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Many Worlds, Many Lives:

Art comes in many forms. Paintings, drawings, poems, plays, music, and sculpture are all works of art.

For ceramics student Thomas Kihneman, his artwork and creativity are currently seen in the ceramic sculptures he creates. What started as an assignment from his Ceramics 3 instructor, Sasha Jonestein, became a piece of art.

His piece, “Many Worlds, Many Lives,” explores the timelessness and fluidity of life and humanity.

“Many Worlds, Many Lives” by Thomas Kihneman.
Photo curtesy of Thomas Kihneman.

Kihneman was inspired by an exploration of different people’s lives and where they come from. He wanted to showcase the world and how people move through time.

“Any one of these five souls here, the businessman, the reporter or businesswoman, the teenage skateboarder, and the mother with child… are interchangeable in the past or the future,” said Kihneman.

According to Kihneman, the businessman could easily have been the teenage skateboarder in his youth and the teenager could grow up to be the businessman, Kihneman. The mother could have been the reporter or businesswoman before she decided to have a child. He emphasized that each character could be the other at some point in time.

He said his vision for the piece came from internalizing readings about life in general, how humanity reached its current state, and the “amazing diversity of everyone around us.”

The Roman-style pillar is on every major capital building, signifying the power of humanity and the many different times and ages humans have lived, according to Kihneman.

“It’s archetypal imaging… Whenever we see it, we instantly know exactly what it is,” said Kihneman.

Like the pillar on which it stands, the globe or plasma ball at the top of the pillar also symbolizes the Earth and humanity’s power.

Kihneman also employed AI to design the generalized models he chose for each of the characters. Kihneman said that he wanted to highlight the basic stages of human life and show that each are connected in some way.

Spring 2023, GOP Frustration: Search & Seizure.
Photo curtesy of Thomas Kihneman.

Kihneman has done several other works, each with its own theme, highlighting a different topic. His art was showcased at the Palomar Art Sale on April 24 – 26, and he also entered into the art competitions at the San Diego County Fair.

Although he is a semi-retired video professional, Kihneman still owns his own advertising company and sells his ceramic artwork through his website, Silver Creek Designs.

Kihneman has been a lifelong artist. He said that being an artist is about “taking your personal expression of who you are and your environment, upbringing and what you believe about the world and… putting it onto the artwork.”

“Everybody has a different aspect of how they appreciate art,” he said, but that helps everyone understand what art means to them.

Corrections: In a previous version of this story the Ceramics 3 instructor Sasha Jonestein as Sasha Reibstein. (May 1, 2023 @ 11:24 a.m.)

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