Ceramics piece by Lawrence High School student chosen for national conference

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A Lawrence High School senior’s ceramics piece has been selected to be showcased at a national ceramics conference this spring.

Oliver Elwell’s piece is one of 150 works selected for an exhibition at the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts annual conference, which he said is an honor.

“Art and ceramics is a passion for me, and I hope to continue to create work that gets recognized like this and just be able to share my art with the community,” Elwell said.

Elwell’s featured piece, “My Greenhouse,” is an ode to his personal connections with nature. Creating it allowed him to experiment with the meticulous process of shaping small clay items like the potted plants on the side, as well.

“I made it so that I can explore making miniature things in clay because that was a theme that I was working on,” Elwell said. “And all the things in there are like stuff that you would find in my room, and I named it ‘My Greenhouse’ because I have a lot of plants and plants were one of my special interests at the time.”

When Elwell’s ceramics teacher at LHS, Emily Markoulatos, suggested he submit work to the NCECA, the two deliberated on which of his pieces to choose. He said he felt “My Greenhouse” was his best.

Switching between art mediums is a norm for Elwell now as he often creates with fabrics, paints, clay, beads and other materials at the same time. Last summer, he designed and painted a bench as part of his apprenticeship with Van Go, a local arts-based organization for teens and young adults.

Now in his last semester of high school, Elwell plans to attend an arts-based college or university next year, gearing up for a career in creating.

The NCECA conference is set to be hosted in Richmond, Virginia this month, but Elwell said he’ll most likely attend the art exhibition virtually.

Learn more about the NCECA on its website, nceca.net.

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Maya Hodison (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at mhodison (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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