NCECA Events For Students

NCECA Events For Students

With the 2018 NCECA conference in Pittsburgh just around the corner, we want to let you know about some of the awesome student-centered opportunities that are available at the conference this year:

Student Critique Room

Thursday March 15, & Friday March 16, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm in room 310 of the Pittsburgh Convention Center.

The Critique Room is an opportunity for students to receive direct feedback about their work from a professional in the field.  Students may sign up for one 30-minute slot, and must come prepared with a USB stick with their images. Computer terminals will be available, but there is no WIFI! We will also have drop-in slots, which will be available on a first come, first served basis.

The online sign-up is now open and can be found here. – spots are filling fast, so don’t miss your chance!

Presentation: NCECA Opportunities for Students
Wednesday March 14, 1:00 – 1:30 pm, Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom A

NCECA has many opportunities specifically designed for undergraduate, graduate and post-bac students. This short presentation will review ways for students to participate in NCECA, receive critiques, funding, and much, much more. Find out how to make the most of your NCECA Student Membership, and mark your calendars for upcoming deadlines.  A must-see presentation for all students!

National Student Juried Exhibition – Opening Reception

Join us in celebrating the exceptional talent of our student members at the 2018 National Student Juried Exhibition, juried by Sam Harvey and Martina Lantin.

Reception: Thursday March 15, from 6-9 pm

Location: Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, 6300 Fifth Ave

Presentation: Putting Together a Winning Proposal
Thursday March 15, 11:30 am – 12:00 pm, Room 304-305

This presentation is designed to give you an understanding for how to put together a successful proposal. The focus will be on NCECA’s application for general and student programing but the information is applicable to submitting various types of grants, and exhibition proposals. We will cover the in’s and the outs, the do’s and the don’ts, the good bad, and the ugly. A short question and answer period following the presentation will allow the audience to ask specific questions.

We look forward to seeing you all in Pittsburgh!


Naomi Clement & Brandon Schnur

NCECA Student Directors at Large

Your Curated Conference: focus on currents of clay and culture

Your Curated Conference: focus on currents of clay and culture

This year the theme for NCECA’s Pittsburgh conference is CrossCurrents: Clay and Culture. The ideas imbue robust program content with tremendous range of ceramic expression. Attention to cultural context amplifies voices and issues of representation, power, identity, social justice, and equity.

Clay permeates our lives. Clay remembers, tells stories, and shifts through histories and geographies. Its ubiquity evokes the social and political, domestic space and public place, the private and shared. We illuminate intent and content, power and mythologies, aesthetics and functions. Clay and culture communicates and educates, celebrates the mundane and the sacred, transcends borders and engenders agency and interdependence in our communities. This breadth and depth is most apparent when we see the hands that have worked it, hear the voices, and understand the abundance of narratives. Clay and culture manifests multiple systems of knowledge, articulates hidden objects, and amplifies the expansiveness of ceramics, thriving ecologies of arts, ideas, and actions.

Here is a very non-comprehensive set of highlights from the NCECA program of talks, exhibitions, presentations, and demonstrations that address issues of clay and culture. Please contribute more to the growing list that pertain to these germane subjects.




Under-resourced students bring different cultural expectations and behaviors to the studio. How can we design projects and approaches that value students’ diverse cultural backgrounds? How can we develop clay studio classrooms that are vital to each student’s educational experience and development?


Join the discussion of creating a community for ceramic artists of color. What kind of organizations are you looking for? What groups would you want to be a part of? What can we do for each other? We should grow together and our voices and suggestions all matter, help make these ideas a reality.

Group Leader Sharbani Das Gupta

The cooption of cultural symbols is a hot button topic in today’s culture wars. An artist’s work often crosses cultural boundaries, leading at times to unintended transgressions. How does the responsible artist, in a world of instant communication, negotiate the edge between inspiration and abuse?


RANDALL SESSION by Vanessa German
German has pioneered a performance style called “Spoken Word Opera,” which brings all of the drama and theatricality of traditional opera to intimate performances and contemporary themes through a dynamic hybrid of spoken word poetry, hip hop, storytelling, music and movement.



BLINC 20:20

Grappling with Politics in Art” by Rachel Dorn
“Peruvian Process and My Multicultural Identity” by Liz Luna-Gagnon


Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom B DEMONSTRATING ARTISTS Cristina Cordova



Polish contemporary ceramics includes artists from different generations and the Ceramics Department of the Eugenisz Geppert Academy of Arts & Design in Wroclaw, which has been the most important ceramic center in Poland for last 70 years.



Creole Clay is the story of traditional potters working today in Saint Lucia, Nevis, Antigua, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Guyana, and the diverse global influences that have shaped their work. Closing comments emphasize the importance of publications by potters in support of heritage ceramics.


CO-LECTURE: SEEKING ETHICAL CRAFT By Deighton Abrams and Owen Marc Laurion 

Ceramics artists are faced with a dilemma – produce ethically or produce efficiently. Is there a way to participate in the arts without sacrificing one’s financial and social stability nor sacrificing one’s responsibilities to our shared human-ecology and how do we approach material use ethically?


Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom A
Moderator: David Mack
Panelists: Blaise DePaolo, David MacDonald, Jim McDowell, April Hyes

Listen to a distinguished body of educators, potters, and a research genealogist who will present compelling discussions on “Cross Current” issues of Inclusion: Race, Culture, and the roles of historically black colleges and universities with clay and creation.



This presentation intends to contribute to and update existing insights in theoretical and practical knowledge about contemporary South African ceramics by paying attention to local African vernacular tradition, and iconographic features as signifiers of ongoing changing society.


Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom A

offers a glimpse into the story of the extraordinary potter known as Dave Drake, a slave from the Edgefield District of South Carolina. Today, Edgefield is known as the home of ten of South Carolina’s historic governors, but during Dave Drake’s lifetime, the economy had been dependent on an agriculture of slavery. With the discovery of “superior clay” in 1809 by Dr. Abner Landrum, Edgefield would also be known for the reproduction of stoneware pottery. “Discovering Dave: Spirit Captured in Clay” introduces the viewer to this enigmatic figure in American ceramics, discusses examples of his verses, and puts his life into the context of the time. Dave not only learned to read and write, but also left us his words, inscribed on a few of the alkaline-glazed stoneware vessels that he produced for the ages- Buddy Wingard, director.


Panelists: Sharif Bey, Lauren Karle, Milo Berezin

Ceramic art has the power to bring people together, transform lives, and create positive social change. Panelists will share ceramic projects designed to foster conversation and empower the community to take action. These projects have taken place throughout the country, in a variety of venues.


Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom B DEMONSTRATING ARTISTS Kevin Snipes 


Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom A
Moderaator: Courtney Leonard
Panelists: Habiba El-Sayed, Mac McCusker, Raven Halfmoon

The Art of Otherness features the experiences of ceramic artists who face challenges of belonging to a marginalized culture through ethnicity, religion and gender identity. This panel seeks to challenge diversity, and offer real solutions in tackling cultural invisibility in the ceramic community.


Panelists: Ron Geibel, Kathy King, Marval A. Rex, Maya Vivas

Four LGBT artists will discuss aspects of catharsis, vulnerability, empowerment, community building, and activism in their practices. Each makes choices about the legibility of their queer experience in overt and coded ways in their work.

CO-LECTURE: MATERIALS IN ACTION- COLLECTIVE MATTER- Collective Matter are Eva Masterman, Katie Spragg, Mary O’Malley 

UK based arts group Collective Matter will present their most recent social outreach project, Material Action, with Tate Exchange. They will question how alternative learning methods can progress the ceramic field and how this work can be used as a vehicle for social change and cross disciplinary practice.


Moderator: Emily Schroeder Willis
Panelists: Sara Morales-Morgan, Jamie Bates Slone, Ashleigh Christelis

Being a working artist is difficult enough without facing the social and personal obstacles of a mental or physical illness. This panel aims to end the stigma and silence and start a conversation about mental and physical health with the artistic community, out of the shadows of invisibility.



Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom A
A conversation with Jon Prown, Namita Gupta Wiggers, Janet McCall, Jesse Albrecht

In assessing understandings of craft in the broader culture within the arts and across disciplines in the 21st century, there is evidence that critical voices and perspectives on the role and practice of craft have been too narrowly shared and represented. How can makers, scholars, and arts leaders re-orientate their work and institutions to engage audiences with meaningful experiences that reveal more about where we come from, where we are going, and the stories that craft carries?



“Living with Conflicting Cultures” by Sally Lee
“Rituals of the ‘In-Betweens’: Translating the Flux of Identity through Ceramic Installation” by Varuni Kanagasundaram



This lecture will seek to demystify some of the kinds of puzzling behaviors we often encounter in our clay classrooms and busy studios, and address the “least you should know and do” about autism spectrum and ADHD behaviors.


Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom C


Coordinated by Richard Wukich and B Stephen Carpenter, II
A series of talks and presentations by artists and activists from around the world on the production, distribution, and research of point of use ceramic water filters and water receptacles in response to the global water crisis. The session includes concurrent water filter demonstrations, posters, and information.



A call to art action, this talk identifies practical entry points for those ready to be more socially active and hands-on with clay in their communities, using examples of cross-cultural community-focused projects by British artists Clare Twomey, Stephen Dixon, and Sharon Virtue.


Panelists: Jasmine Baetz, Paul Briggs, Sheila Pepe

Human imagination was first recorded in prehistoric caves with clay. We touched it; we created. Clay has since been institutionalized and marginalized. We are challenging artists, teachers, curators to think beyond traditional perspectives and barriers to open up to new values, language, and audiences.



A personal narrative of how we can improve and diversify the ceramics community by providing open representation and discussion of queer identities, artists, and ceramics.


Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom A


Bill Strickland intro by Joshua Green

Outstanding Achievement
Sana Musasama intro by Judith Schwartz



International Ceramics Exhibitions promoted by the Ad Academy of Art in Tehran encourages artists around the globe through conceptual freedom and interest in works that address issues at the level of the individual and society as a whole.

Hall C

What is our role as ceramic artists in the world at large? How can we be effective in generating social and political change? The recently termed “craftivism movement” is a rapidly rising direction in our field as we face existential threats to human civilization on our only planet. It is time to reconsider the ceramic artist’s many roles– and that of all artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers, etc.–  in changing our world, through sheer creativity, occasional social/political commentary, various social outreach programs, and myriad other ways. We are more than artists; we are human beings who need to restore sanity to our planet through our daily lives and actions. The works of artists — whether functional pottery, figurative sculpture, abstract and/or conceptual work, in ceramics and all other media — have always illuminated the potential of our species’ creative spirit. After five decades of infusing my art with political narratives, I have come to the following conclusion: for those who choose the overt role of artist as social critic, it is the aesthetic and conceptual strength of the art which can carry profound messages. The message alone will not carry the art.



Convention Center
David L. Lawrence Convention Center
1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA,

Room 307 

Garden (Feast) of Paradise, An exhibition of ceramic tableware and objects for the table inspired by the worlds of Islam and the Middle East. Anat Shiftan, Sanam Emami, Dominique Ellis, Julia Galloway, Ibrahim Said, and Sarah Heitmeyer. Organized by Sanam Emami and Anat Shiftan.

Concourse B/C 

Syncope, An installation that creates an interactive experience where one can reflect upon the role of trade unions in relation to modern sensibilities of craft, learning, and working. Andy Rahe

Parked outside Convention Center (outside east lobby). 

POTS ON WHEELS: Peculiar Connections, Intriguing Objects, The show explores culture and community, pairing unusual functional forms by established makers with ceramic work made by young people reflecting upon culture and purpose. Mara Superior, Martina Lantin, Matt Towers, Liz Quackenbush, Didem Mert, Kevin Snipes, Ahrong Kim, Mary Barringer and others. Curated by Hannah Niswonger and Adero Willard. Mar 14-16

BNY Mellon Center, Contemporary Craft Satellite Gallery
500 Grant St, Pittsburgh, PA, 412-261-7003,, Hours during conference week: Mon-Sun 6am-12am

Storyteller, Albuquerque based artist Jami Porter Lara uses a 2000-year-old process to make objects that resemble a ubiquitous icon of modern life—the plastic bottle. Curated by Natalie Sweet. Feb 16-May 6

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust-707 Gallery 707 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 412-325-7017,, Hours during conference week: Wed 11am-6pm, Thu 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 11am-5pm. Reception: Thu, Mar 15, 6-9pm

LAS (Latin American Status), A collection of Latin American artists encompassing the Caribbean, Central, and South America have come together to share their stories of immigration, culture, and inclusion. Natalia Arbelaez, April Felipe, Salvador Jiménez-Flores, Morel Doucet, Christina Erives, and Renata Cassiano. Organized by Natalia Arbelaez. Mar 14- Apr 15.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust-Education Center 805-807 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 412-456-1076,, Hours during conference week: Tue-Wed 10am-6pm, Thu 10am-9pm, Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-12pm. Reception: Thu, Mar 15, 6-9pm

ORIENTED, explores the concept of ceramists who identify with both Western and Eastern cultures; their stories are unique and give a taste of what goes on in contemporary America. Adam Chau, Ayumi Horie, Steven Lee, Jennifer Ling Datchuk, Beth Lo. Organized by Adam Chau. Mar 13-17

Strip District
Contemporary Craft
2100 Smallman St., Pittsburgh, PA, 412-261-7003,, Hours during conference week: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm (Thu 10am-9pm). Reception: Thu, Mar 15, 6-9pm. pastedGraphic.png pastedGraphic_1.png(WS) (WT) (TRS)

NCECA ANNUAL EXHIBITION: Visual Voices: Truth Narratives, Guest curator Winnie Owens-Hart invited artists Syd Carpenter, Roberto Lugo, Sana Musasama, Reginald Pointer, and Janathel Shaw to frame the curatorial concerns of the 2018 NCECA Annual, which features work by 35 ceramic artists. Jesse Albrecht, Crista Ann Ames, Natalia Arbelaez, Sharif Bey, Jill Birschbach, David Bogus, Abigale Brading, Angelique Brickner, Nora Brodnicki, Jim Budde, Syd Carpenter, Bryan and Brad Caviness, Sean Clute, Tara Daly, Matthew Dercole, Yewen Dong, Elhan Ergin, Richard Freiwald, Dennis Gerwin, Ronnie Gould, Jocelyn Howard, Hsinyi Huang, Stacey Johnson, Marsha Karagheusian, Ahrong Kim, Rob Kolhouse, Bethany Krull, Roberto Lugo, Patricia Maloney, Sana Musasama, Kelly and Kyle Phelps, Reginald Pointer, Kristine Poole, Janathel Shaw, and Lydia Thompson. NCECA, curated by Winnie Owens-Hart. Mar 14-Aug 18

Hill District

MOKA Art Gallery 2297 Center Ave., Pittsburgh, PA,, Hours during conference week: Tue 12-6pm, Wed- Sat 10am-6pm (Thu 10am-7pm). Reception: Thu, Mar 15, 5-7pm. pastedGraphic.png(WT)

African American Ceramic Artists: A King of Clay and Five Queens, King Woodrow Nash with Five Queens of Clay will be joined in holy Claytrimony. A union of their love of clay and earth. Witness the majesty of the jewels of the Queens and Nash. King Woodrow Nash, Queen Christine: Christine Bethea, Queen Mary: Mary Martin, Queen Altha: Altha Pittrell, Queen Dominique: Dominique Scaife, and Queen Janet: Janet Watkins. Mar 11-Apr 29

City of Asylum @ Alphabet City 40 W. North Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 412-435-1110,, Hours during conference week: Tue-Fri 9am-5pm (Fri 9am-9pm), Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 12-4pm. Reception: Fri, Mar 16, 6-8pm. pastedGraphic.png pastedGraphic_1.png(WS) (FRS)

ClayVoiceRomania, Curator Vlad Basarab presents a survey of contemporary Romanian ceramics focusing on 10 active contemporary Romanian ceramics artists coming from various demographic areas of Romania expressing themselves in their own styles. Arina Ailincăi, Cristina Russu, Cristina Bolborea, Mónika Pădureț, Lucia Lobonț, Emil Cassian Dumitraș, Simona Tănăsescu, Márta Jakobovits, Georgiana Cozma, and Gherghina Costea. Mar 13- 18

Community College of Allegheny County, Allegheny Campus, West Hall 828 Ridge Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, Hours during conference week: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm (Thu 10am-8pm). pastedGraphic.png pastedGraphic_1.png(WS)

Intercultural Connection, This exhibition showcases the diverse international presence at the Cub Creek Foundation, which invests in the importance of cross-cultural learning. Ashwini Bhat, Akira Satake, Hitomi and Takuro Shibata, Sukjin Choi, Dan Molyneux, Mitch Iburg, Zöe Powell, Shasta Krueger, Rachael Jones, John Jessiman, and Tom Alward. Curated by Shanna Fliegel. Mar 12-17. Reception: Thu, Mar 15, 6-8pm

Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild 1815 Metropolitan St., Pittsburgh, PA, 412-323-4000,, Hours during conference week: Mon-Thu 9am-8pm, Fri 9am-9pm. Reception: Fri, Mar 16, 6-9pm (WS) (WT) (FRS)

FUNK: American Dada, Iconoclast George Clinton crossed currents to obliterate genre and subverted norms through Funk music. Funk: American Dada artists do the same using clay not notes. Sharif Bey, David MacDonald, Yinka Orafidiya, Kyle & Kelly Phelps, Angelica Pozo, Janathel Shaw, Malcolm Mobutu Smith, Lydia Thompson, and James Watkins. Curated by Anthony Merino. Jan 22-Mar 30


Pittsburgh Center for the Arts 6300 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 412-361-0873,, Hours during conference

Mixed Signals, The artist explores the complexities of cultural mores and human interactions through her personal experience. Yoko Sekino-Bove. Mar 9-Apr 22

Chatham University Art Gallery Chatham University, Woodland Hall, 5798 Woodland Road, Pittsburgh, PA, 412-365- 1851,, Mon-Sat 9am-6pm (Thu 9am-9pm). Reception: Thu, Mar 15, 6-9pm.

From Scratch: Sarah Tancred, Tancred’s work focuses on cooking and domesticity in reference to cultural identity and gendered stereotypes. Her work utilizes recognizable objects to investigate societal expectations of women from historical and contemporary standpoints. Curated by James Louks. Mar 12-17


Pittsburgh Glass Center 5472 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 412-365-2145,, Hours during conference week: Mon-Wed 10am-7pm, Thu 10am-9pm, Fri- Sun 10am-4pm. Reception: Thu, Mar 16, 5-9pm. (WS) (WT) (TRS)

Sharif Bey: Dialogues in Clay and Glass, Sharif Bey’s work cross-references notions of power, ornamentation, and natural history with objects and surfaces associated with traditional African jewelry. He uses his work to explore alternative ways of paying respect to tradition, function, adornment, and ceremony. His exhibition showcases his large-scale ceramic necklace wall hangings and a series of necklace forms made from large glass beads. Mar 2-May 6

Highland Park

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Homewood 7101 Hamilton Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 412-731-3080,, Hours during conference week: Mon 10am-5pm, Tue-Wed 10am-8pm, Thu 10am-9pm, Fri-Sat 10am-5pm. Reception: Thu, Mar 15, 6-8pm. pastedGraphic.png(WS)

Crowns, Explores transformations from artist to artist mother. Artists were asked to create work reflecting experiences physical, emotional, spiritual in the currents of motherhood. Stephanie DeArmond, Carole Epp, Kathryne Fisher, Jessica Gardner, Eva Kwong, Rhonda Willers, Janis Mars Wunderlich, and Summer Zickefoose. Organized by Jessica Gardner. Mar 12-17

Everyday Café 532 North Homewood Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 412-727-2169,, Hours during conference week: Mon-Sun 10am-3pm

Cups of Conversation: 50 States, Surveys recent work from the National Clay Week project Cups of Conversation.

The exhibition features a wide range of cups, images, and video. One representative from all 50 states are included in the exhibition. Kate Fisher, Andrew Mclntyre, Ruth McKinney Burket, Kala Stein, Patty Bilbro, David Kring, Henry Crissman, Kahlil Irving, Catie Miller, Brent Pafford, Jeni Hansen Gard, Susie Bowman, Scott Jelich & Carla Fox, Tom Budzak, Steve Driver, Tsehai Johnson, Nathan Carris Carnes, Mariana Baquero, Erica Passage, Alex Kraft, Claire Seastone & Daven Hee, Dustin Thompson, Leanne McClurg Cambric, Tim Compton, Ellen Kleckner, Kyla Strid, Jodie Masterman, Juliette Walker, Lisa York, Elenor Wilson, Natania Hume, Lucy Fagella, Donna McGee, & Justine & Grant Figura, Jenn Cole, Amy Smith, Clay Arts Vegas, Monica Leap, Judi Tavill, Theo Helmstadter, Mari Ogihara, Julie Wiggins, Sarah Tancred, Lindsay Scypta, Stuart Asprey, Adrienne Eliades, Adam Ledford, Josh Primmer, Paula Smith & Jim Connell, Dan Bare & Valerie Zimany, Michael Hill, Austin Riddle, Victoria Falcon, Clay Leonard, Todd Hayes, Sarah Camille Wilson, David Eichelberger & Elisa Difeo, Amanda Barr, Kelly O’Briant, Ian Connors & Jacob Meer, and Dandee Pattee. Organized by Jeni Hansen Gard. Feb 26 -Mar 17

The Shop 621 N Dallas Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 646-812-2016,, Hours during conference week: Tue-Sat 10am- 5:30 (Thu 10am-9pm). Reception: Thu, Mar 15, 5-9pm. pastedGraphic.png(WS)

Produce. Consume. Repeat., Exploring our culture’s relationship to food, food production, and animals, this exhibition presents visually arresting works that invite viewers to think about their own habits and notions. Emily Loehle, Lauren Duffy. Organized by Lauren Duffy. Mar 13-17


Braddock Carnegie Library 419 Library St., Braddock, PA, 412-829-7112,, Hours during conference week: Mon 10am-5pm, Tue -Thu 11am-8pm, Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 9am-4pm. Reception: Fri, Mar 16, 5-8pm. (WT) (FRT)

(in)Visible, Each artist represents a type of invisibility, from those suffering unseen illnesses to members of cultural, societal, and racial minorities. Amanda Barr, Jamie Bates Slone, Jessica Brandl, Renata Cassiano, Ashleigh Christelis, Jasmine Cooper, Habiba El Sayed, Carole Epp, Dawn Ferguson, Linda Ge, Nicole Gugliotti, Raven Halfmoon, Jeni Hansen Gard, Jeanine Hill, Lynne Hobaica, Akiko Jackson, Alexandra Jelleberg, Sarah Jewell Olsen, Jessica Knapp, Courtney M Leonard, Marge Levy, Mac McCusker, Didem Mert, Sara Morales-Morgan, Jessica Putnam Phillips, Cydney Ross, Emily Schroeder Willis, Grace Sheese, Rae’ut Stern, Judi Tavill, Susan Thayer, and Ife Williams. Organized by Amanda Barr. Feb 2-Mar 17

Anthropocene: The Innovative? Human, The symptoms of culture are confronted through architecture, endangered animals, changing geology, and observations of nature’s adaptation to culture, or vice-versa. Lauren Skelly Bailey, James Barker, Patrick Coughlin, Alanna DeRocchi, Shanna Fliegel, Mel Griffin, Crystal Morey, Lisa Truax, Merrie Wright, and Brooke Noble. Organized by Shanna Fliegel. Mar 12-17


3rd Street Gallery 220 3rd St., Carnegie, PA, 412-276-5233,, Hours during conference week: Tue-Sat 10am-5pm (Fri 10am-9pm). Reception: Fri, Mar 16. 5-9pm. pastedGraphic.png(WS) (WT) (FRS)

Nasty Women, Organized by Artaxis members Alex Kraft and Sara Parent-Ramos, Nasty Women displays works by women who boldly confront, re-appropriate, and embrace the slur “nasty”; demonstrating solidarity through works that are ambitious in scope. Jennifer Degges Arnold, Teri Frame, Jeanine Hill, Roxanne Jackson, Sasha Koozel Reibstein, Lauren Sandler, Shalene Valenzuela, Shiyuan Xu, Alex Kraft, and Sara Parent-Ramos. Panel Discussion: Fri, Mar, 16 5-6pm. Mar 13-17

Carnegie Coffee Company (Old Carnegie Coffee House) 132 East Main St., Carnegie, PA, 724-518-6524,;, Hours during conference week: Mon-Thu 7am-6pm, Fri 7am-9m, Sat 7am-7pm, Sun 8am-3pm. Reception: Fri, Mar 16, 6-8pm. (WS) (FRS)

Touching Earth: Women Creating Community, Celebrates our differences as individuals uniting through empowerment that comes with being women, being artists, being ceramicists. Maria DeCastro, Priscilla Hollingsworth, Mary Martin, Erin McGuiness, Nita Schwartz, Nancy Smith, Ceil Sturdevant, and Cheryl Tall. Organized by Ceil Sturdevant. Feb 26-Mar 17

Firebox Art Studios, 110 East Main Street, Carnegie, PA, (412)-249-8264, Hours during conference week: Tue 10am-5pm, Wed 10am-8pm, Thu 10am-5pm, Fri 10am-9pm, Sat 10am-7pm. Recept: Fri, Mar 16, 5-9pm (WS) (FRS)

The Potters for Peace Ron Rivera Memorial Water Filter Receptacle Exhibition, Ron Rivera was well known for his ingenious ceramic water filters that continue to help alleviate water borne disease worldwide. He died while on a humanitarian mission in Africa. This exhibit first staged at Slippery Rock University is dedicated to his memory and features ceramic vessels from a variety of exceptional potters including. David Macdonald, Ron Meyers, Val Cushing, Bobby Scroggins, Josh Green, Bob Isenberg, Christian Kuharik, Gary Greenberg, Scott Cornish, Anthony DeRosa, Ron Korczynski, Ian Thomas and Ibukunoluwa Ayoola. Curated By Dick Wukich. Mar 10-31

Standard Ceramic Supply 24 Chestnut St., Carnegie, PA, 412-276-6333,, Hours during conference week: Wed-Thu 9am-5pm, Fri 9am-9pm, Sat 10am-2pm, Reception: Fri, Mar 16, 6-8pm pastedGraphic.png(WS) (WT) (FRS)

Kyle and Kelly Phelps – Honoring the Blue Collar Working Class, Commentary on working class culture, education, and politics. This show venue is in the production facility among the equipment used to manufacture prepared moist clay bodies. Kyle Phelps, Kelly Phelps. Mar 13-17

Musings on Place and Land, Current work by Swarthmore Ceramics Professor, Syd Carpenter. Mar 13-17

Jodee Harris Gallery, Seton Hill University 201 Otterman St., Greensburg, PA, 724-420-6464,, Hours during conference week: Mon-Fri 1-8pm, Sun 1-3pm. Reception: Thu, Mar 15, 4-7pm

Them/Me, This interactive, multimedia exhibition asks: How are we censored by social or political identities? If we don a new mask, what might we say? Crista Ann Ames, Aja Mujinga Sherrard. Organized by Crista Ann Ames. Feb 15-Mar 22

Clarion University of Pennsylvania, University Galleries 840 Wood St., Clarion, PA, 814-393-2291, galleries.html, Hours during conference week: Mon-Wed 12-5pm

Medicine and Magic, This exhibition of narrative ceramic sculpture examines two sources of cultural dis-ease: climate change and war, and poses that art is medicine for a sick world. Constant Albertson. Curated by Gary Greenberg. Jan 30-Mar 17

Arts and Education at The Hoyt 124 East Leasure Ave, New Castle, PA, 724-652-2882, Hours during conference week: Tue-Thu 11am-8pm, Fri-Sat 11am-4pm. Reception: Sat Mar 17, 2-4pm. Jan 4-Mar 29.

Hope Center for Arts & Technology Student Exhibit, The Hope CAT, a replication of Bill Strickland’s Manchester-Bidwell Corporation Pittsburgh, an educational model blending the principles of art, music and environment to help mentor students and to break cycles of poverty and drive economic growth in the region. Organized by Christian Kuharik.

2018 NCECA Emerging Artists

2018 NCECA Emerging Artists

Saturday morning, at the end of the conference, I always look forward to the emerging artist presentation. I find these talks to be tremendously energizing, full of good will and optimistic for the future. I relish in how the presenters are often a little nervous and occasionally naive, reminding me that we all start somewhere.

This year Ayumi Horie, Arthur Gonzalez and I reviewed all the submissions for emerging artist and I was so impressed by the passion, ideas and dedication of the artist. What a variety of process, concepts and materials – it’s very exciting. I love seeing this new work and witnessing soon to be leaders in our field. I find the hope for the future of our field inspiring. Sample work of the emerging artist will be on display at the expo center – and these presenters will be with their work in shifts over the conference, to meet and answer questions. I never miss the emerging artist Saturday presentations, and I hope to see you there.

NCECA 2018 Emerging Artist

Juror Statement

This year’s group of Emerging Artists embody the rich multiplicity of work that is redefining who and what we are as a ceramics field. Collectively they are expansive in their thinking and brave in the narratives that they are bringing to light. In this charged political climate, where old assumptions and power structures are crumbling, we find in these young artists the guts and grit to openly express their experiences, to mix clay and non-clay with fluency, and to challenge existing norms.

As the dust settles online and we mature as artists on social media, there is incredible cross-pollination taking place globally. Artists are able to both move the conversation forward at an unprecedented clip and distill for themselves the authenticity of their work relative to others. This pluralism of ideas is solidly evident in this particular group of artists, yet we would have been even more pleased to have seen a greater number applicants whose main concern is function.

Craftsmanship and material understanding were a given to judging this pool, but it was also critical to us as jurors to honor and celebrate voices that traditionally have not been given a place at the table. The sweeping shift from discrete collectible object to art that is time-based, fragile, inclusive of other materials, and made solely for the artist’s personal needs is a major shift. Recognizing and legitimizing the edges of our expanding ceramic universe is what will keep our field vital and relevant.

Ayumi Horie

Arthur Gonzalez

Natalia Arbelaez

Natalia Arbelaez is a Colombian American, born and raised in Miami, Florida. She received her B.F.A. from Florida International University and her M.F.A. from The Ohio State University, where she received an Enrichment Fellowship. She completed a yearlong residency at the Clay Art Center; Port Chester, New York as a Barbra Rittenburg Fellow and was awarded the 2016 Inaugural Artaxis Fellowship that funded a residency to the Watershed in Newcastle, Maine. Natalia currently lives and works in New York.

I was born in the United States of America but spent the first 4 years of my life in Medellin, Colombia. When I immigrated back to the states I was encouraged to assimilate quickly. I felt to be a proud American meant you had to forget about your past and look to the future. Having been so young, it was easy to forget. First my language, then the food, and eventually everything else quickly slipped away. Still, I was constantly questioned about where I came from, “are you black, Mexican, Puerto Rican, what are you?” I was insulted. I don’t know where it came from, but it became ingrained in me that being a white American was ideal and that’s what you wanted to be. I thought since I was born here I could be those things but growing up in a blue-collar town in the middle of Connecticut constantly reminded me that I was not.

read more in Natalia’s Journal Article, and be sure to attend the Saturday morning Emerging Artist Presentation

Adam Chau

Adam Chau is the Program Manager at Clay Art Center in New York. A graduate of the Designed Objects department from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Adam hybridizes digital technology with traditional studio crafts. Recent publications on ceramic technology include Studio Potter, Ceramics Technical, and Ceramics Monthly.

My interest in the multiple stemmed from being a baker’s son. I learned, quickly, that in the production of multiples there is an attuned judgment of quality based on different criteria – taste, decoration, etc – however at the same time there was not a clear line between what was acceptable and what was not (i.e. would a star-shaped cookie still be edible if one of its points was a slightly different length from the others?). Later I would learn that this is called ‘tolerance’.

read more in Adam’s Journal Article, and be sure to attend the Saturday morning Emerging Artist Presentation

Wade MacDonald

Wade was born in Nashville, Tennessee to parents who are retired opera singers. He has traveled extensively throughout Europe to conduct research. Wade obtained an MFA in Studio Art from Michigan State University and has attended Banff Centre, Anderson Ranch Art Center, and Red Lodge Clay Center.

In 1919, after the experiencing the horrors of World War I, the German artist, designer, and architect, Walter Gropius, stated in the Bauhaus Manifesto “The ultimate aim of all visual arts is the complete building!” This statement is accompanied by other important declarations including the need to return to craft in an attempt to subvert elitist art institutions of post-war Germany, as well as the importance of developing a unique sensitivity toward craft for the growth of one’s art practice. Gropius’ statement about architecture’s essential role in shaping the culture it reflects is an idea at the fore of my creative research. I have a fervent belief that architectural design and its subsequent construction is a prominent form of new utilitarian sculpture with an experiential power akin to functional ceramics.

read more in Wade’s Journal Article, and be sure to attend the Saturday morning Emerging Artist Presentation

Janet Macpherson


Janet Macpherson studied ceramics at Sheridan College, and received her MFA from The Ohio State University. Recent solo exhibitions include the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art in Toronto, and the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse. Janet lives and works in Toronto, Canada.

Hybrids present us with two things happening simultaneously. They are in flux, one always alluding to and challenging the other. The borders between humans and animals, the manufactured and the natural, the spiritual and the visceral are distinct yet permeable, illustrating differences while creating spaces for wonder and uncertainty. The work has also been inspired by visits to the Ohio State Agricultural Fair, where farm animals were clothed in protective fabrics, tethered tightly to posts, awaiting exhibition and judging.

read more in Janet’s Journal Article, and be sure to attend the Saturday morning Emerging Artist Presentation


Sara Parent-Ramos

Born in Washington, DC to Italian/Canadian parents, Sara Parent-Ramos received at BA from Swarthmore College in 2003 and an MFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2013.  She has been the recipient of a State University of New York Thayer Fellowship and a Fulbright Scholarship to Italy and has completed residencies at the Cite International des Arts in Paris and Joshua Tree National Park. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Montgomery College in Maryland.

When looking at a strand of hair with our naked eye, one sees a smooth, whole filament. However, through a microscope, the same filament is segmented, an assembly of different parts and subtler structures. Focusing on the overlooked components that define our reality is central to my artistic process and outlook. Through the process of amassing detailed parts, I see in my finished pieces both the whole and the elements that create it. This journey enables me to appreciate the micro and macro simultaneously, reaching an intuitive understanding of the whole work as well as its component parts through accumulation and synthesis.

read more in Sara’s Journal Article, and be sure to attend the Saturday morning Emerging Artist Presentation

Andrew Stansbury

Andrew is a queer ceramic-based performance artist from Cuero and San Antonio, Texas. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Morris, teaching Ceramics and Photography. He received his MFA from UMass Dartmouth in 2017 and is a member of the artist collective The Lullwood Group.

I seek not to appease, but rather confront my audience. To do so, my work and my practice bluntly questions popularized ideals of beauty and desire; I seek my own alternative version of beauty that accepts and is influenced by the unexpected or the traumatic. Through an open-narrative in material, I consume and integrate performance, photography and process-oriented craft to create a unique moment.

read more in Andrew’s Journal Article, and be sure to attend the Saturday morning Emerging Artist Presentation


Students – APPLY NOW!

Students – APPLY NOW!

The NCECA Student Show (NSJE) application deadline is September 27th

Are you a current undergraduate, graduate, or post-bac student in the United States? Stop procrastinating, and apply now for the National Student Juried Exhibition (NSJE)! This year’s exhibition will be held in conjunction with the 2018 conference Crosscurrents: Clay and Culture at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, March 9 – April 22, 2018.

Take the opportunity to have your work viewed by this year’s jurors, Martina Lantin and Sam Harvey. In addition to the opportunity to showcase your work on a national stage the NSJE also features over a dozen awards.

The process is easy; simply follow this link for the application guidelines: APPLY HERE.

The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, located at 6300 Fifth Avenue in the neighbourhood known as Shadyside, exhibits the work of prominent and emerging contemporary artists. The 2018 NSJE will be displayed in a series of rooms throughout the entire second floor of this dynamic space. Students are encouraged to apply with work from across the ceramic spectrum. Mixed media works will be accepted as long as clay is the dominant material, and works involving photography or video that references ceramic materials, process, history and/or extend expressive capacities of work in clay, are welcome.

A sample of just some of the work in the 2017 NSJE:


NCECA Student Opportunities!

NCECA Student Opportunities!

With the start of school fast approaching (and already begun for some of you), we want to make sure that you know about all of the fantastic NCECA opportunities available for students working with ceramics in higher education. There are lots of ways to get involved, show your work, present your research, and even get funding for your project, so be sure to mark these important dates on your calendar.

DEADLINE EXTENDED! Student Interests Program Proposals Due Sep. 25

Apply now to present at the 2018 NCECA conference in Pittsburgh! Student Interests programing addresses the concerns of students on a wide variety of related topics, and proposals can be for lectures, co-lectures or panel discussions. Accepted presenters are eligible to receive a complimentary 2018 conference pass provided they are or become NCECA members at the time of acceptance.

> Learn more on our website!


Student Show Application Deadline Sep. 27

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the 2018 National Student Juried Exhibition (NSJE), the premier showcase for rising talent in the ceramic arts. Jurors are Sam Harvey and Martina Lantin.

The 2018 NCECA NSJE is open to undergraduate, graduate and post-baccalaureate students enrolled in the United States of America. Students enrolled at institutions on which the jurors currently serve as faculty are not eligible to apply. The applicant must be working towards a degree or be a post-baccalaureate in art at the time of submittal. NCECA Membership is not a requirement of submission but members will receive a 50% discount on exhibition submission fee as well as a range of other benefits.

>> Apply Now

Fellowship Awards for Undergraduate & Graduate Students – Due Oct. 25

Project proposals are due Oct. 25 for both the Regina Brown Undergraduate Student Fellowship (up to 3 awards of $1,800 each are available) and the NCECA Graduate Student Fellowship (up to 3 awards of $2,000 each are available). Two letters of recommendation are required with each application; we strongly suggest that you submit your proposal in a timely fashion to provide enough time for recommenders to complete the Confidential Letter of Recommendation Upload form by the Oct. 25 deadline.

>> Learn more about the Regina Brown Undergraduate Student Fellowship

>> Learn more about the NCECA Graduate Student Fellowship


Serve on the NCECA Board – Applications Due Oct. 4

NCECA is presently seeking highly qualified candidates for the Student Director at Large position on its Board of Directors which will come open in Spring 2018. If you are a community oriented, service minded student, excited about shaping the future of our field, this position presents a great opportunity. Candidates must be 21 years old and be enrolled in a higher education program in ceramics for at least one semester of the two-year board term.

>> Learn more on our website!

If you have any questions about these opportunities, or student concerns in general, please reach out to one of our great Student Directors at Large:

Naomi Clement                                           Brandon Schnur                     

What’s your Clay Story?

What’s your Clay Story?

2018 NCECA Annual  Visual Voices: Truth Narratives

It is time to pull your images and your narratives together for NCECA’s 2018 Annual Exhibition, Visual Voices: Truth Narratives, our national juried invitational, curated by Winnie Owns Hart, educator, artist, filmmaker, author and critical thinker in matters of clay, art and culture.  Take advantage of this incredible opportunity to put your clay story in front of a broad audience during the 2018 NCECA conference and apply now, before it’s too late!  The exhibition will be held at Pittsburgh’s renown Society for Contemporary Craft, March 14- August 18, 2018.

Winnie Owens-Hart has invited artists Syd Carpenter, Roberto Lugo, Sana Musasama, Reginald Pointer, and Janathel Shaw to frame the curatorial concerns of Visual Voices: Truth Narratives. The artists selected create powerful works that speak in a variety of visual volumes that touch on personal and global issues and emotions. Their narratives, whether literal or abstract, acknowledge that intolerances spawn racial, religious, class, and gender biases in every part of the world. The sense of interconnectedness created by modern media has transformed what was once an ancestral community to now a global community. Our stories, re-told in clay, are borderless. Historically, the narrative ceramic object has engaged with the retelling of events through visual imagery codification. Clay works dating back thousands of years have enabled archaeologists to theorize on ceremonial, spiritual, and utilitarian societal markers that document the social and cultural contexts of their makers’ communities.

Winnie Owens-Hart seeks emerging as well as seasoned artists to apply. She will make selections for the exhibition from digital images and statements submitted through an online portal within the CaFE™ system to develop the exhibition. Artists whose work is selected through the review process will exhibit with the five artists invited by the curator. This is a GLOBAL call/request inviting all ceramic artists who consider their work narrative to apply for this exhibition.

Visit our website for more information, and to apply!


~ Leigh Taylor Mickelson, NCECA Exhitbions Director


Image Above: Sana Musasama; “She wanted to play sports”’ Ceramic Mix-Media; Narrative: This work depicts a girl soldier delicately holding a piece out of a game speculating on her dream of being an athlete before the war.  

Featured Image: Sana Musasama; “Girl Soldiers”, Installation View; Ceramic Mix-Media; 21” X 67” X 6”; 2016: Narrative: This is an installation view of girl soldiers frozen in a moment of their lives. Each sculpture is accompanied by an object that the child solider once held close, like a fond memory or a dream that was deferred by war. The work is Raku fired to achieve multi-­‐layered metallic surfaces that shimmer with various hues, which reflects light and textures as the viewer moves around each piece. Each individual sculpture is encased, placed or draped suggesting that she is being hugged or held, mimicking the way that I created her as well as freezing her in a moment before her life was deconstructed by civil war