Continuing Education

Meet the 3rd Annual Continuing Education Student Art Show Winners

For the third year in a row, North Seattle College Continuing Education (CE) has witnessed an astounding number of brilliant submissions to its student art show. The 2017 show was juried by a splendid range of administrators and instructional staff starting with jewelry instructor Robert Graham, Scanning Electron Microscope Photography instructor Kristine Schroeder, painting instructor Virginia Paquette, ceramics instructor Liz Duarte, gallery curator Amanda Knowles, and CE director Christy Isaacson. There was an impressive turnout for the July 18th opening, with many eagerly anticipating the announcement of the art show winners.

Taking Third place was Judith O’Neal’s abstract painted piece, “Weaving.” A long-time student of ImageVirginia Paquette’s courses in abstract painting and watercolor, O’Neal decided to do a bit of experimenting when it came to creating her submission to this year’s show. She looked over some of her older work from Paquette’s classes and wondered if they couldn’t serve as the foundation for a whole new piece. “I took the collage class when I first started taking classes,” she says. “I looked to my big pile of watercolors and I found a few that sort of seemed to be similar colors and have similar lines. I decided to start cutting them up and repurposing them. No real inspiration beyond playing. I never have a vision I only have a journey.” Of her work, O’Neal says, “I don’t say, ‘I’m trying to do this; I just say I’m going to start and see where I can go.’”

 For her Second
Place piece, "Ceramic Anatomical Model", Kristine Casey took her inspiration from the La Specola Anatomical Wax Model Collection in Florence, Italy. 
Casey says she had not initially intended the piece be for public consumption, but that perspective changed the Imagelonger she worked on it. “I started making a figure…and decided that it needed to be more than just simply a figure,” she says, noting that the figure’s organs are all complete and removable, but are not realistically scaled or aligned, an aspect that gives the piece an almost macabre and whimsical apsect. “I would have liked to have figured out a way to make them fit together and placed them in the way they should, but I didn’t have an opportunity to figure that out.” Though the figure’s organs were sculpted to be taken out and displayed individually, Casey denies this as being part of her creative vision. “I just made it for myself, so I didn’t really think about it. At that point I just thought…Oh, they’re really small, so…” However, she does note that if she’d started on this project with an audience in mind, she would have explored making the piece more “anatomically correct.”

First place winner Karen Earl says the inspiration for her award-winning "Wabi-Sabi Gathering Dish" actually came from a photo she saw of jewelry instructor Robert Graham presenting one of his own works. “The 2017 spring jewelry open studio class description featured a photo of (Robert) holding a copper vessel. Having never formed a bowl, I wanted to learn this skill and the techniques involved.” Earl says she pre-visualized most of the piece, starting with a dimensioned design drawing of the bowl shape and surface textures, to a color sketch showing a high contrast enamel color, on down to the woven wire detail topping the bowl rim. 

“Working through sinking, raising, and surface texturing, all went as planned,” says Earl. “Upon completing the final Imageenamel firing, I was disappointed in the subtleness of the enamel color but felt additional firings would be detrimental. I reassessed the design direction, eliminated the woven wire top and added a wood ‘beach-find’ handle.” Many could argue that this final rustic touch is what ties the entire piece together.

Earl says the phrase Wabi-Sabi, loosely refers to a Japanese aesthetic. “Simplified, it translates as (wabi) ‘rustic elegance’-(sabi) or ‘appreciation for beauty in old and weathered things’”.

Earl says she began taking jewelry and metal working classes through CE starting in 2010, but this is her first non-jewelry piece.

View the student art show Honorable Mention and People's Choice awardees on the CE Facebook page.

The 3rd Annual North Seattle College Continuing Education Student Art Show runs now until August 17th.  The North Seattle College Art Gallery summer hours are T, W, Th 12-2pm & 5-7pm, F 12-3pm. Visit the gallery page for more information.