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Art class releases projects on Aroostook River

Wednesday, 04 November 2009

Students in Art Professor Renee Felini's ceramics class headed to the Aroostook River on Sept. 30 for a special class project that helped them to understand more fully the organic nature of the art form they're learning about.

Felini and her class gathered at the boat landing near the Route 1 Bridge at the north end of Presque Isle to release into the river more than a dozen hollow, clay spheres that they had made in the ceramics studio.

These clay spheres, about the size of a cantaloupe, were dried - not fired - and painted with organic oxides. While forming their spheres, each student placed an item inside that represented something from their past to which they wanted to bring closure, or something that would help guide them in the future.

Felini said the project was really about understanding the concepts of clay as a material and the significance of development and change.

"As they float down the river, the clay spheres will slowly break down and return to the Earth, becoming the materials and minerals that they were before they were combined to make clay," Felini said. "Each sphere will carry the message inside it away, creating a sort of catharsis or, alternatively, sending a message into the future."