2019 Projects Space preview: reprocessing

2019 Projects Space preview: reprocessing

In …reprocessing… an NCECA Project Space installation, ceramicists are invited to smash their unwanted work, amassing a pile of shards from a multitude of individuals. Shards will be further processed into smaller pieces and packaged in to postcards as a memento for participants to send out or save. Reminiscent of the Berlin wall tourist postcards, the shard card will be a testament to our shared experience and a new way of making something meaningful out of a failed piece.

At this pop-up demolition site in the Projects Space, participants will ascend a short flight of stairs and smash their contribution in the shard pit. Sounds of ceramics breaking in this large expo space will be jarring and unsettling. Choice shards will be selected and inserted into small 1” diameter plastic containers that fit in to a Minneapolis/NCECA themed postcard. Participants can collect a postcard immediately after throwing their work into the pile. A couple of peepholes in the site walls will allow onlookers to view the mass accumulation of shards as well as the reprocessing actions.

By making what is often a private ritual into a public one and having ceramicists of all levels throw their work into the same pile, participants may find a collective release and great uniting at NCECA Minneapolis 2019.

Recognition and Celebration in Claytopia | 2019 Awards and Honors

Recognition and Celebration in Claytopia | 2019 Awards and Honors

You know them as wise advisors, educators, innovators, clay cultural leaders, and individuals who embody generous spirits. The NCECA Awards and Honors recognize leaders in the field of ceramics for the their impact regionally, lifetime support of others, roles as educators, and outstanding projects. Each year we look for nominations for these recognitions, through an open call on the NCECA website (We’d love you to nominate someone for next year!). This year, the board voted to approve that ALL awardees and honorees receive lifetime memberships and conference passes to acknowledge the significant contributions each has made (those receiving awards in previous years also receive these benefits now). 

We hope you will join us when we recognize and celebrate this year’s Awardees and Honorees on

Friday, March 29th, 5:30-7:00pm, Auditorium Main, Minneapolis Convention Center!

For now, please read on to learn more about each award and to be introduced to each of our esteemed recipients.

Our special thanks to this year’s nomination committee for their thoughtful review of all nominees. 2019 Nominations Committee: Anna Calluori Holcombe, Marge Levy, Brandon Schnur, Lauren Sandler, Rhonda Willers (chair), Russell Wrankle

Regional Awards for Excellence

Honoring commitment and outstanding contributions to the ceramic arts or cultural life, the Regional Awards for Excellence annually recognize individuals in the local and extended regions of the conference host city. The recipients are nominated by the on-site conference liaisons and approved by the board of directors.

This year’s recipients are: Lyndel King, Warren MacKenzie (posthumous), and Em Swartout (posthumous).

Lyndel King | As the director and chief curator at the University of Minnesota’s Weisman Museum for 40 years, Lyndel King expanded not only the size of the collection, but also the square footage of the museum, and its national impact. Taking the Weisman museum from its narrow halls on the fourth floor of the Northrup Auditorium to the dynamic stainless steel and brick building designed by Frank Gehry, Lyndel’s leadership allowed the museum to emerge as one of the top teaching university museums in the country. 

From the very beginning, Lyndel promoted the need for a world-class university to have a world-class art museum on its campus. She has left a mark on the University of Minnesota’s campus that few other can claim. I got to be part of that process with her, and I can tell you that the Weisman Art Museum exists because of her indomitable spirit, her intelligence, and her perseverance.

-statement by Frank Gehry, architect of the Weisman Art Museum

Photo Credit: Rik Sferra

Warren MacKenzie (Posthumous) | Perhaps no name is more highly and respectfully associated with the American studio pottery movement and its inspirational resonance with the values of the Mingei movement than Warren MacKenzie’s. He did not seek this recognition or leadership; rather, he became it through his passion, dedication, and daily studio practice. Warren’s commitment to the creation of the “honest” pot inspired his students and makers across the region, throughout the United States, and extended to international communities.

In any culture, the needs of the people control the direction of their self-expression. In earlier times, people were directed by their need to find food and to survive. Later they developed belief systems, turning to religion or magic, concerned with gods and goddesses, myths, political power. Artistic expression became a way to support those beliefs, to oppose enemies, to strengthen the culture. I do not believe it is any different in our times.

-Warren MacKenzie, Regis Master lecture, 1997

Photo Credit: Personal Collection of Randy Johnston

Image Description: (Left to Right) Warren MacKenzie, Ken Matzuzaki (of Japan), Phil Rogers (of Wales), and Randy Johnston, 2008 Anagama Firing called “The Sleeping Pot”

Em Swartout (Posthumous) | Clarence Lee “Em” Swartout is known throughout the Twin Cities region and beyond as patriarch of the Continental Clay family. Since its founding as a family owned company, Continental Clay has focused on offering the widest selection of ceramic art and sculpting supplies with over 65,000 square feet dedicated to clay mixing, glaze production, research and development, and a retail store and gallery. Em Swartout never retired; staying involved in the lives of ceramic artists across the county. He loved artists and they loved him. In his effort to help and support others, he was very open about his 34 years of sobriety in AA. Em was comfortable with everyone he met and was willing to help anyone in need. Rambunctious and silly were the sides of Em his clay friends witnessed out in the community. But his warmth, compassion, humor, integrity, and generosity, too, were ever-present. 

Honorary Members

 Having contributed to the professional development of ceramic arts, Honorary Members positively influence and provide opportunities for others to rise. Often recognized for dedicating much of their lives supporting others, each honorary member is also a creative force and leader with their own artistic practice. 

This years recipients are: Doug Casebeer, Elaine Olafson Henry, and Winnie Owens-Hart.

Doug Casebeer | Doug Casebeer joined the Anderson Ranch Arts Staff, in 1985, as the Director of the Ceramics and Sculpture program. Since then he has shaped the Ranch into a premier summer workshop destination. Casebeer’s commitment to the idea that workshop instructors are be there as teacher alone and not technician, is a unique approach. It affords the instructors that space and energy necessary to be effective teachers and allows the gifted technical support staff to offer consistent quality to the work being produced during workshops at Anderson Ranch. As the Ranch’s Chair of the Artist in Residency, Casebeer helped to create a welcoming environment that fostered creativity within multiple disciplines. There is no way to adequately summarize how Doug’s Thirty plus years have impacted all of the artists, teachers, students, staff and the community of Anderson Ranch Arts Center. Suffice it to say that his legacy will always be felt on the Ranch grounds.

In the fall of 2018, Doug embarked on a new chapter of teaching and service. He will take his knowledge, enthusiasm, and expertise in kiln construction to another institution and group of students fortunate to have him. He is the newest Artist in Residence at the Oklahoma University School of Visual Arts. It should come as no surprise that in the short time he has been at OU School of Visual Arts he has already built a new version of the “little vic” soda kiln for the university.

Casebeer’s philosophic creativity has fueled his fervor as a kind of global “ambassador of peace” for well over three decades. Through workshops and lectures, he believes in bringing grace and beauty into people’s lives through the art experience. His role as United Nations Production Advisor and Ceramics Consultant reads like that of a US Secretary of State, with travels to Washington DC, Taiwan, Mexico, Vienna, Japan, Chile, Geneva, and Nepal, among other destinations. 

Victoria Woodward Harvey, Ceramics Monthly, January 2016

Elaine Olafson Henry | Elaine Olafson Henry is a ceramic artist, curator, writer, and local volunteer. She is the former Editor and Publisher of the international ceramics journals Ceramics Art & Perception and Ceramics TECHNICAL. he earned a BFA from the University of Wyoming and an MFA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and is now pursuing an MA in English at the University of Wyoming. She taught at Emporia State University in Kansas from 1996-2007 where she served as Chair of the Department of Art from 2000-2007. Henry served as the President of the International Ceramics Magazine Editors Association (ICMEA) 2014-2016 and the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) 2002-2004. She is currently a Fellow of that organization and a Lifetime Member of ICMEA. Her work is internationally published, exhibited, and collected. Henry has lectured, demonstrated and taken part in residences in more than 10 countries, including: Italy, Denmark, Ireland, Germany, Latvia, China, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Hungary, and the U.S. She is an elected member of the International Academy of Ceramics. Through her work as educator, editor, leader, and artist, Elaine has elevate the practice of countless artists, both nationally and internationally. 

Elaine’s efforts have always been about raising the bar in the field, whether in criticism, publication, exhibitions, or professionalism, and she has done this by example. Henry earned the BFA and MFA degrees in art. Ever open to expanding her knowledge and experience, she is currently working toward and MA in English at the University of Wyoming. She is writing her thesis on ‘Comparative Rhetorical Analysis of Contemporary Art Criticism and Contemporary Ceramics Criticism,’ in an effort to continue to raise the bar by encouraging and contributing to the critical discourse in the field.

– Mary Jane Edwards, Executive Director, Jentel Foundation 

Winnie Owens-Hart | From an early age, Winnie Owens-Hart’s parents stressed the value of education above all else, bestowing her with the sense that she could begin to discover worlds within the pages of books. Today she is recognized as one of the ceramic art community’s most progressively expansive polymaths… educator, artist, filmmaker, author, and critical thinker in matters of clay, art and culture.

She taught at Howard University for more than 37 years and has conducted research, exhibited, and presented lectures internationally. Her career in ceramics began very early in life and has continued professionally since the 1970s. She opened her first studio in 1972 in Alexandria, Virginia. As a young art student, she imagined what pot-making and art must be like in Africa and then pursued that vision throughout undergraduate school. While teaching crafts in a Philadelphia public school, she discovered a film that demonstrated some African women hand-building a huge pot. She realized her dream of studying women’s traditional pottery techniques and culture in 1977, when she was selected to represent the United States and exhibit her ceramic work at FESTAC in Lagos, Nigeria. 

After receiving a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts she returned that summer to work in the village. Eventually she took a job with the federal government of Nigeria teaching ceramics at a nearby university to enable her to continue apprenticing traditional pottery, and was eventually accepted as part of the community’s pottery culture. For the past 10-years she has worked with women in a pottery village in Ghana. As both a  published author and curator, Owens-Hart has curated exhibitions primarily focused on contemporary African American artists and has also produced documentary films, including Style & Technique-Four Pottery Villages and The Traditional Potters of Ghana-The Women of Kuli. Over more than four decades, her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally with work in the collections of the Smithsonian, Kohler, universities, and private collections.

Excellence in Teaching Award  

Each of us has a teacher, mentor, someone who has opened our thinking and vision of ourselves. These educators, both formal and informal, often do not realize their full impact. Excellence in Teaching awardees have a career dedicated to the practice of teaching, demonstrated excellence in their own creative work and have highly visible former students in the field. They are beloved, celebrated, and appreciated by their former students and colleagues.

This year’s recipients are: Lenny Dowhie and Louis B. Marak.

Lenny Dowhie | Lenny Dowhie taught for 33 years at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville (USIE). His tenure brought stability to their program that has become more rare in university ceramics programs. Lenny passed along his experiences as an international artist to his students. His research afforded them an exciting, current and global view of the field. Recognized for his dedication, Lenny received the Evansville Mayor’s Arts Awards and the Arts Council of South West Indiana Art Educator of the Year Award. Along with his day job at USIE, Lenny has presented over 80 workshops, demonstrations, lectures and exchanges worldwide. Lenny’s work has been shown in over 100 exhibitions and included in important books and journals in the field.

Professionally, his activities have had national impact. He was a Founding Partner of Expressions of Culture, Inc., producers of the renowned Chicago International Exposition of Sculpture, Objects and Functional Art (SOFA) Chicago, NYC, Coral Gables and Santa Fe. He continues his involvement in this arena as a Partner in Expo Chicago, the Art Fair Company, Chicago, Illinois, since 2011.

Professor Dowhie set a great example for perseverance, problem solving, and above all—making Art.  His usual greeting to his students before class was, “Are you making Art today?” Just that simple phrase set the tone for the class—we were challenged to make Art every day. His class was student led—encouraging the senior students to mentor and teach the younger students, which built everyone’s confidence.

– Gregory A. Byard, former MFA student

Louis B. Marak | Louis Marak opens doors, and if you had the courage to walk through the threshold, he would help you reach your goals. I saw him do this for me and countless other students during my time at the Humboldt State University ceramics lab. He was a generous and supportive mentor to countless students. Lou created a challenging and creative environment at HSU for nearly 40 years, making exceptional impacts on his students and influencing a diverse field of ceramic artists including Michael Lucero, John Roloff, Skuja Braden, Ian McDonald, Ionna Nova Frisby, Brian Benfer, Nate Betschart, Jeff Irwin, Eva Champagne, Stuart Asprey, Brian Gillis, Colleen Sidey, Vince Pitelka, and Bryan Czibesz. 

His unique combination of casual delivery, pinpoint wit, serious criticism and self-deprecating humor created an interest and passion in his students. He would continue to solidify and support his students at HSU by quietly serving as an invaluable role model for how maintain rigorous teaching and art practices with lasting impacts. He treated students as individuals and challenged each one of us to find our voice, discover our niche within the ceramic world, and to strive to be the best artist in the room. Lou had an uncanny ability to breed confidence and empowerment in students without knowing it. He confronted each student with what we thought we knew about intent, content and process and then magically draw new work from us, leaving us convinced we figured it all out on our own. The impacts Lou has made through his teaching have been profound and continue to resonate, we owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to one person who changed so many people’s lives. (Written by Stuart Asprey)

Outstanding Achievement Award

 Recognizing a completed singular project that has contributed to the field of ceramics, the Outstanding Achievement Award honors contemporary artists, educators, writers, and other contributors. Their work is consider above and beyond what is typically within the scope of their professions.

This year’s recipient is: Richard “Dick” Wukich.

Richard “Dick” Wukich | Richard “Dick” Wukich’s love of art began during his high school studies in Braddock, Pennsylvania. Over the years since then, he has transformed his love of making and teaching pottery into a multifaceted movement that supports those in need locally and globally. Wukich went on to study art at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania where he earned a bachelor of science in art education. Subsequently, he earned a master of fine arts degree from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred where he worked with NCECA founder Ted Randall, Daniel Rhodes, and master teacher and potter Val Cushing. Later, he taught high school for a year before accepting a teaching position at Slippery Rock University where he worked for 43 years, until retiring in 2011.

Wukich remembers Cushing’s influence on his work and life through support of NCECA conference scholarships to regional high school students and educators in his mentor’s memory. “Val took me to the very first NCECA conference in East Lansing, Michigan in 1967. My support of this scholarship is a way of paying forward his generosity as a teacher and the influence of his expansive vision on my life,” Another way that Wukich has committed to the sustainability of ceramic art in education is through support of educator initiatives through the National K-12 Ceramics Exhibition Foundation. 

Wukich is also the founder of Potters Water Action Group, which has chapters all over the world dedicated to working on water quality issues. As an international coordinator for the initiative, Wukich has worked to set up production studios across the globe in countries such as Haiti, Nigeria and Nepal. Potters Water Action Group strives to provide safe drinking water through education, research, development, and the dissemination of ceramic water filters.

Claytopia Programming Highlight: The Wright Stuff!

Claytopia Programming Highlight: The Wright Stuff!

Are you an artist? Do you struggle with writing? The American Craft Council wants to help! 

It can be intimidating to get your thoughts down on paper. But writing, just like throwing pots, is a skill that can be learned. The ACC firmly believes that any artist can put together a thoughtful and compelling artist statement. What’s more, we understand how important these statements are when it comes to securing exhibitions, grants, and press opportunities. That’s why we’re giving a talk focused on writing tips and holding one-on-one coaching sessions to help attendees of “Claytopia,” NCECA’s annual conference, perfect their artist statements this spring. 

Each half-hour session will pair an artist with a unbiased, experienced editor – including staff from our award-winning magazine American Craft. Be sure to bring a draft of your statement to the coaching session along with any questions or concerns you may have, whether they be about grammar, clarity, or tone. The talk (“The Write Stuff”) is scheduled for earlier the same day and will provide helpful tips and readily accessible resources to help you hone your writing skills and improve your confidence. 

The talk is open to all “Claytopia” attendees, but space is limited for the coaching sessions. Reserve your spot today on the Eventbrite sign-up page. 

We can’t wait to work with you! 

The Write Stuff Talk

Friday, March 29, 2019
1:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Minneapolis Convention Center, Room 2

Artist Statement Coaching Sessions
Friday, March 29, 2019

3: 15 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Minneapolis Convention Center, Room L100H 

Megan Guerber is the interim editor in chief of American Craft, the bimonthly publication of the American Craft Council. Prior to joining the ACC in 2016, she wrote for Public Art Review and SciArt in America, was assistant curator at AC Institute, a nonprofit gallery in New York, and served as a researcher and production assistant for the International Award for Public Art.

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. potsonwheels.com Mar 14-16

BNY Mellon Center, Contemporary Craft Satellite Gallery
500 Grant St, Pittsburgh, PA, 412-261-7003, contemporarycraft.org, 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, trustarts.org, 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, trustarts.org, 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, contemporarycraft.org, 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, mokapgh.com, 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, alphabetcity.org, 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, mcgyouthandarts.org, 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, center.pfpca.org, 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, chatham.edu/about/artgallery, 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, pittsburghglasscenter.org, 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, carnegielibrary.org, 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, info@everydaycafepgh.com, 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, theshop.org, 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, braddockcarnegielibrary.org, 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, 3rdstreetgallery.net, 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, carnegiecoffeecompany.com; touchingearth.weebly.com/ceil-sturdevant.html, 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, fireboxartstudios.com. 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, standardceramic.com, 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, setonhill.edu, 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, clarion.edu/academics/colleges-and-schools/college-of-arts-and-sciences/visual-and-performing-arts/university-art- 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, hoytartcenter.org. 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.