Five Bay Area artists came together for a Still Life in Ceramics presentation at the Conley Art Building on Thursday.
Monica Van de Dool was one of the artists whose work is on display through Sept. 17. Her work consists of hand-crafted ceramic sculptures and wall pieces.
“My natural inclination was to work figuratively,” Van de Dool said.
Van de Dool was an English major and after obtaining her bachelor’s degree, she attended graduate school for art at Montana State University.
She presented art that dealt with the idea of death and mortality. Her art repertoire includes human figures to surreal animal figures to Disney-like sculptures.
One such piece was entitled “Skull’s Lament,” which includes a woman with a skull head. The skull is talking, and balloons are flying over it.
“In my mind, this figure is trying to explain mortality. So on that word bubble, the skull is talking, but it’s all gibberish. But she’s trying to tell us what happens when you die,” Van de Dool said. “Those balloons to me are sort of the inexpressive truth that we can never say about death.”
Claudia Tarantino also presented her work at the event. Her work focused more on memories and family-related objects.
In most of her pieces, she included pictures of her family, who are from Italy, and toys from her childhood.
“I always had a collection of marbles. I played jacks all the time, and my grandmothers and aunts showed us how to make little pouches of leather,” Tarantino said.
This inspired many of her sculptures such as “Jacks ‘n Marbles and Kid’s Stuff,” in which small pouches can be seen with marbles next to them.
Other artists who presented their work include Richard Shaw, Nancy Selvin and Stan Welsh.