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Student Artist: A.J. Kissinger

Gina Mullen, Staff Writer

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A.J. is a senior at Downingtown East High School with an intense passion for art.“I’ve been making artwork all my life,” he said. Ceramics, his favorite kind of art to make, is a hobby he has been invested in for a total of eight years.

A.J. makes his own clay from mud in the Chesapeake Bay. He said, “It’s a long process. I dig it out of the the cliff banks. Then, I dry it in my driveway. After it’s dry I crush it up, powderize it, sift it twice, and then I rehydrate it. It takes about eight hours and is enough clay for a regular sized pot.” He said a lot of people think he’s crazy for putting so much time and effort into it, but it’s rewarding when his piece is finished.

A.J. could not place the exact time in his life art became so important to him. “It’s just always been a part of who I am. I’ve been making art since a time I can’t remember,” he said. He uses nature for inspiration in his works. He likes go on a lot of walks through the woods and hiking trips, and just being outside in general. He incorporates his love for nature into his pieces so he can share that part of him with other people.

A.J.’s favorite artist is El Greco. The artist El Greco was also a sculptor and architect who painted many artworks like Visto de Toledo, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz, Portrait of Cardinal Nino de Guevara, and The Purification of the Temple. AJ’s favorite piece from any artist is El Greco’s Visto de Toledo.

A.J. takes so many art classes he has no lunch or study hall in his schedule. The art courses he takes are AP 3D Art, Jewelry and Metalworking, Photography 1, and Ceramics. AJ feels his weaknesses in art are sculpture as well as drawing. He said his strength is form which is used in 3D art and especially in ceramics. Also, he has sold many of his pieces. He sold one piece for fifty dollars. AJ does not plan to pursue a career involving art; however, he does plan to continue making art.

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Student Artist: A.J. Kissinger