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Pottery artists at high school go national

Kara Stratton, who will present at nationals, receives some tips from artist Robbie Lobbell during Tuesday’s pottery workshop.  - Liz Burlingame/Whidbey News-Times
Kara Stratton, who will present at nationals, receives some tips from artist Robbie Lobbell during Tuesday’s pottery workshop.
— image credit: Liz Burlingame/Whidbey News-Times

Oak Harbor High School will be the only school in the Evergreen state chosen to show ceramic art pieces at nationals for the second consecutive year.

The National K-12 Exhibition showcases the best ceramic art from across the country, and it’s also an annual meeting place for professional ceramists and professors. The 2009 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts conference will be held in Phoenix, Ariz.

“It’s an opportunity for students to pick up dough and meet with professionals,” art teacher Frank Jacques said.

Juror Elaine Henry, professor emeritus from Emporia State, selected only 211 pieces from a pool of 1,041. Three of the pieces selected were crafted by Oak Harbor High School students.

“Kara was kind of speechless when she heard,” Jacques said of his advanced student, Kara Stratton. “She knew it was a huge deal.”

Accepted for the exhibition were Stratton’s piece “Boiler,” “Tea for Pythagoras” by senior Ben Sorensen and “Cup of Contextual Saucerthing” by Jordan Kingma.

Sorensen and Kingma’s work was part of a black and white design assignment.

“They are two beautiful examples in a whole classroom of beautiful examples. The juror must be good; she picked them because they’re kind of unusual,” Jacques said.

Stratton created a teapot, in which the form, manner and surface treatment were all self-selected.

Along with having their work viewed by the 1,000 attendees of the exhibition, the students will have images of their work published in print catalog, digital catalog and poster format. Work exhibited is automatically considered for university and industry sponsored scholarship awards.

OHHS student Logan Archer received a scholarship in 2007.

This is the third year students from Oak Harbor High School have been selected for the exhibition. It will be held April 8 to 11.

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