2003 Essay | NCECA Emerging Artists 1996–2000 Exhibition

2003 Essay | NCECA Emerging Artists 1996–2000 Exhibition

NCECA Emerging Artists 1996–2000 

By Aurore Chabot


Kathy King
Biological Clock, 2002
porcelain, 10 x 13 x 5

The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) is dedicated to improving and promoting the ceramic arts through education, research and creative practice. In pursuit of this mission, NCECA sponsors several proactive programs including the Emerging Artists series, which showcases the work of early career artists each year at NCECA’s national conference. Mentors or peers from the field at large nominate artists, who do not need to be NCECA members, to give slide presentations of their work to 4,000 plus attendees of the conference. The artists submit slides, career documentation and letters of nomination and recommendation to NCECA. Two NCECA Board members review the nominees’ submissions and select six artists based primarily on the quality of their work. The Emerging Artist program has been an integral component of NCECA’s annual conference and journal since 1982, showcasing arguably the best and most dynamic new ceramic art, and launching numerous careers.

NCECA Emerging Artists 1996–2000 at SOFA CHICAGO 2003 highlights the history and mission of NCECA while spotlighting new directions in ceramic art for the collectors, critics, museum and gallery curators, artists, patrons and ceramic aficionados of all kinds who attend SOFA and read this catalogue. While NCECA has sponsored countless high quality and critically acclaimed exhibitions over the years, this is the first NCECA exhibition at SOFA to assemble a group of dynamic new work created entirely by Emerging Artists who, a few years after winning the honor to present slides of their work to NCECA members, are still active, producing artists. This is an important opportunity for NCECA to serve not only its membership, but the entire field of ceramics and the larger world of fine arts.

Judith Condon
Plants IV, 1999
24.5 x 18 x 13

Individuals who were Emerging Artists in 1996 through 2000 were invited to submit five slides each to co-curators Michel Conroy and Skeffington Thomas, who chose twentyfour works, one from each artist, to include in the exhibition. Artists who agreed to participate include Tori Arpad, Margaret Bohls, Judith Condon, Cameron Crawford, Dana Groemminger, Kevin W. Hughes, Kathy King, Phyllis Kloda, Marc Leuthold, Suze Lindsay, Ray Liao, Matt Long, Keisuke Mizuno, Cara Moczygemba, Justin Novak, Yves Paquette, David Pier, Liz Quackenbush, Jo Schneider, Nick Sevigney, Deborah Sigel, Martin Tagseth, Hirotsune Tashima and James Tisdale. The full range of diverse art expression is represented by these works of sculpture, ceramic and mixed media, and vessels, functional and conceptual—all vibrant, original, personal, traditional and unconventional—the polyglot, post-modern world of art today.

As a NCECA Director-at-large (1999-2001), I had the privilege of mentoring Emerging Artists twice. Co-jurying the Emerging Artist nominees with NCECA Conference Liaisons Jim Connell for the 2000 conference and Cary Esser for the 2001 conference, was a difficult, albeit enlightening process due to the high quality of work submitted. Because of the incredible strength of the field, it was not easy to choose just six Emerging Artists for each conference. It is no surprise that many Emerging Artists have pursued highly successful and prominent careers in exhibitions and/or academia and can be regularly found listed on prominent workshop/lecture circuit rosters. Since “emerging,” the artists represented here have been very busy. Many have won honors such as the Virginia A. Groot Award, National Endowment for the Arts Individual Fellowship Grants, Fulbright grants, state and regional fellowship grants, artist-in-residency awards, and academic research and travel grants. Their works of art are in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum; the Everson Museum; the Renwick Gallery, the Smithsonian Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art, Shigaraki, Japan; and many other notable private and public collections.


Nick Sevigney
Fictionware, Spouted Vessel,
2002, wood and soda-fired
stoneware, 10 x 9

Several Emerging Artists have also distinguished themselves as educators at academic venues such as Florida International University, Miami; the University of Florida, Gainesville; California State University, Chico; Pennsylvania State University, University Park; St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota; Princeton University; the State University of New York, Potsdam; Kansas City Art Institute; Herron School of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana; Millersville University, Millersville, Pennsylvania; Georgia State University, Atlanta; the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; the University of Oregon, Eugene; the State University of New York, New Paltz; and Pima Community College, Tucson, Arizona. Their work has been included in every conceivable important ceramic and art exhibition worldwide, such as the NCECA Clay National Exhibition; Ceramic National exhibitions at the Everson Museum; the San Angelo National Ceramic Competitions; the Mueseum of Arts & Design exhibitions, New York City; the Craft Alliance, St. Louis, Missouri; Santa Fe Clay, New Mexico; Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans; Baltimore Clay Works, Maryland; the Schein-Joseph Museum at Alfred University, Alfred, New York; SOFA NEW YORK and CHICAGO; Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York City; Aukland Museum, New Zealand; Musée de Vallauris, France; David Zapf Gallery, San Diego; Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica, California; the Works Gallery, Philadelphia; gallerymateria, Scottsdale, Arizona; the Contemporary Crafts Gallery, Portland, Oregon; and various university and college galleries and museums. The Emerging Artists’ art has graced the covers and pages of these influential periodicals: Ceramics Monthly, American Ceramics, Ceramics Art and Perception, American Craft, Sculpture Magazine, Art In America. Examples of their work are illustrated and their ceramic techniques and creative visions are explicated in authoritative books on ceramic art too numerous to name here.

If SOFA’s bustling atmosphere and rich displays are any indication, it is crystal clear that ceramic art in its many guises continues to garner a tenacious hold on the art exhibition world and marketplace. This exhibition puts into action NCECA’s mission to make available to as broad a discerning audience as possible the new forms, surfaces, techniques, styles and ideas generated by the ever-evolving field of ceramics. NCECA is honored to have this special opportunity at SOFA to promote ceramic art and the careers of these now emerged artists, thus inspiring the present and future generations of art-makers, art-viewers, art-buyers and art-lovers the world over. NCECA thanks SOFA for supporting this extraordinary exhibition of top-quality ceramic art.

Aurore Chabot is NCECA Publications Director until the 2004 NCECA Annual National Conference in Indianapolis and is Professor of Art and Ceramics at the School of Art, The University of Arizona, Tucson, where she has taught since 1988.

Published in conjunction with the special exhibit NCECA Emerging Artists 1996–2000: New Ceramic Art presented at SOFA CHICAGO 2003 by NCECA, cocurated by Michel Conroy, NCECA Exhibitions Director and Skeffington Thomas, NCECA Director-at-large.

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