Anna Walker, curator of the 2020 NCECA Annual, is Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts, Craft, and Design at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) where she is responsible for exhibition, research and publication, the proposal of acquisitions, and development of long-term collections strategy. She has lectured widely and contributed essays for Metalsmith Magazine, American Craft Inquiry, and the 2016 Renwick Invitational: Visions and Revisions catalogue. Recent projects at the MFAH include In the Studio: Craft in Postwar America, 1950-1970, In Conversation: 18th Century Influences on Contemporary Craft, and Materials and Meaning in Dutch Jewelry from the Museum’s Collection. She presented “The Personal is Political: Exploring Constructions of Identity in the Work of Jennifer Ling-Datchuk” at the Textile Society of America’s 16th Biennial symposium. She is co-curating the forthcoming retrospective of Olga de Amaral with Cranbrook Art Museum opening in 2020.

The NCECA Annual blends impactful attributes of invitational and open juried models of exhibition development. The vision of a single curator generates an organizing concept for the exhibition and invites five leading artists in the field whose work serves to build out and expand on the exhibition’s conceptual framework. The curator then makes selections of additional works and artists for the exhibition through an open call for submissions.

The most well-known myths of American Studio Ceramics are often not the most inclusive, and
by definition, do not represent every voice. The Burdens of History seeks to broaden the narrative, featuring artists and artworks that both celebrate and critique the history of the field. The exhibition is a platform for artists who approach ceramics as pluralistic, who broaden representation in the field, and who consider the many histories/herstories/theirstories of clay to make new touchstones for today. Their performances, videos, ephemera, and objects engage not only a material knowledge of clay but knowledge of its social history. Rooted in the past, but moving in new directions, these works–and the artists who made them–demonstrate the continued vitality of the multivalent field of ceramics.

Stay tuned to see select images from this exhibition and to learn more about the gallery spaces!