Dancing Tree Creations Artisans Gallery & Studio has recognized Boyertown High School senior Gwen Farmer as their latest Budding Artist. Farmer is the eleventh Budding Artist to have her work featured in the gallery. I caught up with Farmer during the gallery’s opening reception held during Boyertown’s Fourth Friday Art Walk in May to get to know the young artist.
Farmer’s obsession with ceramics started during her sophomore year of high school. She always preferred 3D art over 2D. And although 3D art wasn’t as popular with her peers, she was determined to stand out! She had tried and failed to teach herself ceramics in junior high. There were limited options for 3D art classes in high school, but ceramics was an option, so she signed up.
As soon as she touched the clay in Mr. Frunzi’s class, she was hooked. “I love getting messy,” Farmer says, “and the work I made was not only beautiful, but functional. It wouldn’t just sit around and collect dust once it was finished. I created art with which I and others could continually interact. A mug I made in the studio could hold someone’s coffee every morning. I love the idea that pieces I create can become a part of someone’s everyday life.”
Grateful to Mr. Frunzi for inspiring and encouraging her to continue with her art, Farmer also found inspiration in fellow students. “I know a lot of kids in my high school who went on to have careers in Ceramics, I feel this is my stepping stone and i’m following in their footsteps.”
When asking about her style Farmer replied, “i’m still a young artist, I like to try out as many different things as i can”. Looking around the room at her different pieces we asked Farmer about her favorite. “I love different things about all of them, I can’t really choose”.
Dedicated to her craft, Farmer hasn’t taken any other art classes since junior high because she’s filled her schedule with ceramics classes and can usually be found in the ceramics room.
This isn’t the first time she has been honored for her work. Farmer also won first and second place for her wheel-thrown pottery in the 2017 Berks County Intermediate Unit Secondary Art Exhibit at the Goggleworks in Reading, PA.
Farmer anticipates needing her ceramics “fix” even after school is over and plans to enroll in the studio passport program at the Goggleworks. She knows that coming home covered in clay after a day in the studio will be extremely rewarding and provide her a sense of accomplishment.
Next year, through the Rotary Youth Exchange Program, she will spend a year in Belgium. She has also been accepted to Boston University and will begin her studies upon returning from Belgium, majoring in Chemistry with a minor in Ceramics. She is sure that art, and ceramics, will always be a part of her life.
How was Farmer chosen to be the next Budding Artist? We spoke with Lyn Camella, co-owner or Dancing Tree about the selection process and the background of the Budding Artist program.
The program is designed to encourage young artists to develop their craft and provide a real world taste of the business of craft. Twice each year, a Budding Artist is selected to sell their work and join over 200 local and national artisans in exhibiting and selling their crafts.
“Meeting with her, listening to her, she is a remarkable young lady with a passion for art and a strong character. Her skill is amazing for someone who has been doing it only for a couple of years” said Lyn Camella.