An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Jodi Rockwell, visual arts teacher

Each fall, Lakeside’s visual arts faculty mount a group show in Pigott Gallery. The show, which comes together over a period of weeks, serves as a teaching tool to explain the process of exhibition to students and introduces the faculty and their work to students and families. The official opening of the show is Thursday, Oct. 12 and the exhibit will be up through Oct. 20. In this blog, ceramicist Jodi Rockwell discusses her creative process in assembling her piece of the exhibition.

My installation is in its second rendition using blue porcelain bottles and a backdrop of color. In both cases, I’m responding to different environmental disasters. Through my creative process, I diffuse my stress about issues both personal and environmental to not only remain grounded, but inspired and energized. 

The first install in August, “Chill,” responded to the Delaware-sized iceberg that broke free from Antarctica. The palette and lighting was cold in honor of this tragically grand event.  My second installation, “Fire Break,” was conceived for the October visual arts faculty exhibition at Lakeside, with the color shifting to hot orange, inspired by the wildfires of eastern Washington last month.


photo credit: Barry Wong


For the show at Lakeside, I was curious how the saturated blue pieces would look and feel in front of orange, knowing the energy would be high as the complimentary colors vibrate in contrast.  The last rendition was cool and calm with analogous blues. Usually after making formal aesthetic decisions, I spend time installing the work and tap into my current state of mind, allowing it to dictate the content.  After a few days of arranging pedestals and pieces to redirect pedestrian traffic flow in the Pigott Gallery, a river came to mind.  The orange was intense and hot as fire.  I realized the two installations were working within a theme of natural disaster and my way of dealing with it.


photo credit: Jodi Rockwell


As I occupy the gallery space during install, I hope students see the choices I am playing with and what I end up committing to for the work.  They see things move around, pieces being edited out of the show, color swatches on the wall, and more than one iteration considered. Perhaps they will remember this when it is time for their own solo show in the spring and realize setting objects on a pedestal requires thought and consideration to elevate the work to its highest potential.

See more examples of Rockwell's work on Instagram @jrockstudios