Tyler Lotz visits JJC

Tyler Lotz came to JJC in an artist visit at the Black Box Theatre, sponsored by a grant from the Student Government Association and Office of Student Activities.

Gisele Atterberry, a fine arts professor, coordinated the event this semester.

Although many visiting artists have come before, Atterberry was told by other faculty that someone other than a painter should be invited, as many visiting artists had been painters as of late.

Eric Gorder, a professor of ceramics, then suggested Lotz as the right choice. Gorder had found Lotz while having illustrated work in an issue of Ceramics Monthly, where Lotz was featured.

Atterberry, being familiar with Lotz’s work in several of his galleries throughout the United States, sought after him as the next visiting artist.

Lotz has been teaching for 15 years as an art professor at Illinois State University, and specializes in ceramics.

Atterberry mentions that Lotz has quite a lengthy resume, and has been an artist in residence at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Mont., “an especially prestigious honor in the world of ceramics.”

His presentation began at 2 p.m. at the theatre on Oct. 20, and later provided a demonstration of his work practices in the Ceramics Studio at around 7 p.m.

From the presentation, Lotz provided a slideshow showing many of his works from what he considered his “two tracks of works: sculpture and tableware lie.”

Lotz described some of his work through what materials he had used to make them, as well as providing the processes and tools he needed to reach the finished product.

As the presentation went on, Lotz said many of his recurring themes from his art mostly involves some kind of contradiction or reconciliations.

His Glacial Moraines series, for instance, contains sculptures that tell of the ongoing threat of global warming and pollution, while also meshing the beauty that he believes may be a reality in the next ice age where skyscrapers and garbage in cities will form glaciers of their own.

After his presentation, he took questions from the audience and gave away several T-shirts from Illinois State University.

Later that night, Lotz prepared his own supplies and held a demonstration at the Ceramics studio.

There he showed some of the processes of his work, which included passing around some of his own work.

A large crowd of students were involved in both parts of the visit. Many were art students, and Atterberry sees the importance in these artist visits to students at JJC.

“For many who follow the contemporary art world, art exists not just in a finished object, but also very much in the decisions made by the artist in the process directed toward reaching that finished object,” said Atterberry.

One student at the presentation, Angela Moreno, was not quite familiar with Lotz’s work, but took a strong interest in his art after the visit.

Moreno is mostly involved in drawing, but has been transitioning into painting as an artist, and found seeing his work as very inspirational, despite the different mediums they use.

“You get different ideas, things you can incorporate into your own work.”