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Ceramic Sculpture by Ben McLauchlin
2014 D. Bradley Smith Art Purchase Award Winner

The Artwork

Photo of the Artist Ben McLauchlin's love of nature and his penchant for sculpture come together in this inventive ceramic octopus. This lively piece came out of an assignment in Mrs. Crerand's Ceramics I class to develop a closed, hollow piece using the pinch method. Ben's unique way of satisfying that requirement drew on the experience he had gained in Mr. Kunz's Sculpture class.

Ben grew up in a house full of cats -- "How do you work?" he recalls thinking -- and he spends much of his free time exploring the woods. All of that curiosity about living things and his obvious passion for art will carry him to a double-major in biology and art at Binghamton University next year.

Ben's third driver is his love of theater, developed through acting, singing, and dancing in Brighton theater program productions. Ben even had the opportunity to perform as part of the only high school group participating in Rochester's Fringe Festival in 2012.

In addition to taking a full slate of art classes at BHS, Ben made time for an independent study in digital art. With Mr. Kunz as his guide -- "chaperone" may be a more appropriate choice of words -- Ben produced a body of hundreds of works. Landscapes, fantastic creatures, and moody environments equally populate the collection of digital works he created using Photoshop Elements and a Wacom drawing tablet. "Ben is largely self-taught," says Mr. Kunz, "and my role was to help him connect the dots." If Ben is lucky, he'll find as generous and supportive a set of guides -- and chaperones -- in his college experience as he has enjoyed at Brighton.

Image and story provided by Jim Kane

June, 2014

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