From May 7-20, the Class of 2022 artist series showcased artwork from Brynn Bergin ’22, Campbell White ’22, and Grace Kotchen ’22 in the Tremaine Art Center. Their art show reception was on May 19 in the Lee Roberts Gallery.
Brynn Bergin merged two of her courses—Research Methods and Ceramics—to complete a cross-subject project this spring. In an effort to figure out which ceramics materials would give her crystalline glazes the greatest number of crystals, or the biggest crystals, she took the materials at hand, which were silica and lithium carbonate, and experimented with the amounts she’d use in each glaze variation. She added more of each in ten gram intervals and recorded data on the results. When working with silica she found that the amount of crystals increased when more silica was added. When working with lithium carbonate she found that adding more material actually removed all evidence of crystals from her glaze. She also discovered that EPK clay affects how much the glaze drips when it's being prepared. Though Brynn ran out of time to find the exact glaze “recipe” she was most excited about, she learned a lot about glaze-making and enjoyed merging the scientific side of learning about the chemistry of the glazes with the artistic experimentation of how materials affect crystal formation. Her Research Methods class focuses on experimenting and testing hypotheses you want to figure out, which helped her create the perfect project to work on for the second half of her senior year. Brynn will be attending the University of Denver next fall.
Ever since her freshman year, Campbell White has been very involved in the visual arts. This was her fourth year of taking art at Suffield Academy, and she was a Teaching Assistant for Ceramics this year. Other art courses she took include Art 1 and Advanced Studio Art. Campbell feels that art has always been a positive outlet for her. While in the studio she is able to forget about all her schoolwork and let loose. Art is a form of self-expression for Campbell, and she would like to thank Suffield for the opportunities it provided her with art. Campbell said, “My sophomore year, I really enjoyed Advanced Studio Art with Mrs. Fuller. Even though I loved working with paint in her class, I knew that I wanted to try ceramics my junior year and I fell in love. I decided after my junior year in Ceramics that I wanted to return my senior year as a Teaching Assistant. My ceramics teacher, Mrs. Caginalp, is my inspiration. Over the past two years, Mrs. C has taught me that all art is beautiful in its own way, she made me realize that art doesn't have to look a certain way to be beautiful.” In college, Campbell plans on pursuing art as a hobby at Tulane University.
Grace Kotchen loved taking art classes at Suffield because in her words, “I pursue art as a way to relax and destress. I like to paint my favorite places and relaxing landscapes.” She noted that her favorite art class was Advanced Studio Art, because she learned more sophisticated techniques to help in her work, there was more artistic freedom, and it was a good way to figure out what she liked to do. Grace was a Teaching Assistant for Art I and hopes to take art classes at Wake Forest University. In terms of the inspirations behind her artistic passion, Grace said she is inspired by both of her parents. She commented that, “My mom has taught me to let go and do what I’m feeling in my art and I’m inspired by my dad because I see his hard work ethic and I apply it to everything I do.”