Students in Mesa Community College’s ceramics classes are learning the tradition of art reproduction during summer workshops organized by Arizona State University’s Museum of Anthropology in collaboration with MCC.
MCC students, under the direction of Linda Speranza, MCC art faculty, and ASU museum studies graduate student, Brian Asdell, will create art replicas for display at the upcoming exhibition, City Life: Experiencing the World of Teotihuacan at the ASU Museum of Anthropology.
The exhibition will focus on the daily life of ordinary people at Teotihuacan, and the historic, cultural and social dynamics that shaped this major urban civilization. Teotihuacan, in central Mexico, is one of the most visited archaeological sites in the Americas and the scene of numerous archaeological projects. ASU’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change has an archaeological lab at Teotihuacan and a long history of research at the site.
Asdell said so often exhibits focus on the lifestyles of the elite of a culture, but this one will examine common people.
“The city also has a history of craft reproduction and we’re taking on that tradition,” Asdell said. “The students will learn the difference between fake and reproduction art.”
Original archaeological artifacts borrowed from major museums across the country will be exhibited. MCC students will create replicas of the objects that were unavailable.
Visiting artist Charles Matthew Thomas kicked off the first session by sharing his expertise in ceramic restoration and field archeology with students. He provided students with a basic knowledge of processing raw clay.
“Any potter should go through this process first,” Thomas said. “It’s a good grounding and gives artists a better sense of what’s involved in ceramics in general.”
Thomas said it’s also humbling to look at ancient art.
“It’s important to remove the word “primitive” from the thought process when describing traditional artwork,” Thomas said.
The exhibit runs October 10, 2013-May, 2014 at the ASU Museum of Anthropology. For more information, visit: http://asuma.asu.edu/exhibits/city-life-experiencing-world-teotihuacan
About Mesa Community College
Mesa Community College provides outstanding transfer and career and technical programs, workforce development, and life-long learning opportunities to residents of the East Valley area of Phoenix, Arizona. MCC excels in teaching, learning and empowering its more than 40,000 students to succeed in a local and global community. Mesa Community College is one of ten colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College District.