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3-D Design
Vivian Orta​
George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology​|Baltimore, Maryland​
Reach20 x 7 x 12 in.​ ​Material(s): oil-based clay wire armature in figure wood plinth​ ​Process(es): direct observation of figure thorough research into bird anatomy for accuracy without life reference
Curatorial Note: ​Explorative narratives.​ Exploration of anxiety using environments and gestures.​
“I was guided by the exploration of narratives created with and without figures. The placement of objects can imply a story or say something about a character. I was later interested in exploring how narrative is created using environments and gestures, which can be done allegorically and literally.”​
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My exploration of 3-dimensional media emphasizes the value of narrative. While aesthetics and craftsmanship are certainly crucial elements of any artwork, the content of the piece is what can make it truly meaningful and thought-provoking.
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With this sculpture, in particular, I wanted to expand on symbolism that I had explored in past works and use it to compliment the central figure. Here, a young woman reaches for a dove, a physical representation of the idea of peace, but can just barely take hold. Although I believe that art belongs to its viewer, meaning each viewer’s interpretation is the correct one, the intention behind this sculpture was to reflect on my observations of the world’s relationship with peace, as well as my own. It seems like no matter how much we work toward complete stability, it is never a possibility. Conflict and chaos will always claim their presence. But, that’s okay. The world would have to take a complete rest to escape these forces, which it refuses to do, and we refuse to do ourselves. Conflict and problems create progress as we try to escape them. So, while the figure is longing for peace, she is reaching up to the dove who navigates her upward, away from her current position and onto the next one—progress.
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Vivian Orta​

Teacher Statement

Joe Cypressi
Vivian’s work is inspiring in both its concepts and execution. She made most of the work in her portfolio during her junior year. She will be a senior this year.
Junior level students in our sculpture classes submit maquettes of a proposed work along with a short selection of images of their past work and any artists or other visual information they used in their creative process. They present the idea to the class and the instructor in as much detail as possible. The class and the instructor ask questions and give feedback on concepts, aesthetics, logistics, and construction techniques. A scale or scope is agreed upon, and the student executes the work. All students bring the work in for a group critique.
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These maquettes are entirely student generated based on their preferences for skills and ideas developed and explored earlier in the course and in earlier courses. These ideas and skills are explored via artist research, instructor lead exercises designed to develop either rendering, compositional, constructive, or conceptual skills.
Vivian’s presentations are always sensitive, insightful, and visually exciting. She is fearless in trying new materials and processes to which she applies her skills. She is an amazingly talented and hardworking young lady who is a leader in the class.
The sculptural classes explore form and meaning from two directions, representation and non-representational. Representation is taught with clay through direct observation. These observational processes come from our drawing practices. The non-representational explorations are based on Stebbing’s Universal Grammar for Visual Composition and material analysis.
All students are strongly encouraged to revise their work after the group critique based on the feedback. So that’s 2 feedback loops per piece. Each new work is also conceptually explained relative to the last piece, so the continuity of the inquiry is maintained.
Students write notes for their maquette presentations and build those notes with the feedback received from the group. This is the foundation of their writing for the portfolio.
Our administration is supportive of our efforts and pedagogical process.
Again Vivian’s point of view, work ethic, and intellect are inspiring and a joy to work with and the backbone of her success.
“Show them great art, and they will make great art,” Charlie Schwartz, photography teacher and my mentor.
Vivian Orta​