As we approach our 50th anniversary, the NCECA board has been looking at ways to expand the reach of the Council beyond our annual conference. This was a charge directly related to NCECA’s strategic plan and developed from asking questions about the role we could play in helping structure a national conversation around contemporary ceramics.
Towards this end we have been developing meaningful partnerships with a number of organizations such as SOFA, the College Art Association, the New York Ceramics Fair and the 92Y among others. In each of these instances we are helping generate content that is reaching a wide and diverse audience while strengthening the core values and mission that drive NCECA forward.
A few of these events have already taken place and many more are rolling out in the coming months. We have been posting about these on social media and the blog, but here is a run down of where NCECA has been and where we are going over the next few months. We look forward to seeing you!
In November NCECA was at SOFA Chicago to present a lecture by Michael J Strand, Ford Foundation Fellow and Head of Visual Arts at North Dakota State University. Strand’s work has been influential in the area of social practice and his lecture “Across the Table: Craft Practice beyond the Object” argued for the potential of objects in the 21st century to be effective catalysts for community cohesion and agents of social change.
This month saw the launch of a new season of co-sponsored lectures presented by NCECA and the 92Y Virtual Clay series. Originally developed by Bobby Silverman, this innovative program has been bringing dynamic content to an international audience through live web streaming lectures by some of the leading practitioners in the field. NCECA is thrilled to be partnering on a series of four lectures throughout the spring that kicked off last week with Namita Gupta Wigger’s talk “Color in clay- who’s making work now?” Upcoming speakers in the series include Tom Sachs, Michael J Strand and Bill Strickland.
The New York Ceramics Fair
This past week NCECA partnered with the New York Ceramics fair that took place to critical acclaim at the historic Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street. If you have not attended this event in the past its one you should definitely consider.
As an active partner in this year’s event, NCECA co-sponsored a series of lectures by Leslie Ferrin, Paul Scott and Garth Johnson that highlighted the intersection of historical content with contemporary practice, alongside several days of lectures by leading scholars in the field of decorative arts. Lectures included:
Leslie Ferrin: Made in China: New Export-ware from Jingdezhen
Paul Scott: Duchess, Dogs, Detroit, Dragons, Handles and Cherrypickers
Garth Johnson: I’m So Fancy: Young Artists Take on Historical Ceramics
The College Art Association
The College Art Association will be holding their annual conference in New York City this February. NCECA has an affiliate relationship with CAA and this year we will be hosting a panel discussion entitled, “Terracotta… the New Black: Clay Crosses Over”, moderated by NCECA executive director Joshua Green and President Elect Paul Sacaridiz. The panel will bring together artists and thinkers based in the greater New York area that are approaching ceramics from a wide range of perspectives. Panelists include Adam Shiverdecker, Nicole Cherubini, Lisa Sanditz and Francesca DiMattio and takes place on Wednesday February 11th from 12:30-2pm in the West Ballroom of the Hilton, 1335 Avenue of the Americas.
ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) The NCECA podcast has returned! With big thanks to Ben Carter for all of his expertise and assistance, NCECA has been releasing a variety of episodes for our members to enjoy! This season premiered in September with an episode recorded live at the 2014 Conference in Milwaukee, Igniting the Workshop Circuit. Since then, we have made available Episode 18, Factory as Studio a panel moderated by Susan Barnett from the 2013 Conference and Episode 19, Ceramics and the Archive, co-moderated by Jenni Sorkin & Cindi Strauss, also from 2013. Most recently, we released Episode 20, the popular Closing Lecture from the 2012 Seattle Conference, in’t(y)oo-it! You can subscribe to it in iTunes and get new content delivered directly to you. We have lots more exciting episodes coming up, so tune in!
NCECA is excited to announce the revival of our podcast! This season premiers with an episode recorded live at the 2014 Conference in Milwaukee. Igniting the Workshop Circuit, a popular panel led by moderator Tommy Frank with panelists Linda Arbuckle, Bill Griffith & Sandi Pierantozzi is available directly on the web here, or you can subscribe to it in iTunes and get new content delivered directly to you. We have lots more exciting episodes coming up, so tune in!
NCECA is anxious to start getting conference content up online, but we need your help! Our resources are, sadly, somewhat limited, so we must prioritize the sessions. The best way you can tell us what you want to see online first is to use the NCECA App to provide feedback. Within the app, for every session, you can identify that you attended and you can give it a rating of 1 to 5 stars. The highest attended/highest rated sessions will be converted and uploaded first. So, here’s how you do this online (utilizing the web app (available here). It should look similar if you use the app on an idevice):
HINT Click on the first image, it will open in full screen, and then you can navigate from step to step easily.
Please feel free to also leave comments below to tell us what you thought of the conference, but the numbers we see in the app will be key for prioritizing. Also please keep in mind, the annual conference survey will be coming out soon.
Like Zach Morris in the 90s Television Series Saved by the Bell, I’m going to break character for a moment and speak personally….this is absolutely the number 1 presentation on my list for this conference. I’ve been excited about this one since the board gathered to review all the programming proposals last May….A panel of giants in the clay world of social media…all with great personalities and beautiful work to boot…wow. Thank you for indulging my own hero worship moment. Now back to the facts….Moderator Ben Carter, along with Michael Kline, Carole Epp, Adam Field will be discussing how they use social media and how the quickly changing digital landscape affects our studio practice. This presentation will be run like a talk show format where Carter will interview the panelists on their experience. NCECA will be live tweeting from the event (#virtualclay), and questions from the audience, both live and virtual will be accepted via twitter. Soon after the conference, watch for the podcast and/or video of this session.
Moderator, Ben Carter, is a ceramic professional based in Santa Cruz, CA. He received his Masters Degree in ceramics from the University of Florida in 2010. He maintains a studio, teaches workshops and exhibits nationally. He is the creator and host of the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler blog and podcast. Following is a brief excerpt from his article which appears in its entirety in the NCECA Journal:
Is the time you spend rewarded in the short term or long term? As I have gotten more involved with social media I have come to see it as a core part of my career. I spend approximately 35% of my work time on social media. This includes my use of Blogger, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Mail Chimp, and Libsyn. I am willing to invest this much time because it is rewarding. The connections I make with other users help me feel like I am part of a global community of makers.
Thinking about rewards I divide them into long-term and short-term categories. They are not mutually exclusive, but it helps to acknowledge the difference in the way they motivate my use of social media. A short-term reward would be a burst of “likes” that I receive after posting an image on Facebook. A long-term reward would be the personal sense of accomplishment and camaraderie I felt with my fellow bloggers when I reached 100,000 views on my blog. They are both external indicators that viewers are connecting with the style and content of my communication.
Born and raised in Colorado, panelist Adam Field, earned his BA in Art from Fort Lewis College. For two years he immersed himself in the culturally rich art scene of the San Francisco bay area, where he began his full time studio practice. From there, he relocated to Maui, where he established a thriving studio business. He spent most of 2008 in Icheon, South Korea, studying traditional Korean pottery making techniques under 6th generation Onggi master Kim Ill Mahn. In 2013 he created and debuted HIDE-N-SEEKAH at the NCECA conference in Houston, TX. After maintaining his studio in Durango, CO for 5 years, Adam recently moved to Helena, MT where he is currently a long-term artist in residence at The Archie Bray Foundation. His works are included in private collections and kitchen cabinets internationally. Following is a brief excerpt from his article which appears in its entirety in the NCECA Journal:
New photo editing and image sharing apps like Instagram made it possible for me to connect with other image-makers and clay workers while fostering the photographic dialogue I had learned to love as a child. Instagram became my sketchbook with a window to the world, an easy way to gather and share my visual inspirations as they struck me. Unlike a sketchbook, the social aspect of Instagram informed and inspired my studio practice by providing welcome feedback on my posts and a continuous stream of fresh imagery from others. While Instagram had proven to be an ideal platform for creatively sharing and gathering images and ideas, it was lacking a large clay community. In an effort to encourage more participation from clay artists I created and debuted an interactive Instagram scavenger hunt called HIDE-N-SEEKAH around the 2013 NCECA conference in Houston, TX. The project was a success and participating artists gained an average of 500 followers to their Instagram feeds. The population of clay people on Instagram had grown considerably, invigorating the virtual exchange of information.
Michael Kline received his BFA from the University of TN-Knoxville in 1986 and maintains a studio near the Penland School in Bakersville, NC. Michael leads workshops in pottery and social media and exhibits nationally and writes about his life as a potter with children at www.sawdustanddirt.com. Following is a brief excerpt from his article which appears in its entirety in the NCECA Journal:
Like a magpie, I am attracted to the shiny objects and innovations of technology. This is probably one of the reasons I was so eager to join the online bandwagon and start a blog, albeit late compared to true early adopters. In 2007 I set out to communicate to the masses through my blog, Sawdust and Dirt. Surprisingly, to me, using this online platform didn’t connect me to the market as I’d hoped. You see, the blog turned out to be a great vehicle to connect with fellow potters but not necessarily with buyers and collectors of pots. While potters are certainly also buyers of pots, my intentions with the blog were to reach a larger civilian audience. As other shiny objects came along in the form of diverse social media platforms, some of these non-potter folks came closer and took notice as I built my following on Facebook and Instagram.
Panelist, Carole Epp, is a ceramic artist based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She received her Masters Degree in Ceramics from the Australian National University in 2005 and has maintained a full time studio practice since. Her ceramics branch off into two distinct bodies of work wherein she produces lines of sculptural and functional objects. Due to a desire to expose her own demons as well as to investigate the social and political dysfunction of contemporary society, Epp creates figurative sculpture that presents humanity through a subversion of our utopic projections of ourselves. Her work juxtaposes religious iconography with news headlines, pop culture with nostalgic kitsch, all through the subversion of the traditional genre of the collectible figurine. Her functional work on the other hand shows a softer side of childhood. She creates a line of illustrative dishes that portray sweet and whimsical narratives intended to inspire young and old. She has exhibited throughout Canada; in Australia, Scotland and the United States. Her artwork and writing has been published in magazine publications, websites and books. She is editor of Musing About Mud an online blog that showcases information, calls for entry, exhibitions and artist profiles related to the ceramic arts. Following is a brief excerpt from his article which appears in its entirety in the NCECA Journal:
Over the last nine years my studio practice and my online presence has evolved to incorporate my blog Musing about Mud, personal and professional Facebook pages, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram accounts, Etsy shops, online craft-based memberships such as Crafthaus among others, and inclusion in various online curated galleries. The division of my work hours is now such that my studio time and my online time are likely equivalent. I research, sketch, develop ideas, and receive feedback online. It’s a process with similarities to the research I did as an MFA graduate student at the Australian National University – a research based institution; but I now maintain a similar quality of research and investigation through online platforms. Can you really learn that much through something like twitter? Absolutely, there is qualitative research to be found. We just sometimes have to filter through some cat pictures along the way.
If you missed Janine Antoni’s Keynote Speech: At Home in the Body, at the 2013 NCECA Conference in Houston, do not fret. For you are in luck, because you can now download and listen to this lecture as an NCECA Podcast! Click here for the full, uncut one hour lecture. An abstract of this lecture also appears on page 40 of the NCECA Journal, vol. 34. You can purchase a copy in the NCECA store. The journal includes excerpts from all conference programming and many full-color images from Emerging Artists, Demonstrators, the NCECA shows, and many of the presenters.
Janine Antoni received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and her MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been showcased in exhibitions including the Venice Biennial, Whitney Biennial, Johannesburg Biennial, Istanbul Biennial, Kwangju Biennial, SITE Santa Fe Biennial and the Prospect.1 Biennial in New Orleans.