Thanks and next steps from Across the Table!

Thanks and next steps from Across the Table!

Many, many thanks to each and every person who shared their work on the Across the Table, Across the Land webapp!

We are in Portland right now, working through the submissions and developing the exhibition component of the project. The range of projects and stories are fantastic, and it is truly a pleasure working through the submissions.

All submissions we received are posted in the webapp, visit here to see the projects and the k12 Challenge entries. We are cross-checking with emails to be sure that all submissions are visible:

http://app.ncecaacrossthetable.com/menu/

If you shared work and cannot locate it after the weekend, send Michael and Namita an email at ncecaacrossthetable@gmail.com

Extra special thanks to Jill Foote-Hutton for rounding folks up behind-the-scenes, and to Ayumi Horie for spreading the word through guest hosting opportunities!

What happens now?

 

KEEP SHARING YOUR PROJECTS!

 

The deadline for the exhibition has passed – but the webapp and instagram are ready and waiting for any and all of your projects between now and the 50th NCECA Conference in Kansas City!

So keep sharing with us, posting, tagging, etc. so that together we can keep building an amazing archive of what YOU bring to the tables!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the exciting behind-the-scenes time, where the submissions are examined, discussed, grouped, categorized, shuffled, examined, repeat. By the end of the weekend, we will know which works will be included in the exhibition, and will be making the announcement via the NCECA blog and individual emails by January 15, 2016.

It pretty much looks like this: both of us with computers open, notes scribbling on paper, to be followed with a lot of post-its and sorting, then reviewing the layout of Charlotte Street Foundation, etc. And the dog joining in when she can find a vacant lap.

Watch the instagram @acrossthetable2015 for more posts as we continue to put the exhibition together.

Across the Table with Pots in Action!

Across the Table with Pots in Action!

Across the Table is hosting Pots in Action again this week! For this challenge, Michael and Namita are interested in who is across the table as much as what is on your table!

Special thanks to Ayumi Horie for the invitation – and support for NCECA’s 50th Anniversary project, Across the Table, Across the Land!

For this holiday week – from Monday, December 21 through end of Saturday, December 26 — we’d love for you to share in this Pots in Action challenge! For a pot to be in action someone must interact with it. Who is across the table from you? We are curious about what happens at a table. Coffee with a mentor? A child devouring raspberries from the garden? Two people sharing a joke? What stories connect people and pots across the table?

 

Jeni Hansen Gard Community Table

This image show a project created during a residency at Red Lodge Clay Center in Montana by Jeni Hansen Gard and Hannah Newmann. “Through a set of traveling dishes, they connected people at small, intimate dinners and large public meals. Dishes activated conversations between people in the community – using ceramics to transform strangers into new friends.” For this project, selected pots and IG photos from this week may be selected for Across the Table, Across the Land, an exhibition curated by Michael Strand and Namita Wiggers, to be on view at Charlotte Street Foundation (La Esquina). To learn more and to participate, visit www.ncecaacrossthetable.com. While you can contribute images to #PIAacrossthetable all week – the project deadline for the NCECA-sponsored Across the Table, Across the Land exhibition is January 4, 2016.

 

What is Pots in Action?
Pots in Action one of many projects included in the Across the Table, Across the Land archive, is an evolution of Ayumi Horie’s origins Pots in Action that she began in 2005. She explains on her website that “Pots in Action is a crowd sourcing project that collects and features the best photographs of handmade pottery in use by potters and ceramic appreciators all over the world. Some are candid, others are posed; what they have in common is taking the pot off the shelf and putting it to work in the kitchen, out of the kitchen, wherever pots can be found.”

What is Across the Table, Across the Land?
Across the Table, Across the Land, a project of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), is designed to be a snapshot of what is happening today at the intersection of food, clay and community.

Visit our APP for more detailed information about this project.
Here’s a link to download the webapp!
As part of the Across the Table, Across the Land project we have a special opportunity for k-12 educators and students to share.
Learn how to get you and your school involved here!

How to participate:
For this week (through December 26), tag your Instagram images with:

#potsinaction #PIAacrossthetable #PIAguesthostsnamitaandmichael #nceca2015 #acrossthetable #acrossthetable2015 @acrossthetable2015

 

Not on Instagram? It’s easy to join! Try it!

Find more info about Pots in Action online and on Facebook!

Bonus!

Selected pots may be exhibited in Kansas City along with the instagram photo in the exhibition Across the Table,

Across the Land, in celebration of NCECA’s 50th Anniversary

Submit projects or participate in the k12 challenge via the app or submit via instagram by using the #’s above and tagging @acrossthetable2015 and @nceca

Sharing a meal, 3500 miles apart: Adam Chau

Sharing a meal, 3500 miles apart: Adam Chau

As we gather around tables across the country, our conversations with friends, family and loved ones are established around food-fueled fellowship. These conversations take place in many formats – potlucks, private dinners, big community events and quiet evenings together. Ceramic artists across the land make objects that serve as an accompaniment to these lively conversations, bringing another layer to rich traditions.

But what do you do when your loved one lives over 3,500 miles away?

Adam Chau

 

For the Across the Table, Across the Land exhibition at the NCECA 50th Anniversary conference, Adam Chau, who serves as Program Manager at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester New York, has proposed a special project where he will share a meal with his husband who lives in Amsterdam via Skype. For these special “public” private dinners, Adam will design and create an environment that will connect the two visually and conceptually.   These meals will take place as a performance series at the Across the Table, Across the Land exhibition during the NCECA conference.

 

 

 

He states:

“I’m interested in the minute interactions that we have with digital communication – whether it be with ceramics or relationships – and trying to discover how conscious we are in how the landscape is changing. I want to show the mundanity of how these ‘new’ systems have already integrated with our lives. That being said there is so much to offer with the digital.

 What I will exhibit are pairs of plates that are ‘bound together’ with a single brushstroke from a CNC machine and handmade paintbrush; a symbol of unity with a partner.

 

Adam Chau

 

No two marks are the same due to the handmade nature of the brushes, however there is a feeling of repetition and production because of the digital process; which is my nod to a globalized post-industrial/internet society.

 I will then be sharing a meal at various times during the conference week with my husband via Skype, who is located in Amsterdam. I invite you to see what my last three years of sharing a meal with a loved one have looked like – handcrafted plates and an iPhone.”

 

Adam Chau

 

This concept occupies a space that represents the reality for many of us – in an ever complex world, the ability to be “close” from a distance is no longer a novelty, but a reality.

We look forward to seeing this within the context of an exhibition focused on the intersection of Clay, Food and Community –

 

CALL TO ACTION, PROJECTS TO TAKE PLACE DURING THE NCECA CONFERENCE

We invite you to submit project ideas that will take place DURING the NCECA conference, as a series of “Clay-n-Food Happenings”. These will take place during the Across the Table, Across the Land exhibition at Charlotte Street Foundation Gallery.

If you have an idea, or questions about a proposal for this special call out for participation – drop Michael Strand and/or Namita Wiggers an email at ncecaacrossthetable@gmail.com

 

What are you bringing to the tables?

 

Click here for more information about Across the Table, Across the Land.

Have a project to submit? Go here!

Want to get your K-12 school and students involved? Download the student/parent permission form and Potluck: A Portrait of School Communities through Clay and Food to help guide your lesson plans and teaching here!

 

Follow us on Instagram @acrossthetable2015

 

Tag your social media posts!!

acrossthetable2015 #acrossthetable #nceca2015 #nceca

 

Questions? Email Michael and Namita at ncecaacrossthetable@gmail.com

Selected works may be exhibited in Kansas City along with the Instagram photo in the exhibition Across the Table, Across the Land in celebration of NCECA’s 50th Anniversary. If selected, we will connect with you via the info you entered on the webapp or Instagram account.

Once the exhibition is over, objects are returned to the artists and the lights are turned off – but your project lives on. It will become part of a digital archive, a “time capsule” telling the story of how ceramic artists in 2015-16 are natural and powerful community connectors. A treasure trove of digital information for generations to come.

Across the Table, Across the Land, a project of the National Ceramic Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), is designed to to be a snapshot of what is happening today at the intersection of food, clay and community. From the conceptual to the every day, we are inherently connected to community, and have been for a long… long time!

Tea Performances featured by NCECA’s Across the Table, Across the Land

Tea Performances featured by NCECA’s Across the Table, Across the Land

Some of the projects submitted to Across the Table, Across the Land involve performance, multiple sites, or employ complex layers of action and meaning. Amber Ginsburg and Aaron Hughes’ ongoing Tea project is a good example of how ceramics brings people together to share time, food, and challenging conversations.

Special thanks to Amber and Aaron for writing and contributing this blog post; photos courtesy of the artists.

 

Where is the project taking place?

Tea Project Factory pourTea performances are currently at the Imaginists (check for dates and times) in Santa Rosa, California, on view in Art & Other Tactics at the Craft Folk and Art Museum Los Angeles (May 24, 2015 – September 4, 2015) and Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco (September 26, 2015 – March 27, 2016). Future Tea performances are scheduled for Links Hall in Chicago the weekends of April 1, 8, and 15, 2015.

 

 

What ceramics objects are a part of this project?

Tea Project Cup DetailCast porcelain teacups act as props in performances, as vessels of information, as stories and as an archive of extralegal detention.

More specifically, the Tea project hosts 779 cast porcelain styrofoam cups each detailed with the name and citizenship of one of the 779 men that have been or still are detained at Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp. Each cup is inscribed with a flower design based on a native flower or the national flower from the detainee’s country of citizenship. The number of flowers in each design is based on the number of men detained from that specific country. For example, there have been a total of 220 Afghan men detained since 2001. Of the 779 cups there are 220 with the name of an Afghan citizen and each of those cups is decorated with 220 tulips, the national flower of Afghanistan. For Iraq, there are nine cups each with nine roses, the national flower, one for the nine Iraqi men who have been detained at Guantanamo.

Aaron Hughes and I wanted to make teacups that where a part of a larger story that documented our failed US foreign policy of extralegal detention and that you could fall in love with, just like Chris Arendt who fell in love with styrofoam cups he had to collect from the detainees in Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp. But before I talk to you about Chris’s story, let me tell you a bit more about the Tea project.

Tea Project Performance detail Tea is an ongoing project initiated by Aaron in 2009. He began hosting Tea performances as a way to encourage guests to discuss difficult subjects of war, detention, and racism and share stories from his experiences in the military and as an Iraq War veteran. During these performances tea is prepared and shared in the Iraqi tradition and stories from veterans, detainees, refugees, and civilians are woven together through narrative anecdotes, questions, and objects. One of the central stories comes from Aaron’s friend and fellow veteran Chris Arendt, who I mentioned earlier. Chis served in the Michigan Army National Guard and was deployed to Guantanamo Bay as a Prison Guard in 2002. Chris said the following about his experience in an interview with Lily Perce for Esquire Magazine,

One thing I miss is the cups. The detainees were only allowed to have Styrofoam cups, and they would write and draw all over them. I’m not totally familiar with Muslim culture, but I did learn that they don’t draw the human form, and I’m not positive if they draw any creatures, but they draw a lot of flowers. They would cover the things with flowers. Then we would have to take them. It was a ridiculous process. We would take the cups — as if they were writing some kind of secret message that they were somehow going to throw into the ocean, that would get back to somebody — and send them to our military intelligence. They would just look at these things and then throw them away. I used to love those little cups. (Perce, Lily. “What It Feels Like…to Be a Prison Guard at Guantánamo Bay.” Esquire Magazine, July 30, 2008.)

In 2013, I started collaborating on the project when Aaron approached me to help make porcelain cast Styrofoams cups inspired by Chris’s account and others’ stories of the detained men drawing on Styrofoam cups with flowers. Aaron and I decided to work on creating 779 porcelain cast Styrofoam cups, one for each individual detained.

Tea Project Lawrence TeaIn October 2014, with the generous support of a Project-based Residency at the Lawrence Arts Center, we opened a porcelain cup factory in Lawrence, Kansas. For the next six weeks, with community members, we cast cup after cup … and cast cup after cup …. and cast cup after cup. Each cup presented us and newcomers to the factory with a steep learning curve. Porcelain is an unforgiving material. There were many times a cup would end up in the reclaim bucket after it was squeezed too hard, watered too much, or otherwise permeated with a mark of the hand outside the parameters of acceptable craft practice. It is rare community art and production standards (or our somewhat moving target of production standards) come together. Initially, with the rigorous standards and detail oriented work I thought no one would come back. But, people actually did come back and found their place in the system, some as glazers, others as cup finishers, and others as timers and pourers during casting.

 

What roles do ceramics play in this project?

It was important that these cups be porcelain. Porcelain comes from what has been historically called the East. The majority of the men detained in Guantanamo are from the Middle East and Asia.

The material translation to porcelain speaks to care and value. While Styrofoam is archival (it never degrades) is does not hold the archival value of clay and the cultural value of porcelain. Clay is the most culturally enduring archival material we have but it also places this collection of cups in the hands of the audience as well as Aaron and my care. Each cup is fragile. And the group of cups forms a complex painful chapter of American history that needs attention and care.

 

Who are the participants?

Tea Project Performance SipThis is a complicated question. This project has many lives. In a gallery, the cups accompanied by text and collages travel and the audience is anyone who sees the work. As a performance, the audience is a group of up to 25 people who are invited to Tea. We host tea, a conversation and an experience. It is intimate and it begins with stories from our lives and invites the audience to tell stories about their lives. Aaron has been developing Tea performances since 2009 and has performed them in Japan, Lebanon and all over the United States. He is a stunning facilitator and makes room for a dialog fundamentally missing from our collective conversation about our 12 year experience in the “Global War on Terror.” He also connects his experiences as a veteran with civilians. So rare. I am developing my own tea voice, based on my experiences as a mother raising children who only know life under the rhetoric of the “Global War on Terror”, my experiences traveling as a small child in the Middle East and through poems on war. Performances conclude with a shared cup of tea. Perhaps the best audience would be the detainees themselves or communities in each of the 49 countries of citizenship of the detainees.

 

Tea Shop

 

 

We are currently working on finding art and community spaces that might host Tea in each of the 49 countries so we might collaborate with families of detainees, art spaces, share tea and stories and leave the cups as gifts.

 

 

 

 

 

What are you bringing to the tables?

Click here for more information about Across the Table, Across the Land.

Have a story to share? Go here!

Want to get your K-12 school and students involved? Download the student/parent permission form.

Potluck: A Portrait of School Communities through Clay and Food to help guide your lesson plans and teaching here!

 

Follow us on instragram @acrossthetable2015

 

Take the Potluck Challenge and contribute on instagram or the webapp!

Tag your social media posts!!

acrossthetable2015 #acrossthetable #nceca2015 #nceca #potluck

 

Questions? Email Michael and Namita at ncecaacrossthetable@gmail.com

Selected works may be exhibited in Kansas City along with the instagram photo in the exhibition Across the Table, Across the Land in celebration of NCECA’s 50th Anniversary. If selected, we will connect with you via the info you entered on the webapp or instagram account.

Once the exhibition is over, objects are returned to the artists and the lights are turned off – but your project lives on.

It will become part of a digital archive, a “time capsule” telling the story of how ceramic artists in 2015-16 are natural and powerful community connectors. A treasure trove of digital information for generations to come.

Across the Table, Across the Land, a project of the National Ceramic Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), is designed to to be a snapshot of what is happening today at the intersection of food, clay and community.

From the conceptual to the every day, we are inherently connected to community, and have been for a long, long time!

CLAY’S NOURISHMENT: HANDBUILDING INTERDEPENDENT COMMUNITIES – Lauren Sandler’s submission to Across the Table, Across the Land

CLAY’S NOURISHMENT: HANDBUILDING INTERDEPENDENT COMMUNITIES – Lauren Sandler’s submission to Across the Table, Across the Land

Many projects are flowing into Across the Table, Across the Land and we are excited to share some of these over the next two months leading up to the final deadline of January 4th.

This recent submission by Lauren Sandler speaks to the potential of bringing together students working in clay with organizations who serve the unique needs of communities. Lauren is thinking expansively about the potential of clay, food and community connection.

Potluck something copy

 

Lauren Sandler writes:

 

“In this project we work with the beauty from overlooked communities using clay as a bridge for nourishment and connection. I collaborate with college students as well as multiple organizations, serving people with developmental disabilities, mental illness, chemical dependency, and a local human-powered organic sustainable farm. We hope to dismantle the binary opposition between inside and outside and expose cultural and contextual power ascribed to those with greater means. Activities include harvesting clay at the farm, using food as molds to shape the clay, creating vessels for edible insects, and sharing a meal eaten from pots made together. These exercises invoke ideas of nourishment, broadly defined, and call for a curiosity and awareness of possibility. In this way we question our fixed narratives of capacity, abled and disabled, and implicate our assumptions of normal, beauty, and worth.”

 

Lauren’s project thoughtfully expresses the potential of our medium to connect to the needs of community – and is her own response to the call for Across the Table, Across the Land.

What are you bringing to the tables?

Click here for more information about Across the Table, Across the Land.

Have a story to share? Go here!

Want to get your K-12 school and students involved? Download the student/parent permission form and Potluck: A Portrait of School Communities through Clay and Food to help guide your lesson plans and teaching here.

 

Follow us on instragram @acrossthetable2015 !

 

Take the Potluck Challenge and contribute on instagram or the webapp!

Tag your social media posts!!

@acrossthetable2015 #acrossthetable #nceca2015 #nceca #potluck

 

Questions? Email Michael and Namita at ncecaacrossthetable@gmail.com

Selected works may be exhibited in Kansas City along with the instagram photo in the exhibition Across the Table, Across the Land in celebration of NCECA’s 50th Anniversary. If selected, we will connect with you via the info you entered on the webapp or instagram account.

Once the exhibition is over, objects are returned to the artists and the lights are turned off – but your project lives on. It will become part of a digital archive, a “time capsule” telling the story of how ceramic artists in 2015-16 are natural and powerful community connectors. A treasure trove of digital information for generations to come.

Across the Table, Across the Land, a project of the National Ceramic Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), is designed to to be a snapshot of what is happening today at the intersection of food, clay and community. From the conceptual to the every day, we are inherently connected to community, and have been for a long.. long time!