Two talented Laramie County Community College art students were recently selected to participate in the “Energy of the Future” international exhibition.

LCCC art students Carol McDonald, who won the honorable mention for her “compass teapot” piece, and Chloe West, who had her “tall house” sculpture entered, attended the National Council in Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) conference March 20–24 in Houston, Texas, for their work in the international art exhibition, which was held in conjunction with the NCECA conference.

LCCC art instructor Matt West said, Community college students from Canada and the United States are eligible for the exhibition,” and the conference usually attracts about 4,000 participants.

Matt West, who took the students to Houston, said both students have excellent work and are advanced, serious and proficient in their art.

He also said McDonald “is a determined learner and creator,” and her stoneware clay and steel work is “complex construction that reflects her interests in industrial landscapes and historical trends in ceramics.”

McDonald said to apply for the exhibition she had to provide quality photos of her work. Because it was her first time entering an event like this, her instructor helped a lot with the process.

McDonald said she chose the ceramic piece she entered because the compass teapot “turned out with successful ring colors and interesting variations in the clay itself.” She added the piece was “part of a series of exploring intersecting lines and concentric rings.”

McDonald explained she was “inspired by geometric shapes, industrial and urban landscapes, mid-century architecture and design” and added that most of her ceramic work is “built with slabs to create flat surfaces and sharp corners.”

Matt West said Chloe West has a thoughtful eye and “is an avid student of both design theory and art history and seeks visual opportunities to apply her research.” Matt West added she works with wood, metal and ceramics and “embraces the challenge of learning and creating to communicate ideas that provoke a response from the viewer.”

Matt West also said Chloe West’s sculpture received the David Reif Sculpture Award at the University of Wyoming Student Exhibition, and her sculpture will also be displayed in the upcoming Invitational Exhibition at the Centennial Complex Gallery at UW.

Chloe West said her art is inspired by “my observations of the world around me and my interpretations. I strive to express my thoughts in an interesting and creative way to convey these thoughts to an audience.” She said she chose the piece to enter in the exhibition because it was “a multimedia sculpture of wood, metal and ceramics,” and she added she “thought that this would bring variety and innovation to a ceramics show.” She explained her “tall house” sculpture was inspired by her “research in art history and references themes of place and identity, specifically architectural nostalgia.”

McDonald said, “The NCECA conference is a huge event with many options for art shows and lectures.” She added her favorite part of the conference was when the artists at the conference demonstrated their creative techniques.

Chloe West said she was “very honored to be chosen for an exhibition that was juried by working artists.” She added the highlight of the conference for her was to see a lecture by Janine Antoni, an artist who inspires her.

Matt West said the artists will exhibit their ceramics works at the LCCC Student Exhibit April 10–May 2.