Posted by Tony Wise
As we gather around tables across the country, our conversations with friends, family and loved ones are established around food-fueled fellowship. These conversations take place in many formats – potlucks, private dinners, big community events and quiet evenings together. Ceramic artists across the land make objects that serve as an accompaniment to these lively conversations, bringing another layer to rich traditions.
But what do you do when your loved one lives over 3,500 miles away?
For the Across the Table, Across the Land exhibition at the NCECA 50th Anniversary conference, Adam Chau, who serves as Program Manager at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester New York, has proposed a special project where he will share a meal with his husband who lives in Amsterdam via Skype. For these special “public” private dinners, Adam will design and create an environment that will connect the two visually and conceptually. These meals will take place as a performance series at the Across the Table, Across the Land exhibition during the NCECA conference.
“I’m interested in the minute interactions that we have with digital communication – whether it be with ceramics or relationships – and trying to discover how conscious we are in how the landscape is changing. I want to show the mundanity of how these ‘new’ systems have already integrated with our lives. That being said there is so much to offer with the digital.
What I will exhibit are pairs of plates that are ‘bound together’ with a single brushstroke from a CNC machine and handmade paintbrush; a symbol of unity with a partner.
No two marks are the same due to the handmade nature of the brushes, however there is a feeling of repetition and production because of the digital process; which is my nod to a globalized post-industrial/internet society.
I will then be sharing a meal at various times during the conference week with my husband via Skype, who is located in Amsterdam. I invite you to see what my last three years of sharing a meal with a loved one have looked like – handcrafted plates and an iPhone.”
This concept occupies a space that represents the reality for many of us – in an ever complex world, the ability to be “close” from a distance is no longer a novelty, but a reality.
We look forward to seeing this within the context of an exhibition focused on the intersection of Clay, Food and Community –
CALL TO ACTION, PROJECTS TO TAKE PLACE DURING THE NCECA CONFERENCE
We invite you to submit project ideas that will take place DURING the NCECA conference, as a series of “Clay-n-Food Happenings”. These will take place during the Across the Table, Across the Land exhibition at Charlotte Street Foundation Gallery.
If you have an idea, or questions about a proposal for this special call out for participation – drop Michael Strand and/or Namita Wiggers an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
What are you bringing to the tables?
Have a project to submit? Go here!
Want to get your K-12 school and students involved? Download the student/parent permission form and Potluck: A Portrait of School Communities through Clay and Food to help guide your lesson plans and teaching here!
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Questions? Email Michael and Namita at email@example.com
Selected works may be exhibited in Kansas City along with the Instagram photo in the exhibition Across the Table, Across the Land in celebration of NCECA’s 50th Anniversary. If selected, we will connect with you via the info you entered on the webapp or Instagram account.
Once the exhibition is over, objects are returned to the artists and the lights are turned off – but your project lives on. It will become part of a digital archive, a “time capsule” telling the story of how ceramic artists in 2015-16 are natural and powerful community connectors. A treasure trove of digital information for generations to come.
Across the Table, Across the Land, a project of the National Ceramic Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), is designed to to be a snapshot of what is happening today at the intersection of food, clay and community. From the conceptual to the every day, we are inherently connected to community, and have been for a long… long time!