Del Harrow was an Emerging Artist at NCECA in 2009. These are his thoughts about his expierence and the program….
“Thinking about the opportunity to present as an emerging artist at NCECA (2009) one of the first things that comes to mind is how honored I was to speak alongside the other emerging artists of that year. As is the case every year it was a remarkable group: Ehren Tool, Linda Sormin, Joseph Pinz . . . One of the things NCECA does is to impart our field with a deep sense of community – a community in which different generations of artists all make contributions to the greater whole. As I’ve moved through my career the way I interact with this field changes: I used to go to the NCECA conference mostly to see my former teachers and peers. Now my most meaningful experiences also include opportunities to reconnect with former students, and to introduce current students to this amazing field. I often think of that cohort of 2009(?) emerging artists as a kind of generational peer group. I’ve followed the growth of their work and have watched the contributions they are making as teachers and mentors, and this has been an ongoing inspiration and model for the work I try to do.
In the last 10 years a lot has changed about how young artists gain visibility within the ceramics field. With the rise of social media it feels like so many artists have so much visibility, and often so quickly. There are a lot of things that feel really exciting about this new paradigm, and some things that are troubling, and some that are just not that interesting. I don’t think the emergence of social media totally changes something like the NCECA emerging artist program, but it shifts it in some critical ways. When I presented as an emerging artist a decade ago just the visibility of the stage felt incredible – the number of people were in the auditorium! Now the visibility provided by that platform feels like one of the least important parts. More important, I think, is the way this program brings together leading artists and scholars to select the emerging artists. This provides an opportunity for deeply informed individuals to thoughtfully select artists whose work and practices have a quality and relevance for the field today, and that hold the promise of an ongoing contribution to the field. This is a very special kind of recognition – and a kind rarely afforded by social media. ” www.delharow.net