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Creating during quarantine

When it was announced that all students had to leave campus, senior art major Aaron Lorenz ’20 got his hands on a 50 pound box of clay, and set up a makeshift art studio in his basement. While thumbing through ceramics books and listening to music for inspiration, Lorenz has been making pinch pots out of lumps of clay from his dwindling supply.

Some professors have been putting together art care packages for students to work on prints, drawings and paintings. But it can be especially challenging for students who primarily work in 3D, like Lorenz, who does not have a wheel or kiln at home.

Lorenz has been inspired, yet sometimes struggles to find motivation to create during quarantine. Without studio access, Lorenz says that when he does sit down to make something, he has a newfound commitment and appreciation for the opportunity.

“I personally am paying more attention to what exactly I want to do, what I’m making, and just enjoying it a little more because it’s not a for sure thing,” Lorenz said. “I don’t feel like I’m taking it for granted right now because I have a finite amount of clay and once that’s done, I don’t know when I will get clay again.”

The art department has been very generous and thoughtful throughout this process, according to Lorenz. 

Another major challenge senior art majors must confront is the cancelation of the senior art show, traditionally held in May. Professors still want seniors to document their completed projects at the end of semester for submission and grading. However, this doesn’t replace the importance of the senior show, where friends and family gather to celebrate the culmination of art students’ work, and maybe even purchase a piece or two.

“A lot of people go to the senior show. That’s the most visited show we have on campus,” said Lorenz. “It’s nice to plant your flag in the field of art and say this is what I’m doing and where I’m going.” His piece was going to feature audience interaction where visitors could stack cups to create unique shapes.

Lorenz says the first art show in the fall of next school year is likely to be the senior showcase. This still creates challenges, though, for students who may have to ship their work or are unable to attend because their postgraduate jobs or graduate school has already begun. 

Lorenz aspires to be a Fifth-Year Emerging Artist, and then to pursue graduate school for architecture. You can purchase some of Lorenz’s work via his art Instagram @lorenz.works