PPP: Investigations & Inspirations

NCECA 2004 will highlight both the artistic and scientific elements of producing functional pottery and ceramic art

Producing functional pottery and ceramic art requires more than just an artistic eye-it also requires a significant amount of experimentation and knowledge of materials science. NCECA 2004, which will be held at the Indiana Convention Center and nearby Indianapolis Marriott Downtown in Indianapolis, Ind., March 17-20, will give attendees the opportunity to explore new dimensions in both the artistic and scientific elements of their craft.

This "Lattice Form Bowl," created by Lea Zoltowski, is one of many artistic pieces that will be on display at the 2004 Regional Student Juried Exhibition.

An Informative Conference

The conference will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 17, with the manufacturers'/suppliers' and nonprofit exhibition in the Indiana Convention Center. The exhibition will be open all three days of the conference; more than 80 manufacturers/suppliers and more than 60 nonprofits are expected to display their products and services at this year's event.

The opening ceremonies will be held from 7-9 p.m. on March 17 at the Marriott and will feature a keynote address by V.S. Ramachandran, M.D., a celebrated brain scientist, author and trustee of the San Diego Museum of Art, who will discuss "The Artful Brain: What Neurology Can Tell Us About Human Nature and Art."

On Thursday and Friday, March 18-19, attendees will be able to sit in on a variety of informative lectures, including, "Mastering Magic Metal Salts," by Gary Holt; "Energy Exchange: A Landfill Gas Powered Studio," by Jon Ellenbogen; "Glaze Calculation for the Masses in One Hour or Less," by Louis Katz; "Science in the Studios," by Claire Olander and Holly Walker; and "Environmental Ethics in Ceramic Art," by Kira Campbell.

A series of panel discussions will also be held on both days to expose attendees to a broad range of views on various topics, such as "Art and Science Synergy in Education," discussed by William Carty, John Gill and Matt Katz, and moderated by Chris Stanley; "Audience/Participants: Passive to Active," discussed by Terry Couch, Neil Tetkowski and Georgette Zirbes, and moderated by Ingrid Lilligren; "Under the Influence, Digital/Elemental," discussed by Brian Boldon, Rick Parsons and Colby Parsons-Okeefe, and moderated by Fred Spaulding; and "INdustrial INsinuations," discussed by Jeanne Quinn, Katy Rush and Matthew Wilt, and moderated by Anne Perrigo.

The 2004 conference will also feature a new addition called the "Distinguished Lectures" series. A bit like the keynote address, these 60-minute talks are scheduled at the conclusion of the regular programming (5:30 p.m.) on Thursday and Friday to allow all visitors to attend. Thursday's Distinguished Lecture will be presented by Roald Hoffman, while Friday's will be presented by Paul Greenhalgh.

According to Jeremy Jernegan, program director, the overall NCECA 2004 program is roughly 40% larger than in past years, with more offerings in all areas. To make it easier for members to find topics of interest, the program will be divided into three general categories: 1) technology and professionalism, 2) aesthetics and criticism and 3) history and education. A separate ballroom will be dedicated to the presentations in each category, and each ballroom will seat at least 850 people (nearly double the usual size), which should alleviate the problem of overflowing crowds that has occurred in the past with popular topics.

This pitcher and bowl set by Victoria D. Christou can be seen along with other functional pottery pieces at the Pleasures of the Table exhibit.

Special Events

In addition to the manufacturers'/suppliers' exhibition and regular conference program, NCECA attendees will also be able to participate in a number of special events. For instance, as in past years, artists and potters can donate and buy cups for the 12th Annual Fellowship Fund Cup Sale to support the Regina Brown Undergraduate Student Fellowship. Each donated cup will be considered for a "Cups of Merit" commission award, and each on-site donor will also receive a bonus NCECA 2005 conference/membership drawing ticket. The cups will be exhibited on Thursday, March 18, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will go on sale on Friday, March 19, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Purchases will be limited to three cups at a time.

As a result of the continued generosity of noted artists in the field, NCECA will also once again hold a Silent Auction to benefit international programs. The pieces will be on view and bidding will begin on Wednesday, March 17, from 12-5 p.m., in Hall C at the Indiana Convention Center. The winning bids will be posted on Friday at the close of bidding.

A number of art and pottery exhibitions will also be held concurrently with the NCECA conference. These include the 2004 Invitational-Biomimicry: The Art of Imitating Life, which opens March 3; the 2004 Regional Student Juried Exhibition, which runs February 23-March 20; Pleasures of the Table, which runs March 1-20; and Edgy Characters, which runs March 17-20. Shuttles will run from the Indiana Convention Center to these exhibitions on Wednesday, March 17, and Saturday, March 20.

For more information about NCECA 2004 and the related special events, contact the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) at 77 Erie Village Square, Suite 280, Erie, CO 80516-6996; (866) 266-2322 or (303) 828-2811; fax (303) 828-0911; e-mail office@nceca.net; or visit http://www.nceca.net.

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