Feb. 21 - April 4, 2013
In the fall of 2012, UHCL professor of art Nick J. de Vries led a sculptural ceramic course based on the "Earth/Energy" theme of the National Council for Education of the Ceramic Arts 2013 conference in Houston. The spring 2013 exhibition at the UHCL Art Gallery was the result of work produced by students over the course of that semester. The university's proximity to NASA, which has a mission of understanding both space and Earth, and Houston Bay Area refineries -- the lifeblood of the Energy industry -- already gave the artists a unique perspective in exploring the conference topic, but it was further investigated in the ceramics course. The title of the exhibition, Houston: A Geological Dynamic Wedge, reflected de Vries' introduction of geoscience into his classroom, specifically how Houston is located on a Gulf Coast "clastic wedge," an area formed by thickly deposited sediments. The title is a play on words: "wedging" also refers to the process of removing air pockets from clay, giving it an even, working consistency and making it suitable for kiln firing. While the participating artists each interpreted the geological theme differently, what tied them together is how they all engaged in creative exploration of material and subject.