PPP: Getting Centered

NCECA 2005 will bring together artists, educators, students and production potters to explore the culture and community of pottery.

"Eyed Heart Bowl," 6 x 22 x 22 in. earthenware with glaze and underglaze by Don Nakamura, Philadelphia, Pa., on display at the NCECA 2005 Clay National Exhibition. Photo by Jack Ramsdale.
With the theme "Centering: Community, Clay & Culture," NCECA 2005 is expected to draw about 6000 artists, educators, students and potters to network and learn about the culture, community and business of pottery. The 39th annual conference will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Md., March 16-19, and will feature a variety of lectures and panels, a silent auction, the 13th Annual Fellowship Fund Cup Sale, a K-12 exhibition, and a manufacturer/supplier/nonprofit exhibition. Several other events will also be held concurrently with the conference, including the Tour de Clay Exhibition, the NCECA 2005 Clay National Exhibition, the 2005 Regional Student Juried Exhibition and the FĂȘte '05: Benefit Auction. Following are some of the anticipated highlights of these events.

"Vase," 12 x 8 x 8 in. porcelain by David Beum‚e, Lafayette, Colo., on display at the NCECA 2005 Clay National Exhibition. Photo by Charlie Roy.

Learning Opportunities

The opening ceremonies will begin on Wednesday, March 16, at 7 p.m. with a keynote lecture by award-winning art critic and historian Robert Hughes on "The Shock of the Now." Thursday's lectures will include "Culturally Congruent/ In-Congruent? Taiwan, Ceramics and the United States," by Ching-Yuan Chang; "Outsider-Young Korean Contemporary Artists in the United States," by Inchin Lee; "Design Elements and Spiritual Principles," by Robert Piepenburg; and "A Vase is a Vase is a Vase," by Paul Bourassa; as well as the Distinguished Lecture, "The Handmade Future," by Jed Perl, art critic for The New Republic.

Panel discussions on Thursday will include "Entrepreneurial Spirit-Three Different Approaches," moderated by Charlie Cummings; "Denmark: Diverse Cultures and Communities," moderated by Gregory Hamilton Miller; "Apprenticeship: An Alternative Educational Path," moderated by Gerry Williams; "Getting Published," moderated by Rebecca Bafford; and "Letters to a Young Potter," moderated by Walter Ostrom.

On Friday, the lectures will cover K-12 ceramic art education theory and practice, a museum dedicated to potter George Ohr, ceramic restoration and digital imaging. The Distinguished Lecture will be "Two Great Collectors: With an Eye Toward Quality and Community," presented by Gary Vikan, director of the Walters Art Museum. Friday's panels will include "Arts and Community: Three Different Views," moderated by JoAnn Schnabel; "Gender and the Vessel," moderated by Geoffrey Wheeler; "M.C. Richards' Influence on the Evolution of Ceramic Pedagogy," moderated by Melody Lewis-Kane; and "Cultural Migrations," moderated by Danille Taylor.

On Saturday, William Daley will present the closing lecture, "Canted Thoughts of an Octagenarian Mud Man."

"Covered Jar," 14 x 8 x 8 in. stoneware by Nathaniel Duffield, Alfred, N.Y., on display at the NCECA 2005 Regional Student Juried Exhibition.

Exhibits, Displays and Fundraisers

In addition to learning from the lectures and panels, attendees will also have the opportunity to explore a variety of exhibits and pottery displays. Nearly 150 organizations are expected to showcase their products and services at the Manufacturers/Suppliers and Nonprofits Exhibit, which will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m on Wednesday, March 16, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, March 17-18.

Visitors can also view pottery on display at the Clay National Exhibition and Regional Student Juried Exhibition. Held in odd-numbered years, the Clay National Exhibition is a juried exhibition of works by U.S. artists and international NCECA members. The 2005 Clay National Exhibition will be hosted by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and will be open March 10-April 10. The Regional Student Juried Exhibition, which will be open March 13-29, showcases undergraduate and graduate student work from a multi-state region surrounding the conference host city.

Tour de Clay, which will feature 160 exhibitions and 878 artists from around the world, will be held in 122 venues throughout the greater Baltimore region for six weeks beginning on February 19 and continuing through April 3, 2005. Presented by Baltimore Clayworks in partnership with artists, galleries and leaders from the cultural community throughout the Greater Baltimore region, Tour de Clay will include exhibits at locations such as the American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore Clayworks, Contemporary Museum, Coppin State University, Eubie Blake Cultural Arts Center, Grimaldis Gallery, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Maryland Institute College of Art, Morgan State University, School 33 Art Center, the T. Rowe Price and Bank of America lobbies, and The Whole Gallery. Additionally, venues such as Fells Point, Mt. Vernon, Federal Hill and Annapolis will host clusters of exhibits, as well as opening receptions, gallery talks and tours. Shuttles to Tour de Clay exhibits will depart regularly from the Baltimore Convention Center during NCECA 2005.

Several fundraisers will also be held during the show to support the NCECA Fund for Artist Development, which is designed to provide opportunities for artistic growth through scholarships, residencies and programs. Visitors can participate in the 13th Annual Fellowship Fund Cup Sale by donating and buying cups at the show. The cups will be exhibited on Thursday, March 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will go on sale Friday, March 18, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The FĂȘte '05: Benefit Auction, held March 18-20, will provide another opportunity for attendees to support this cause. The fundraiser will include The Collectors' Tour, in which participants will tour selected exhibitions, enjoy private gallery talks by artists and curators, and visit a private home collection. The event also includes premier seating at the NCECA Benefit Auction Gala & Dinner the evening of March 19, which will include both a live and silent auction. Visitors can also choose to attend only the March 19 gala for this fundraiser.

For more information about NCECA 2005 and the related special events, contact the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) at (866) 266-2322, e-mail office@nceca.net , or visit http://www.nceca.net .

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