The Germ Project: Collaborative Ceramics Project

The GERM project is a collaborative community art project involving local K thru 12 art students and UW-Sheboygan design students.

The idea of this project has been to collaborate with art educators from different teaching levels. The collaboration involves an elementary, middle, high school art teachers and college art students from the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan and surrounding areas. The idea was to push this project beyond two art teachers and recruit a middle school art teacher from Random Lake School District and UW-Sheboygan design classes.

Sheboygan North High School art students interpreted germs into 3-dimensional clay forms. Random Lake Middle School students then glazed the ceramic germ sculptures. All glaze fired ceramic works were then transported to the UW-Sheboygan campus to design the gallery installation at the UW-Milwaukee Union Art Gallery for the Spring 2014 NCECA conference.

As the ceramic sculptures were presented to the UW-Sheboygan design classes, we discussed various ways to exhibit the works. The typical pedestal and wall mounting techniques seemed easy enough.  However, we were looking for innovative ways to display this work. Examples of innovative and unconventional installations of ceramic artwork were researched and examined.

UWS Students then began to think about the installation of the work as part of the art form in itself. After further consideration, the students wanted to use the dinner party motif to display the germs, referencing and quoting a well-known ceramics artist’s installation. 

Participating art teachers and schools are Jen Dahl (Forrest Street Early Learning Center), Brian Sommersberger (Random Lake Middle School),Frank Juarez (Sheboygan North High School), and Tom Uebelherr (UW-Sheboygan). 

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