PPP: From Dawn to Digital

March 1, 2009
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Ceramic art educators from around the world will flock to Phoenix, Ariz., next month for NCECA’S 43rd annual conference.

Clay National entry by Kevin Snipes.

The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) will hold its 43rd annual conference, Ceramic Interface: From Dawn to Digital, at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Ariz., April 8-11, 2009. The conference is expected to attract 5000 attendees, including ceramic artists, manufacturers, gallery owners, historians, professors and students, from more than 20 countries.

An array of world-class experts in the ceramic field will present a full lineup of panels and lectures, and participants will enjoy demonstrations, student forums for all education levels, and special screenings of videos about ceramic art. The event will also feature major displays of the latest ceramic equipment, technology and publications, and many educational institutions and non-profit organizations will share information regarding their ceramic programs.

The conference theme, From Dawn to Digital, includes a wide spectrum of ceramic activity by many cultures. “With each successive generation, emerging artists have forged a new voice within the ceramic idiom,” said Peter Held, curator of ceramics at the Arizona State University Art Museum Ceramics Research Center. “Borrowing freely from different times and cultures, incorporating new technologies, materials and disciplines, they continue to expand the art’s potential. Given the rich artistic traditions of native cultures of the Southwest, coupled with leading-edge art programs that many of the area’s educational institutions offer, this conference reflects a true sense of our region.”

Clay National Entry by Karen Massaro.

Event Highlights

Notable events scheduled for the 2009 conference include the keynote address by New York Times art critic Roberta Smith; a distinguished lecture by Nora Naranjo Morse, Santa Clara sculptor and poet; a performance by Dancing Earth, which gathers the nation’s finest Native dance artists; and demonstrations of techniques by noted artists, including David East, Irma Starr, Tara Wilson and Takeshi Yasuda.

In conjunction with the conference, NCECA annually sponsors two major exhibitions of contemporary art: the NCECA Biennial and the Regional Student Juried Exhibition. For the 2009 Biennial, jurors selected 55 works by 51 artists from  more than 1500 submissions. The Arizona State University Art Museum Ceramics Research Center in Tempe, Ariz., will host the Biennial March 22 to May 30, 2009.

The 2009 Regional Student Juried Exhibition will showcase the most accomplished undergraduate and graduate ceramic artists from eight states in the mountain, west and southwest regions. This exhibition will take place at the Tempe Center for the Arts in Tempe, Ariz., January 24 to April 11, 2009.

More than 75 additional exhibitions are planned throughout the greater Phoenix area during the time of the NCECA conference. Other exhibitions include “Potters on Paper,” an exhibition of prints created by artists known primarily for their work in clay, and “Titans: Robert Arneson & Viola Frey,” both at the Arizona State University Art Museum; “Mothers and Daughters: Stories in Clay,” by seven artists from the Naranjo family, at the Heard Museum in Phoenix; and “The One of Many/The Many of One,” sculpture and installation work by notable ceramic artists Eva Kwong, Candy Depew and Bean Finneran, at SoCa Gallery/Vircille in Scottsdale, Ariz.

For more information, call (866) 266-2322 or visit www.nceca.net.

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