With Classes Moved Online Due to Coronavirus Pandemic, MCCC Ceramics Students Use Natural Objects to Create Art Projects

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MCCC ceramic student Rachel Michalak, of Harleysville, uses pine cones and flowers to create her natural art installations. Montgomery County Community College Ceramics students are finding a way to do their art projects despite classes being moved online due to the coronavirus crisis.

Montgomery County Community College Art Assistant Professor Michael Connelly has found a way for his Ceramics students to do their art projects while at home by instructing them to use materials they can find in nature.

“Students who take Ceramics at the College love to get their hands dirty,” said Connelly.

Kosrow Nowroozi, of Huntingdon Valley, makes a clay sculpture of the coronavirus and incorporates natural items to create a sculpture to document this historical time.

To inspire his students, Connelly shared a documentary of the work created by world-renowned British sculptor, photographer, and environmentalist Andy Goldsworthy, “Rivers and Tides.”

Goldsworthy makes sculptures and art using items such as ice, rocks, leaves, and sticks.

As he creates something, he photographs the different stages of its development.

Then when he is done, he leaves his art to gradually blend into the surrounding surroundings through natural erosion.

The assignment was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 20.

Students also wrote short reflection essays as part of the assignment on their projects and the creative process involved.

When the projects were completed, Connelly was impressed both by the final works and essays, as well as how his students embraced the assignment.

“I feel the written descriptions are incredibly poetic, as are the earthworks,” he said.

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