ONLINE EXTRA: NCECA 2011 Preview

March 1, 2011
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The 45th annual NCECA Conference will be held in Tampa, Fla., from March 30 to April 2.

In homage to artistic trends both traditional and new, the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) has designated this year’s conference theme as “Tidal Forces: The Next Wave.” The 45th annual conference will take place at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Fla., from March 30 to April 2. During the event, art enthusiasts of all ages will experience a variety of programs tailored to the exploration of past and present dynamics of the ceramic art form.

Exhibitions

Visitors will be able to explore several concurrent exhibitions while they are at NCECA. Each year, the Gallery Exposition offers an impressive display of works by some of the nation’s most talented ceramicists. As home to the 2011 Gallery Exposition, the Center Hall of the Tampa Convention Center will showcase art from seven major galleries from across America. One of these galleries, Santa Fe Clay, will present the La Mesa dinnerware show-along with the 30-ft ArtStream Nomadic Gallery trailer-right in the Center Hall.

A Manufacturers/Suppliers and Nonprofits Exhibition will take place in conjunction with the Gallery Exhibition. Exhibitors will be exclusively made up of companies that provide products or services to the ceramic industry. To that end, industry experts will have an excellent opportunity to network, make new contacts, and grow their businesses.

In addition to the events at the Convention Center, the NCECA 2011 National Student Juried Exhibition will be held nearby at the University of South Florida. Jurors Neil Forrest and Ayumi Horie will choose among the work of participating student artists, and cash merit awards will be given in a number of categories. Winners will be announced during the conference’s opening reception.

Educational Program

Since NCECA’s mission fundamentally focuses on education in the ceramic arts, lectures and discussion panels will again be a predominant facet of this year’s conference. Renowned Florida author Carl Hiaasen will give the keynote speech on the evening of Wednesday, March 30. Throughout the next three days, additional lectures and panels will be given on clay art’s relation to such relevant topics as digital design, multimedia, higher education, slip-dipping, marketing, study abroad, green issues, rococo, virtual ceramics, and more.

NCECA will also provide cooperative spaces for participants to hold useful and informative discussions about topics not touched on during the lecture schedule. At the Topical Discussions session on Thursday, members will meet with other individuals who have common interests, and group leaders will facilitate roundtable-type conversations among participants. Similarly, an NCECA Connections session on Friday will supply groups with a chance to share ideas and information on a particular subject of interest.

Other Program Highlights

Visitors will have a chance to support the NCECA Fund for Artistic Development by purchasing one of the hundreds of donated handmade cups available for sale at the annual fundraiser. The Cup Sale, which has been a conference tradition for the past 18 years, helps NCECA to fund scholarships, residencies and other programs that promote education in the ceramic arts. Attendees will be able to choose from an array of pieces by well-known artists, professional potters and ceramic students. Although the exhibition will be available for viewing on Wednesday and Thursday, the items will go on sale on Friday, April 1 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Additional events at this year’s NCECA conference will include a daily video screening, live demonstrations, university showcases, the Potter’s Jam, and the annual dance. In addition, several pre- and post-conference events in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area will be offered around the NCECA program schedule.

For additional information, contact NCECA at (866)266-2322, e-mail office@nceca.net or visit http://nceca.net/static/conference_home.php.

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