call for entry: 2021 NCECA Annual – Social Recession

Curated by Shannon Rae Stratton

Hosted by:
Weston Art Gallery
Aronoff Center for the Arts
650 Walnut Street
Cincinnati, Oh 45202
513-977- 4166

ENTRY DEADLINE:  Wednesday, October 7, 2020   (11:59pm MDT)

EXHIBITION DATES: February 5 – March 28, 2021

The NCECA Annual blends impactful attributes of invitational and open juried models of exhibition development. Exhibition curator Shannon Rae Stratton’s organizing concept is brought to life through the work of three invited artists. The curator will select additional works and artists for the exhibition through an open call for submissions.

Stratton shares the following about her vision for the exhibition:

According to physician’s Vivek H. Murthy and Alice Chen’s March article for the Atlantic, the corona virus could cause what is being called a “social recession.” They speak about how the longer we go without personal contact, the more social bonds fray and unravel, leading to harmful effects on mood, health, our ability to learn and work, and our overall sense of community. Their concern stems from an already growing body of national and global research on the epidemic of loneliness that reports, at the lowest 22% of American adults, and at the highest 50%, are struggling with loneliness. That is more adults than smoke or have diabetes. 

Many artists working in craft value the field for its history of peer-to-peer exchange, mentorship, functionality and proximity to the body. It’s a field that identifies itself with connection and touch, with craft objects – whether functional design or conceptual art – often serving social functions. 

While Murthy and Chen were concerned with fraying social bonds based on enforced separation, the legacy of settler colonialism and white suprematism that has shaped capitalism, Western culture and specifically the United States, has long disrupted social bonds, destroying communities, histories and traditions in its wake. 

This call for artwork for the NCECA Annual invites artists to consider the tension between together and apart, interdependence, belonging, hospitality and modes of support that allow people to extend themselves with mindfulness and compassion towards each other and to the non-human world. As the list of untenable and ailing structures that have caused harm begin to crumble, what change can be supported through connection, compassion and empathy?

Living in a culture that places a high value on individuality has obscured the reality of interdependence – the fact that nobody thinks or creates in a vacuum. If anything, people are all vectors for one thing or another, transmitting ideas that have coalesced in and around us at any given time. Empathy is the nourishment required to sustain a tender “us” now and in the future. 

Interested artists are encouraged to submit works that draw on their personal and cultural experience to explore themes of the social and how social connection, as a renewable resource, is a means for addressing the challenges we face both individually and as a society. We encourage submissions that deal with collective grief and mourning, rage, empowerment, joy, care and compassion – but all through work grounded in connection, interdependence and the social.

Full Details HERE.


Lots of online workshops available through Pot LA

POT is a full-service pottery studio owned and operated by people of color, a majority of which are women and Los Angeles natives. We are devoted to celebrating the cultures and communities surrounding us through an ancient art form that connects so many of us. We felt a need for a space that felt accessible and empowering for those that felt marginalized in ceramic spaces – namely persons of color, the queer community, and millennials.  Plus, we are huge pottery lovers who admire the craft for all its creative, therapeutic, and cultural elements. 

We’ve been getting weird since July 2017, and we’ve thus developed a community of kind, radical, funny, and incredibly supportive people. Our staff consists of and is run by our members. We are outsiders to the institution of art, do everything in house, and we have a DIY non-traditional approach to all things. Most of us are POC, many of us are queer, and we are always committed to proliferating radical art and providing a safe space for uncensored creative expression. We aim to provide an alternative to vanilla pottery spaces. 

Mandy, our founder, is Iranian and wanted to celebrate LA being a hub for so many diasporas seeing as LA is the largest diaspora for Iranians in the world. Her dream was to facilitate a space that builds community and cultivates culture in Los Angeles, while also creating fun fulfilling jobs with living wages for radical POC artists. With Mandy being an avid handbuilder, she enlisted the help of our Studio Manager Ambar to man the wheel (literally) and opened POT. Ambar is an LA-native Salvi woman with a commitment to radical activism, and she is also a self-taught wizard at the wheel.  The two shared a commitment to activism, social politics, laughing, and pottery – which made POT come to fruition organically. 

Part of POT’s mission is to break down the walls surrounding art spaces in LA and create a beginner’s oriented studio. We recognize that not all of us are raised with the privilege of growing up with the arts, many of us are adults wanting to try new things for the first time – and that’s a beautiful thing. We aim to provide a chill and fun adult atmosphere where people can laugh, dig their hands in, and build up a fire inside through pottery. This is ceramics for activists, meme lovers, abuelas, and everything in-between. 

POT is committed to being accessible to persons of color and the native Echo Park community. We have numerous practices to ensure we give back to the community.

Please visit our Community page for more information. POT is an inclusive space for everyone. We encourage you all to sit back relax, connect, laugh, and get your hands on some pot…tery. 

Find out more HERE!

Northern Clay Center – American Pottery Festival 2020

American Pottery Festival guest ceramic artists from across the country will illuminate and celebrate the honor in, and value of, the millions of ways to be and live and create in the U.S. This year, APF features a virtual conference and an exhibition and sale.

APF artists will offer weekday interactive virtual workshops and a full weekend of demonstrations, panels, and lectures, all with the opportunity to immerse yourself in their worlds and pose questions. In addition, everyone is welcome to join us nightly, Wednesday through Saturday, for evening social hours and artist lectures.

The festival is a five-day opportunity to choose from an array of finely-crafted objects from engaging artists, available for purchase both in-person with ticketed gallery appointments and online.

Learn more and get tickets:

American Pottery Festival 2020 Invited Artists include:
Ashley Bevington, Patty Bilbro, Andy Bissonnette, Doug Casebeer, Pattie Chalmers, Amanda Dobbratz, Justin Donofrio, Sanam Emami, Brett Freund, Stuart Gair, Guillermo Guardia, Mike Helke, Peter Jadoonath, Randy Johnston, Bill Jones, Kathy King, Forrest Lesch-Middelton with Arash Shirinbab, Jordan McDonald, Catie Miller, Ronan Kyle Peterson, Tricia Schmidt, Mike Tavares, Sandra Torres, Daniel Velasquez, Kurt Brian Webb


Doug Casebeer & Randy Johnston: Between the Idea and the Making
Thursday, September 3, 9 am – 5 pm
Friday, September 4, 9 am – 4 pm

This workshop is a rare opportunity to spend uninterrupted (virtual) time with internationally-recognized ceramic artists Randy Johnston and Doug Casebeer. They will focus on the exchange of ideas involved in making pots related to form and function with sculptural intention. This engaging and memorable workshop, filled with personal discussions about traditional and new ways of making, surface decoration, wood firing, soda firing, gas firing, and their relationship to contemporary ceramics, will come to you from their personal studios and is fully interactive.

Virtual Workshop price includes a Clay-Along Kit and bisque firing of pieces created during the workshop: $225
NCC Members and Educators: $200 | Students: $115

Virtual Workshop Only: $170
NCC Members and Educators: $150 | Students: $75

Kathy King: Unearthing Story – Friday, September 4, 9 am – 5 pm

Kathy King, ruler of the narrative vessel, invites you into her world full of texture, feminism, and critical perceptions. Her sensual carvings on utilitarian vessels work as a conduit to provoke impressions of gender, sexuality, and the influence of popular culture on the stories we believe. Journey with King as she demonstrates her vessels from conception, to creation, to carving. She will demonstrate her sgraffito and carving techniques and share the influence and crossover of printmaking and mixed media in her work. As you absorb her process, lean in to unfolding the story you have to tell, whether it be personal narrative or thematic perspectives, and explore profound ways to share and embody them through the physicality of clay.

Virtual Workshop price includes a Clay-Along Kit and bisque firing of pieces created during the workshop: $130
NCC Members and Educators: $115 | Students: $75

Saturday Virtual Workshop Session

September 5, 10 am – 4 pm
All-day Virtual Workshop Pass: $45
NCC Members and Educators: $35 | Students: $30
To use your member, educator, or student discount, please email or call 612.339.8007 during business hours.

10 – 11 am
Tippy Maurant chats with Patty Bilbro, Guillermo Guardia, Catie Miller, & Mike Tavares: Inside the Potter’s Studio
We launch into our weekend of virtual demonstrations with our tradition of coffee and a behind-the-scenes dialogue between a talented cast of makers. There will be insights into the life and times of a studio artist, candid conversations about everything from failed kilns and challenges with the material, to studio realities and personal collections, to navigating this year’s challenges through art. You are invited to listen to the stories behind the pots you love.

11:15 am – 12:30 pm
Ashley Bevington & Tricia Schmidt: Allusive Zoomorphism
Ashley Bevington and Tricia Schmidt will transform a wheelthrown form, Bevington through adding adapted features and lavish texture, and Schmidt through building embellished creatures onto and incising them into form. Discover the use of animals as symbols in their work that speak to their own personal experience and the human condition, and contemplate these connections in your own life.

1 – 2:45 pm
Sanam Emami & Forrest Lesch-Middelton: History Repeats Itself
Discover the historical and cultural influences and collaborations in Sanam Emami’s deliberate patterns and Forrest Lesch-Middelton’s intricate designs and poetry. Since both artists draw from Middle Eastern design, join them as they discuss this common thread and demonstrate the distinct sensibilities of their individual works. Emami will demonstrate her stencil and slip techniques and Lesch-Middelton his volumetric transfer process. This dynamic duo will leave you curious and craving a surface evolution of your own.

3 – 4 pm
Andy Bissonnette & Justin Donofrio: Ordering a Surface
Andy Bissonnette directs us to contemplate mysteries achieved by hand, and Justin Donofrio’s rhythmic objects ask us to reflect on our relationship with the earth and ways we attempt to control it. Join them as they demonstrate their different approaches to designing and executing an ordered surface and the layered assembly and carving processes that serve the entrancing rhythms of their work.

Sunday Virtual Workshops

September 6, 10 am – 2 pm
All-day Virtual Workshop Pass: $35
NCC Members and Educators: $25 | Students: $20
To use your member, educator, or student discount, please email or call 612.339.8007 during business hours.

10 – 11 am
Catie Miller: Transfixing Transfers
Travel through layers of hand-drawn motifs, vibrant color, symbolism, and playful intention as Catie Miller demonstrates her illustrated surface transfer technique. Miller’s fresh forms are as alluring as her ritualized process, and the inviting combination elevates our perception of everyday objects and recasts them as beloved home staples that contribute to and ground tradition. Be equipped to experiment with transfers of your own, better the marriage of form and surface, and be inspired to define a narrative language unique to the way you interpret the world.

11:15 am – 12:45 pm
Amanda Dobbratz & Mike Tavares: Earthenware and Extracurricular Activities
Join Amanda Dobbratz and Mike Tavares as they discuss their fondness of a common material and demonstrate their different approaches to earthenware. Stay intent as they bring forms to life and share conversations about influences in their work and how their creative energies overflow to other avenues like Tavares’s Clay Siblings Project, Dobbratz’s design work and teaching, and other arenas that inform or have grown out of their ceramic practices.

1 – 2 pm
Mike Helke, Peter Jadoonath, & Jordan McDonald: Endurance of the Object
Every object tells the story of an interaction with its maker. We will end our weekend together with a time of sharing and reflecting on a medium that captures and preserves moments in time and how the artist and object persevere and evolve together. Join Mike Helke, Peter Jadoonath, and Jordan McDonald as they casually build objects in tandem, share how their careers have adapted and grown over time, and how their making endures and is shaped by the unexpected turns of life. Chat with them about building successful pottery sales, career triumphs and failures, and the importance of the clay community as they together navigate a new way of making.

To use your member, educator, or student discount, please email or call 612.339.8007 during business hours.