January 16, 2014 E-NEWS
SUBJECT: CONFERENCE UPDATES, OPPORTUNITIES, REMEMBERING NILS LOU
2014 CONFERENCE REGISTRATION
Early registration for Material World, NCECA’s 2014 conference in Milwaukee, is now almost 100% higher than it was at this time for last year’s in Houston. Don’t get left out in the cold. In response to those who missed out on registration discounts in previous years, NCECA has extended the Early Bird registration rates all the way till the end of January. You have only until January 31, 2014 to lock in these great Early Bird rates if you are not yet registered. After this, slightly higher Advanced Registration rates begin February 1 and run through February 28, 2014. Sitting on the fence about Milwaukee at the end of February, you will feel pretty chilly… You will also have to wait to register onsite beginning March 18 at the Wisconsin Center where you will experience higher costs and perhaps a wait on line. Let’s hope that the wonderful poetry about the region that appears on walls throughout the Wisconsin Center though will warm hearts and help make that experience as tolerable as possible. Register today to get best rates and avoid waits…
NCECA’s 2014 Conference Program is now available as a pdf for download. Learn more about keynote speaker Theaster Gates in “Chicago’s Opportunity Artist”, a December 20 article published in the New York Times. Subscribe to blog.nceca.net to learn about Demonstrating Artists Kyle and Kelly Phelps residency with men in recovery at Tuerk House in Baltimore, Maryland; the great Process Room line-up for Thursday and Friday; and, the spotlight on not-to-be-missed Saturday Closing Speaker Cynthia Bringle. Also coming in early March will be the new and improved NCECA Conference App with functionality upgrades. Paper lovers will appreciate that once again the print program guide produced in cooperation with Ceramics Monthly will be available onsite at the conference.
NCECA’s 2014 exhibition and bus route guide is now available as a pdf download including more than eighty exhibitions are listed throughout the greater Milwaukee region. Flow: The 2014 NCECA Ceramic Art Invitational opens February 22 and runs through March 23, 2014. Featuring the work of twenty artists, 56-page color catalog featuring an essay by Sarah Archer is now at the printer and available for pre-order. Co-Curators for the exhibition are Mel Buchanan and Linda Ganstrom. Tara Wilson and Jeff Mongrain recently completed their selection of works to be included in the 2014 National Student Juried Exhibition that will take place at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design from March 4 – March 22, 2014. NCECA is also producing a color catalog for the NSJE featuring 59 works by 57 artists (undergraduates, post-baccalaureate and graduate students) from throughout the US. Other exhibition highlights extend from the Wisconsin Center to the Jewish Museum, Racine Art Museum, John Michael Kohler Art Center and dozens of venues throughout the region. You won’t want to miss the great cluster of exhibitions at the Pritzlaff Events Space in Milwaukee’s third ward just blocks from the Wisconsin Center. Be sure to subscribe to blog.nceca.net to get news about exhibitions. Currently highlighted are projects by Katherine Ross, Paul Donnelly, and Katie Caron and Martha Russo.
BE READY FOR NCECA’S FIRST BOARD ELECTIONS VIA E-BALLOTTING
E-balloting for new members of NCECA’s Board of Directors opens Wednesday, March 4 and closes at 4pm CST, Friday March 21, 2014.
IMPORTANT- NCECA MEMBERS MUST USE THEIR NCECA MEMBER E-MAIL AND PASSWORD LOG-INS IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE IN BOARD ELECTIONS. VERIFY YOUR MEMBERSHIP STATUS, LOGIN EMAIL AND PASSWORD TODAY AND KEEP IT IN A HANDY PLACE SO THAT YOU WILL BE READY TO VOTE.
All members who are active on or before February 28, 2014 must use the e-ballot system.
Paper ballots will only be available at conference to new members whose dues are paid during onsite registration in Milwaukee.
Results will be reported at the second members business meeting on Saturday, March 22, 2014.
Learn more about our wonderful candidates for NCECA service.
NCECA REMEMBERS NILS LOU
NCECA recently learned of the passing on Wednesday, December 25, 2013. He was a long-time member of NCECA and a friend to potters throughout the US and abroad through is his active life as a blogger and correspondent. Beloved as maker, author and art professor at Linfield College in Oregon since 1987, Lou would have celebrated his 82nd birthday on January 5. Many of his paintings and ceramic pieces are installed on the campus, including a large sundial on Murdock Hall.
Honorary NCECA Member and kiln authority, Fred Olsen writes, “Nils’ contributions to contemporary kiln designs and knowledge was immense and forever documented.” Lou was internationally known for his art and his techniques. He shared his deep knowledge of ceramic firing process in The Art of Firing published in 1998. Lou also produced a series of three videos “On the Wheel with Nils Lou” that received acclaim as an informative, comprehensive and enjoyable record of the potter’s process.
With the involvement of Tom Coleman and Frank Boyden and following guidance provided by Sakazume Katsuyuki, who also designed and built Peter’s Valley Art Center’s anagama kiln, Lou built his East Creek Anagama Kiln in 1985. Following principals of kiln design dating back to the 8th century, Nils and friends fired the East Creek Kiln more than 100 times with crews of potters, students, friends and family, feeding the kiln wood every few minutes for four days straight. Jonathan Kaplan writes, “Nils was singularly responsible for introducing the AIC Oxygen Probe from Australia to potters here in the United States. While quite costly, the device aided many potters in their quests to have consistent and repeatable firings. This was a significant advancement in controlling combustion, atmosphere, and fuel consumption. Nils later worked to help design a more affordable domestically manufactured Oxygen Probe enabling more potters the opportunity to gather real-time evidence about their firing atmosphere.”
Nils’ work involved wide-ranging exploration of clay as a material for expression and daily use. In a 2012 exhibition, Anomalies, he shared a series of teapots inspired by nature with handles in the naturalistic twisting forms of tree branches with a nod to Yixing traditions. Lou also created figurative and abstract paintings some integrating clay with found materials. In 2009, he published The Play Book writing about how opening approaches to creative experience can expand and energize problem solving whether in everyday life or the studio. “Play,” he wrote, “is the WD-40, lubricating creative skills into adulthood. When it’s reduced to a secondary role, as when we urge children to put away ‘childish things’ and to ‘get serious’, holistic growth is shut down.”
In a December 2011 Yamhill Valley News-Register story, Nils talked about his philosophy of pursing art. “Don’t try to see where you want (the art piece) to go, but allow the process to take you on this magical journey,” he said. “If you trust the process, you will never have writer’s block, or painter’s block.” Steven Branfman shares, “My friendship with Nils goes back many, many years and I always knew that he was a wonderful teacher. However it wasn’t until 2012 when I did a workshop for him and his students that I witnessed first hand not only how good he was at his teaching craft, but also how beloved he was to his students. His interaction with them was warmly paternal and never condescending or patronizing. Participating as a visiting artist in a series of student critiques, I heard the kindness, support, and encouragement that Nils was able to express in the face of honest criticism. Nils was remarkable in his ability to communicate the importance and value of creative thinking and problem solving and he put his money where his mouth was in leading by example.”