March 2012 a great month for art with 5,000 ceramic artists in town

Monday, March 19, 2012

"Return of the Watchers" by Ed Neff
will be on display as part of the Clay Club exhibit
at Shoreline Community College
By Ed Neff

For the first time, the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) is being held in Seattle, March 28-31.

Approximately 5,000 ceramics artists, suppliers, advertisers and collectors will be descending on the greater Seattle area. In over 183 venues — stretching from Bellingham to Tacoma, and in venues ranging from art galleries to the windows at Nordstrom and locally at Shoreline Community College — all are showcasing works of clay.

As a ceramics student at Shoreline Community College, I could hardly wait to see what the rest of the world was doing with ceramics. This was my chance to meet and see artists from all over the nation.

After looking over all the things to do I was a bit overwhelmed and not sure just where to start. There will be so many galleries, shows, and receptions. The convention floor itself will have over 150 exhibitions, and an expected 5000 visitors.

I have decided to visit a hand picked list of galleries and then take some tours. This website has a complete list of all the action.

Below are a few of the places I want to make sure and see.

Pottery Northwest, in addition to their teaching programs and great workshops, will have other venues. During the weekend before the 2012 NCECA conference, Pottery Northwest is hosting four exceptional artists in demonstration workshops.
  • Gail Nichols is known for her unique firing method.
  • Walter Keeler has produced a wonderful body of salt glazed stoneware.
  • Beth Cavener Stichter is one of the most exciting figurative artists in the country.
  • Anne Drew will be taking time from her residency in Germany as a Chancellor’s Fellow to share her considerable sculpture talent. 
Washington State Convention Center:
NCECA (3/1–3/31) Conference exhibits will be open to the public, displaying new and collected works by national and Seattle area artist.

Bellevue Arts Museum: (3/1–5/27)

Rich Lawson. Raku pot.
Raku on the Edge at Seattle Pottery Supply

Mar 24-31, Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm; Tue 8:30am-9pm; Sat 9am-3pm. Reception Mar 27, 6-9pm.

Seattle Design Center: (3/26–3/31) an exhibit of contemporary ceramic artists focused on ceramic heads, including Seattleites Tip Toland and Doug Jeck.

Frye Art Museum: (Through 4/8) monumental clay forms on skeletons of wood and rope drying and cracking revealing their innards.

Henry Art Gallery: (Through 5/6) a look at how Seattle ceramists in the 1960s and '70s called traditional clay forms into question.

Shoreline Community College: The College will have three locations to view ceramic art. In the main gallery as you enter the school, in the library, in the 2000 building lobby and in the ceramics studio.

The galleries that I have decided to visit will give a good overview of the ceramic art world from oversize figurative forms to three inch tea cups.

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