AMOCA honors high school students

The American Museum of Ceramic Art recently celebrated high school students from around the country who participated in its 2024 Annual High School Ceramics Exhibition. In total, the juried showcase featured work from 101 students from 54 high schools across 17 states.

Three student works were voted “best in show” and winners received a cash award and a one-year membership to AMOCA during a virtual awards ceremony in May.

“Crocmool” by El Toro High School’s Ollie Macpherson was voted best in show in the ninth to tenth grade category. Honorable mentions in the combined category went to “Broom” by Annie Zhao of Idyllwild Arts Academy, RJ Reynolds High School’s Wyatt Stebbins’ work, “Movement in the Clay,” and “Let’s Graze Charcuterie” by Zyanna Valencia of Vista Murrieta High School.

Liberty High School’s Jesse Gibson’s work, “6 months, 3 months, 18 months: 27 months lost,” was the 11th grade best in show. Honorable mentions went to fellow juniors Kaliyah Chronister of Liberty High School for “Blooming Bunny,” “Plenty of Fish in the Sea” by Seabreeze High School’s Madison Heard, and Cyan Lee from Carlmont High School for the piece, “Shattered Suspension.”

The best in show for the 12th grade section went to “Crystalline Serpent” by Ramona High School’s Luxi Bassoco. Honorable mentions went to “Murphy’s Monster” by McKinleyville High School’s Miriam Wheeler, Liberty High School’s Nia Zenger’s “Surrender,” and “Shelf Samurai” by Brandon Bodmer of Maple Mountain High.

A special senior honorable mention went to the late Reid Gorecki of San Gabriel Valley’s California School of the Arts for his work, “Carrying the Crew.” The piece was submitted by his mother, Alicia Gorecki. Reid Gorecki died on May 11, 2023, just three weeks shy of graduating high school.

Artworks are viewable at, click “exhibitions” on the home page, “current exhibitions” on the next page, and the appropriate exhibit.


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