Sunday, 9 June 2013

FORM & FUNCTION: Meet two uniquely talented art-school grads eager to make their mark

Like mother, like daughter, they say. And Peta-Gaye Ballas is the living proof. Growing up with a mom whose many passions included working in ceramics, the diminutive sculptor knew from early on that her future lay in the arts. Exploring her fascination with natural hair, Ballas (about to graduate from the Edna Manley College) has put together a minimalist final-year display that not only pays homage to her mother but also celebrates the essence of womanhood. "It's about getting back to our roots," says Ballas, seen here standing proudly next to her "mohawk" piece. She notes, too, that as a burgeoning ceramist/designer, she favours the emotional payoff over any possible lucrative financial gain. "I'm just doing what Iove," she says without missing a beat, "and the good thing is that I can use my knowledge to teach kids through workshops." 

And speaking of education, here's a word for you, dear readers: concatenation. As explained by Anita Bucknor, the term refers to the act of integrating art into other classroom subjects (Math, Geo, Bio) to aid in the teaching process. "It's not a new concept, but it's not very popular in Jamaica," explains Bucknor, an art-education student at the EMC, also on the cusp of graduating. As Bucknor tells it, she is partial to biology and is eager to pass on her knowledge to high-school students once she lands her first teaching assignment. "I'm very confident because I'm actually a very hands-on person," she tells me. "I hope to make my mark."

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