Sarah Heitmeyer     Qwist Joseph     Nick Lenker     

Lindsay Montgomery     Sean Scott     George Rodriguez

NCECA’s Emerging Artists program recognizes exceptional early career artists highlighting them to an international audience during NCECA’s Annual Conference. NCECA believes that those creating work offering new/exciting/thoughtful perspectives on the ceramic medium, expanding upon genres of creative production and inquiry are qualified as candidates for its Emerging Artist awards. The intent of the award is to recognize, cultivate and amplify vital, new voices of creative endeavor in ceramics. 

Sarah Heitmeyer –  Sarah creates decorative tile and tableware to emulate a calming experience. Merging ornament with natural occurrences such as rippling water is not only a question of ornamental design, but of understanding an immersive experience. She pairs digital and craft based techniques to infiltrate contemporary design and honor traditions of handmade ceramics. Sarah  received her MFA at the State University of New York at New Paltz and BFA from Alfred University. She has worked for KleinReid, Kala Stein Design, ModCraft Tile and the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center.

Qwist Joseph – Qwist is interested in using ancient processes in a contemporary context. By combining clay, bronze, wood and found objects, he makes mixed media sculptures that push against the limits of material hierarchies. Working intuitively, Qwist creates order and meaning from the fluid nature of the creative thought process. Qwist holds a BFA from Colorado State University and an MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He completed a residency at the Archie Bray Foundation and is currently a resident at the RAiR program in New Mexico.

Nick Lenker – “The ceramic objects are attempting to be “real” within a physical as well as a virtual space. We are the object. I create the object. It is blank.  I give it identity with a skin made of photographs that don’t belong to it.  Can it be “real”? This can be complicated“. Nick makes objects thats are shallow and surface focused, the forms simplified. The ceramic objects and animations are tied to specific memories from his past, an attempt to see those memories from the perspective of another. Nick studied ceramics at the University of the Arts and holds a Master’s Degree from the Tyler School of Art. He is a resident artist at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia.

Lindsay Montgomery –  Through the re-imagining of ancient crafts with an urban-feminist-folk perspective, Lindsay’s work weaves dark narratives that highlight tensions and injustice through the vernacular of subculture and resistance. Lindsay works across a variety of media including ceramics and puppetry to create narrative performances and objects. Her work is focused on creating mythologies examining death and mysticism, family dynamics, and evolving modes of power. She earned a BFA from NSCAD, and an MFA from the University of Minnesota.

George Rodriguez – Georges current work continues his exploration of the interconnection we share as people, and of how our differences should be a means to unite rather than separate. George looks at the importance of inclusivity and how different cultures influence each other through celebration rituals, objects of worship, and representations of community. Born and raised in the border city of El Paso, TX, George  received a BFA in ceramics from the University of Texas El Paso and an MFA from the University of Washington. He has shown extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Sean Scott –  The vessels Scott creates are meant to enrich the experience of storing, serving and consuming food and drink. The aesthetics reflect a personal sense of place where he lives in rural Minnesota. Scott intends for each piece to be an interactive component in a collaboration between maker, user and environment. Sean earned his B.F.A. from Ohio University and his M.F.A. from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He currently operates Pomme de Terre Pottery in rural Battle Lake, Minnesota.