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Feb. 19, 2013
By Taylor Neff, media relations assistant
Two Northwest Missouri State University students exhibited their talents recently at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.
Nearly 1,400 guests attended a sold-out fundraiser Jan. 26 at the museum to view work created by Northwest students J. Eric Simmons and Kim Pluskota. The Party Arty event is put on annually by the Young Friends of Art.
This year’s theme was “Eternal Spring,” which Simmons said fit well with his ceramic vessels, resembling classical forms.
“I decided that through my glaze palette, which is very earthy and natural-toned, that they would fit well with the décor they were seeking,” Simmons, an art education major from Highland, Kan., said. “When I submitted the pieces, they contacted me and said that’s exactly what they were looking for.”
Simmons developed his pieces by using stoneware clay fired in a kiln. For this set of vessels, he used a variety of techniques including sectional pieces and throw-and-coil methods.
Pluskota’s ceramic installation, “Flower Garden,” was featured just outside of the exhibit’s VIP lounge. To create the pieces, Pluskota individually folded and bunched soft clay slabs. She added small coils for the centers and extruding clay forms for the leaves.
“It was a big honor to have my work at the Nelson-Atkins for the event,” Pluskota, a studio art major from Maryville, said. “It makes me want to keep it up and do more, and get my work out there. It’s so fun to see what people think. Even if they don’t like it, that’s ok. It’s just neat to have it out there.”
The Nelson-Atkins provides access to more than 33,500 art pieces and is recognized worldwide as one of the United States’ top art museums. It is known for Asian art, European and American paintings, photography, modern sculpture and new American Indian and Egyptian galleries.
For the 2013 Party Arty, Northwest Associate Professor of Art Laura Kukkee received a request from a committee member to have students submit photos of their work. Simmons’ and Pluskota’s pieces were selected.
After finishing his student teaching, Simmons hopes to be placed as a full-time high school art teacher. Pluskota plans to attend graduate school and possibly teach or open her own art studio.
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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