2012 Matches

2012 Matches:
Elyse Leyenberger (Photography '12) : Andrei Jackamets (BFA Photography '83)

Ryan Berardi (Sculpture '14) : Anthony Visco (BFA Sculpture '70)
Kaylyn Gray (Multimedia '13) & Michael Knaub (Multimedia '13) : Michele Kishita (BFA Painting '97, MFA Painting '10)
Diane Meck (Dance '13) : Geoffrey Kershner (BFA Acting '00)
Kennedy Dickerson (Photography '14) & Michael G Malloy (Photography '12) : Nancy Eichenbaum (BFA Photography '87)
Megan Beck (Illustration '13) & Lydia Guadagnoli (Illustration '14) : Veronica Cianfrano (MFA Painting '11)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hello Everyone! I'm Ryan Berardi

Hello everyone!

       My name is Ryan Berardi and I am currently a Sculpture Major at The University of the Arts about to enter my Junior year in this upcoming Fall semester. This summer I am interning with local artist and sculptor Anthony Visco. He specializes in sacred art and devotional art. His main focus currently is a commission for a Pennsylvania Church in which he will be producing a life-size bronze sculpture of Mother Theresa.

    I met with Anothony for our first official day this past Tuesday. When I entered the studio he was in the middle of unwrapping the Mother Theresa clay sculpture. I helped him unwrap the figure, while he explained to me the importance of keeping the clay at a certain stage of moisture in order to ensure than the ideal clay modeling could be performed. He then taught me how to properly spray the figure with a spray bottle full of water in order to allow the clay to absorb the water and not let it get too dried out. He also explained another very important factor of keeping the clay wet is so that we can  stick shim walls into it during the future mold making process.

       The rest of my day consisted of Anthony teaching me clay modeling skills on another sculpture in his studio. The sculpture is being done in oil-based clay, different from the Mother Theresa figure that's being done in water-based clay. With oil based clay you do not need to worry about keeping it wet or wrapping it, as it will always stay wet and pliable. The sculpture is a figure standing on top of organically shaped rocks that are cloud-like. Starting from the figure down to the base, the rocks become more and more geometric and have harsher edges. When I first approached the sculpture, the rocks were all bumpy and had holes exposing the styrofoam base. Anthony told me to focus on the rocks and smooth them out, while filling in the holes. What you think would be an easy task, becomes very daunting when you begin to work on it. My job was to rough out all of the bumps, while trying to make every rock unique and different from one another, without making a "pattern" in the sculpture, but still making everything work cohesively. Anthony explained to me to work with the natural light in the room, to focus on the lights and darks, and to create varying light throughout the space in order to create more depth and make it more dynamic.

    I met with Anthony again on Wednesday, where he had me working directly on the Mother Theresa sculpture. The sculpture is Mother Theresa, a standing elderly woman figure, with her arms flexed at the mid point of her body, all dressed in drapery. Anthony had me focusing on the drapery of the sculpture. He taught me how to use a rake tool to both smooth out the bumps and holes in places I was working, and also create a lined pattern on the drapery. He explained that the lines are both a by-product and a function for the final sculpture. The lines in the sculpture are intended to catch more light and to create more variation of light in the darks of the sculpture. By doing so, you create more light variation throughout it.

    In the afternoon, Anthony took me to the National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia, a few blocks up on S. Broad Street. There, he showed me the Shrine of St. Rita, which consisted all of his work. In the center of the Shrine was a  bronze sculpture of St. Rita. Around her in the corners of the chapel were sculptures of the three patron saints John the Baptist, Nicolas of Tolentine and Augustine. The shrine also had two large murals, and plaster relief sculptures. All of the works were absolutely amazing and beautiful to see. They were the perfect context for the Mother Theresa sculpture I had been working on, since it was also going to become a bronze sculpture just the St. Rita.

    On Friday I met with Anthony at his studio where we continued to work on the Mother Theresa sculpture. The day consisted of some final modeling work on the sculpture, in order to prepare for the mold making process, the next step. Anthony taught me how to properly mix plaster in order to ensure the ratio of water:plaster is correct. We created a wall out of plastic around the base of the sculpture and filled it with plaster.

    The next time I post will be after the mold-making of the Mother Theresa sculpture, which I am very excited to learn about. I will also have pictures of the stuff that I have been working on too, instead of just describing everything.

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