“Today, more than 50 years removed from these early beginnings of studio ceramics, artists are reconsidering these origins and choosing to assert and affirm their voices as part of a wider discourse. Many approach ceramics history with a longer view, one that encompasses the material history of adobe, the practices of indigenous ancestors, or the economic and political implications of the ceramics trade from centuries before American Studio Craft’s post-war moment. Others question the gender implications of this era of ceramic art’s founding myths.

Throughout, bricks play a prominent role. And not without reason — they have a long precedence in the field, playing a critical role in establishing many of the programs that feed the field of studio ceramics. The Ohio State University and the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University both founded programs at the turn of the 20th century that included specializations in ceramic engineering and the material science of clay alongside ceramic art making. Much of the early coursework centered on brick making. That so many of the artists in The Burdens of History use bricks is fitting: they are building a new future for contemporary ceramics, by resetting the foundation brick by brick.” – Anna Walker, Curator


Here is the direct link to the Exhibition Images


Anna Walker, curator of the 2020 NCECA Annual, is Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts, Craft, and Design at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) where she is responsible for exhibition, research and publication, the proposal of acquisitions, and development of long-term collections strategy. She has lectured widely and contributed essays for Metalsmith Magazine, American Craft Inquiry, and the 2016 Renwick Invitational: Visions and Revisions catalogue. Recent projects at the MFAH include In the Studio: Craft in Postwar America, 1950-1970, In Conversation: 18th Century Influences on Contemporary Craft, and Materials and Meaning in Dutch Jewelry from the Museum’s Collection.


The exhibitions were to be held at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond and the Glave Kocen Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. Due to health concerns with the coronavirus, the exhibitions were open for only a brief time. NCECA will continue to post images of the artwork and excerpts from the Burdens of History exhibition and curators statement on the NCECA blog, facebook and Instagram pages.