Gwen is this year's Budding Artist from June through August
My obsession with ceramics started my sophomore year of high school. I’ve always loved 3D arts over 2D. 3D art wasn’t as popular with my peers and I was determined to stand out! I had tried and failed to teach myself ceramics in junior high and there were limited options for 3D art classes in high school. Ceramics was an option and I signed up.
As soon as I touched clay for the first time in Mr. Frunzi’s class I was hooked. I loved getting messy and the work I made was not only beautiful, but functional. It wouldn’t just sit around and collect dust once it was finished. I created art with which I and others could continually interact. A mug I made in the studio could hold someone’s coffee every morning. I love the idea that pieces I create can become a part of someone’s everyday life.
In school you can always find me in the ceramics room. I haven’t taken any other art classes since Junior High because I’ve filled my school schedule with ceramics. The time and hard work has really paid off this year. I represented my school and won first and second place for my wheel thrown pottery in the 2017 Berks County Intermediate Unit Secondary Art Exhibit at the Goggleworks in Reading.
Even after school is over I will need my ceramics fix. Over the summer, I will enroll in the studio passport program at the Goggleworks. Coming home covered in clay after a day in the studio will be extremely rewarding and give me a sense of accomplishment.
Next year, I will be spending a year in Belgium through the Rotary Youth Exchange Program. I’m extremely excited to see how this experience will affect me as a person and change my art. I have also been accepted at Boston University and will begin my studies after returning from Belgium. I plan to major in chemistry and minor in ceramics. Ceramics and art in general will always be a part of my life.
I would like to thank two people, in particular, who have been crucial in my artistic journey. The first is my junior high art teacher, Stephanie Stamm. It was Mrs. Stamm who first realized my artistic potential and always pushed me to do more in her class. She also helped me show my work to the public by entering it in shows and competitions. She is the one who told me about Dancing Tree Creations Budding Artist Program. Even now, years after I had her as a teacher she is still supporting me and motivating me to get better.
Another very important person in my artistic career is Boyertown Area Senior High’s ceramics teacher Domenic Frunzi. It was his inspiration and encouragement that pushed me to continue with this art and become truly dedicated to it. Not only did he help me improve my craft, he cultivated in me an appreciation for all arts. Through his lessons in class and field trips to Philadelphia I have been exposed to many different artists and can see the craftsmanship and thought behind all art forms. Without having such amazing educators I wouldn’t be anything close to the artist I am today. I am extremely grateful. Ceramics and art in general will always be a part of my life.