Grace Kerner sculpts her ‘Simple Love’ of ceramics in senior art show

An+unnamed+sculpture+by+Archer+senior+Grace+Kerner+sits+on+a+white+podium+in+the+Eastern+Star+Gallery.+Kerner+used+different+types+of+clay+during+the+creative+process%2C+including+speckled+buff+and+b-mix.+
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Grace Kerner sculpts her ‘Simple Love’ of ceramics in senior art show

An unnamed sculpture by Archer senior Grace Kerner sits on a white podium in the Eastern Star Gallery. Kerner used different types of clay during the creative process, including speckled buff and b-mix.

An unnamed sculpture by Archer senior Grace Kerner sits on a white podium in the Eastern Star Gallery. Kerner used different types of clay during the creative process, including speckled buff and b-mix.

Photo credit: Lola Lamberg

An unnamed sculpture by Archer senior Grace Kerner sits on a white podium in the Eastern Star Gallery. Kerner used different types of clay during the creative process, including speckled buff and b-mix.

Photo credit: Lola Lamberg

Photo credit: Lola Lamberg

An unnamed sculpture by Archer senior Grace Kerner sits on a white podium in the Eastern Star Gallery. Kerner used different types of clay during the creative process, including speckled buff and b-mix.

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The title of Archer senior Grace Kerner’s April 11 senior show, “A Simple Love,” was inspired by Kerner’s passion for the art of ceramics. She has been working with clay for over 10 years.

“I called [the show] ‘A Simple Love’ because I simply love ceramics,” Kerner said. “I’ve been doing [ceramics] since I was in first grade, sculpting, and then I’ve been doing the wheel since I was in third grade. It’s something I love and it’s as simple as that.”

Kerner’s work, painted primarily black, gold and white, garnered awards. She said the central sculpture, which depicted a woman with golden hair and wings, was particularly “special” to Kerner as she recently entered the piece in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, a “recognition program for creative teens.” The sculpture won a Regional Gold award as well as a National Silver Medal in the 2019 awards. Kerner also submitted the sculpture to The Museum of Contemporary Art’s [MOCA] teen recognition program to which the piece was accepted and will be on display at MOCA on April 26.

Photo credit: Lola Lamberg
An unnamed piece by Archer senior Grace Kerner depicting a woman with gold hair and wings sits on a white podium. The piece will be displayed at The Museum of Contemporary Modern Art in Downtown Los Angeles starting April 26.

Kerner’s Archer ceramics teacher, Olivia Moon, said she did not have to “push” Kerner during the process of creating the work for the show, noting that Kerner can make many pieces in one class.

“She has all the inspiration in her; she has all the imagination and ideas. She just had to bring it out,” Moon said. “Whenever she is in the studio, she just sits and makes things in one sitting. It’s so amazing she can make that happen in one class.”

Kerner describes the process of creating her work as “funny” in contrast to other artists because she does not use a sketchbook to plan her ideas ahead of time.

“I never like any of the bowls I make,” Kerner said. “So, I just put a hunk of clay [on the wheel] and I just make something that goes along with the bowl and it just is whatever comes to my head at that moment.”

Archer Student Support Coordinator Jennifer Dohr came to view Kerner’s senior show and referred to Kerner’s award-winning MOCA piece as “sad” and “hopeful.” 

“There is such integrity in Grace’s work. There is such humanity and emotion,” Dohr said. “I am overwhelmed once again by the incredible work of our Archer girls.”

Fellow senior Zoe Applebaum-Schwartz was “excited” and “proud” about with her friend’s showcase.

“I am very impressed by the combination of mediums like the clay and the wax and the clay and metallic,” Applebaum Schwartz said. “I am really impressed with Grace and her innovation.”

In her artist statement, Kerner said she wanted to showcase art that is “imperfect and beautiful.”

“‘A Simple Love’ has helped me realize [the pieces’] artistry and elegance, ” Kerner wrote about her pieces. “I hope it will reveal the same to everyone who sees it. ”

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  • Senior Grace Kerner talks with family in her senior show "A Simple Love" in the Eastern Star Gallery. During the last two months of school, advanced art students present their work to the community.

    Photo credit: Lola Lamberg

  • Student Support Coordinator Jennifer Dohr reads Kerner's description of her senior show. "I believe that art is a healing process," Kerner wrote in her statement. "It helps the mind recuperate from the stress of daily life and it actually teaches you important skills such as empathy, strength and resilience."

    Photo credit: Lola Lamberg

  • A sculpted head and figure with wings sit on a podium to the right side of the gallery. "They evoke some biblical imagery," senior Zoe Applebaum Schwartz said.

    Photo credit: Lola Lamberg

  • Archer faculty, staff and students, as well as Kerner's relatives, gather in the Eastern Star Gallery to view her work.

    Photo credit: Lola Lamberg

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