The work of Shoreline Community College art student, Janice Bellotti-Pace took first place in the third annual juried Sensory Art Contest sponsored by the Lighthouse for the Blind last month.
Art submitted in the contest could be in the form of sculpture, quilts, pottery, jewelry, and other tactile arts and had to be sensory in nature so that both seeing and sight-impaired viewers could experience the art.
The piece that won Bellotti-Pace first place in the competition and $250 was a woven basket containing crocheted and woven vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, corn, eggplant and more. She used an array of materials, weaving techniques and color applications to form the basket, considering the tactile experience that all materials would provide.
“It looks like a typical Navajo basket,” Bellotti-Pace says, explaining that the center of the basket was made from twisted paper and that yarn wound around the outside makes it sturdy. Steel blue gray, creams and brown are the dominant colors.
The professional chef by trade was inspired by her work in the culinary field. The basket was made for a weaving project for a fabric design class Bellotti-Pace was taking at the college. “The project was to learn how to weave and create a soft sculpture,” the art student says. The vegetables were made for a soft sculpture project.
Bellotti-Pace says that what she learned in Ward’s class, Design and Materials: Textiles, was the perfect match for her submission for the LFB competition. Students explore textiles as a medium for creative problem-solving and expression.
“The pieces had to feel dimensional,” Bellotti-Pace says who created the vegetables with materials that provided a similar touch to the real deal. “For example,” she says, “I used a silky material to represent corn silk.”
Art instructor Laura Ward was impressed with the piece and encouraged her student to enter her work into the LFB competition.
Ward says that her student shows great potential in her work. “Janice excels as a student and brings creativity, inspiration, enthusiasm and previous skill to the class,” Ward says of Bellotti-Pace. “She approaches each project with careful thought, planned drawings and material test pieces she chooses to create her designs from based on research and trial and error.”
Bellotti’s basket and other winning artwork were on display at an art show held in conjunction with the Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Institute Conference at the Seattle Renaissance Hotel March 11-12, 2011. Works will be donated and sold at the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation’s annual Redefining Vision Auction on May 21, 2011.
Bellotti-Pace plans to complete a transfer degree. She takes classes on a part-time basis at Shoreline Community College and is an active member of the college’s Art Club. She graduated from Shoreline with honors and a Business Technology degree in August 2009.