Research road trip, day 3: breakfast with Jo Kamm, K-State Ceramics, Amy Santoferraro and Lauren Karle.
After we left Kansas City and arrived in Lawrence I received an invite to meet and chat with Jo Kamm, a talented artist living and working in Kansas City. We met Jo for breakfast.
When I was at Arrowmont for the surface forum symposium/ residency in January I spent my time making a complex mold of a sock to allow people to juggle with. Dylan Beck, a good friend of Jo's, mentioned Jo's recent piece titled- dangerous games, a performance piece and collaboration with the Kansas City juggling club that features very skilled juggling using porcelain juggling props. Conscience of Jo's work I almost pulled my sock juggling game from my thesis but after a long talk with my committee chair we decided that both pieces where similar but also very different where my piece was more about participation and audience interaction in a playful way.
A little background on my piece- as a high school student I had to juggle to pass gym class one year and fell in love with the playful activity. As an adult and as a way to make everyday activities more fun (a theme throughout my thesis work) I continue to juggle my clean, folded socks everytime I do laundry.
I was a little nervous to meet Jo knowing that I had just completed this piece less than a month ago. As soon as I met Jo I realized I was worrying for no reason. Jo was one the nicest and intelligent guys I have ever met. He admitted he followed my work and complimented me right off the bat, that always feels good! I proceeded to tell Jo about my piece and his reaction was pure excitement and happiness that I enjoyed to juggle. The three of us continued to talk about just about everything: social practice, the internet, interactive art, mold making, traveling, Hungary, digital fabrication, rhino 3d, and much much more. It took us almost 30 minutes before we were even able to look at the menu. We both agreed we needed to collaborate on some future projects, an article, and or organize an artist-invite-artist residency together- I can't wait!
Towards the end Jo gifted us one of his handmade juggling balls (holder included) and in exchange I gifted a slip-cast sock. What an amazing gift/ trade!!
After Lawrence we continued West on I70. Shortly after we were on the road, we saw a mileage sign for Manhattan Kansas and knowing that K-State was in Manhattan we decided to stop off to check out the art building and of course the ceramics area. When we arrived the building was quiet and relatively empty due to the semester recently ending.
We walked around a little and noticed that Amy Santoferraro's office and studio light was on but the door was closed. Unsure if Amy was there, we decided to knock. Amy was there and was very happy to see us- She said she was following our trip online! Amy was very friendly, high energy, smart, and funny. We received a wonderful tour and I was even able to take home a skateboard (score!). Our visit was perfect and we highly recommend this program for post-bac and graduate studies! Jeni had the pleasure of meeting Lauren Karle fellow ceramicist and social engager they would have talked for hours if we hadn't needed to get back on the road. I think it was the beginning of a long friendship!
Above is student work from K-State.