A community soirée: Lily Prokop, Sara Steiner open senior ceramics show


Photo credit: Sara Steiner

Strawberries, pots, blueberries and more fill the Eastern Star Gallery. Seniors Sara Steiner and Lily Prokop opened their ceramics show, Soirée, Wednesday, May 10.

By Rose Sarner, Culture Editor

Miniature food, place settings and home decor filled the Eastern Star Gallery during seniors Sara Steiner’s and Lily Prokop’s senior art exhibit, Soirée, Wednesday, May 10.  

In this exhibit, the two advanced study ceramicists combined functional ware and sculpture ceramics with neutral and bright tones to represent their own soirée: an evening gathering typically in a private home. This exhibit concluded Friday, May 12. 

Both Steiner and Prokop have been taking Archer ceramics courses since middle school and said the classes have allowed them to build a range of skills.

“I have loved my time at Archer, specifically in the ceramics department,” Steiner said. “I think I have not only grown my skills as a ceramics student, but my ability to express myself through different mediums.”

Prokop said working on art for her senior show was difficult, as it required a large time commitment and diligence.

“Creating all of these pieces displayed in this exhibit has not always been easy. It has taken a lot of time and effort,” Prokop said. “Now, walking into the gallery feels extremely rewarding.”

As a part of the Advanced Study Ceramics course, all seniors have the opportunity to display their years of artwork in a gallery. Senior Uma Bajaj is in Prokop and Steiner’s ceramics class and said she has watched them both persevere and collaborate to create this final show. 

“One of my favorite parts about this year has been watching all of my classmates create and display their artwork for the community,” Bajaj said. “Both Sara and Lily have been role models for me in ceramics, and it made me feel so proud when I [walked] into the gallery on Wednesday.”

A few of the pieces shown at the exhibit were ceramic place settings filled with food items such as strawberries and blueberries. Prokop and Steiner said this detail was intended to promote community and gathering, as they believe a dinner table signifies family, friends and loved ones.

“One of the important aspects we thought about when creating this exhibit was how can we build a safe space that both encourages community and brings a variety of individuals in the exhibit,” Steiner said. “It was such an amazing feeling on our opening day being surrounded by our supporters and classmates interested in the work we produced.”

During the senior art shows, students have creative freedom. Ceramics is not the only art medium that allows students to create, organize and display their own art shows; both photography and studio art offer exhibits in their classes. Students create a cohesive theme and write an artist statement for their shows.

Both Prokop and Steiner said that they appreciated this opportunity to create their own gallery show. They were able to create tea pots, tea cups and strawberry cartons that they said are not traditionally made in high school ceramics courses.

“This experience putting on my own show is unlike any other project, essay or homework assignment I have had at Archer,” Prokop said. “It really allowed me to find my artistic talents and explore them in a different way.”