happy and blue makes people calm. “I love the way colors bounce off the canvas. Bright colors always get a reaction and call attention to themselves…I don’t care if it’s negative or positive; I just enjoy the reaction,” he said. Throughout his career in painting, Mr. Bloodworth has sought inspiration from music. “I think because I don’t play an instrument or sing, it’s my way of admiring musicians,” he said. However, the collection of paintings this year, all portraits, featured Pace students. Instead of normal skin tones, colors such as blues, greens, and purples were painted into the students’ faces and hair, adding a more abstract twist. Mr. Bloodworth painted his 14 portraits for the show in a period of 20 days. He said, “if it takes longer than three or four hours, I get bored.”
Mr. Dorman’s artwork is based on nature and “organic shapes.” He loves art because it allows the artist to capture the “not here and now but foreverness” of moments. He enjoys hiking and camping and was inspired by these experiences, as seen in his three photographs and three sculptures. He explained that he is fascinated by the “spiritual idea” of nature. He cited a photograph he once took of his wife titled Eternal Noon, explaining that he loves “the beauty of an undeclining sun.” He took his photographs that were in the show at Yosemite and Sequoia national parks, hiking miles into the back woods to find the right spot. To avoid problems with the forest lighting, Mr. Dorman used a photo technique called High Dynamic Range, in which the photographer takes three photos of the same scene with three different exposures, and then combines the three photos into one. It requires the photographer to take the three photos as close together as possible to avoid movement in the scenery, but the end result features vibrant colors almost impossible to capture with ordinary exposure techniques. Mr. Dorman’s sculptures featured much more abstract shapes, called “nonobjective.” He fired his sculptures inside a huge wood-fire kiln in a small artist community. The wood-fired kiln only uses natural fire instead of electricity. The unstable levels of heat, fluctuating between periods of oxidation and reduction, give the pottery “richer and more beautiful saturated colors and glazes,” according to Mr. Dorman. A natural wood-fire kiln is a throwback to how pottery would have been fired in ancient times. “I prefer the nature-made over the man-made,” he said. Mr. Dorman loves photography, but he admitted that he might prefer making sculptures. “I love working with my hands,” he said. He has a studio with several different types of kilns in his home.
By Suzanne Monyak, Staff Writer ’13