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Student's sculpture hatches high honors

Woodbury High School senior Kayla Doherty received a Silver Medal from the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her ceramics piece.1 / 2
Woodbury High School senior Kayla Doherty received a Silver Medal from the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her ceramics piece.2 / 2

Later this month, Woodbury High School senior Kayla Doherty will showcase her artistic talent when she displays her artwork, primarily ceramics, in the school's annual art show.

However, one of Doherty's pieces will be getting national attention also.

One of her ceramics pieces, a raku egg, received a Silver Medal from the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and a photograph of her piece will be on display May 30-June 1 at Carnegie Hall in New York City during the awards ceremony.

"I thought it was really nice that I got all the way up there with my egg," Doherty said.

She qualified to compete in the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards after receiving a Gold Key Award in the Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards.

Doherty first became interested in ceramics when she was in eighth grade and has since taken a ceramics class every year.

"I like working with my hands," she said, "and I like building functional things."

Doherty's award-winning ceramic egg can also serve as a vase.

In addition to sculpting functional pieces, Doherty said she also looks for inspiration in nature.

"I like the texture of nature and I like the natural forms," she said. "I also like really asymmetrical things."

Doherty's ceramic piece is egg shaped with an asymmetrical opening on the side.

The egg was fired in the raku style, which heats glazed pottery to 1,000 degrees before placing them in trash cans full of combustible materials - newspapers, straw and sawdust - where they erupt into flames. This style of heating gives the pottery a rainbow-like look.

"Raku is unpredictable," Doherty said. "You never know what the glaze is going to turn out like."

Doherty opted to use horse hair, which she hadn't used before, for her combustible material.

"I hadn't worked with it before," she said. "We pretty much had free range to make whatever we wanted."

Doherty said she hopes to stay involved with ceramics throughout her life, even if it's not necessarily for a career.

She intends to join the U.S. Navy.

"At one point I considered doing ceramics professionally, but other plans have been unfolding," she said. "But it's something I definitely want to keep up with - I don't want to just drop it."

Art on display

Doherty's winning egg, and a number of other ceramics pieces, will be on display from 6:30-8 p.m. May 15 during WHS' All School Art Show.

WHS art teacher Karen Seashore said she is expecting to have about 1,000 individual art pieces - including painting, drawing, ceramics, jewelry, photography and multimedia - on display during the art show.

Additionally, at least 18 students will have their portfolios on display with individual tables.

The Art Show will be juried, which means judges from the art community will be handing out awards to art pieces.

"That's a very difficult job," Seashore said. "It reinforces that someone else loved their work, not just them."

Seashore said the All School Art Show is often inspirational for its spectators.

"It has inspired students to want to continue taking art classes and helped them realize that they not only have an interest, but ability," she said. "It's very inspirational for younger students to see what high school kids can create."

Seashore said the All School Art Show is a great opportunity for students to showcase their work.

"It is such a wonderful celebration of all of the students here," she said. "We are very proud of the students here and we are excited to show it off."

Woodbury High School's All School Art Show will be from 6:30-8 p.m. May 15 in the school's cafeteria. Admission is free.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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