call for entry: NCECA 2019 in Minneapolis

Claytopia, NCECA’s 53rd Annual conference takes place in Minneapolis, Minnesota
March 27-30, 2019. Several calls are now open. Proposals for Projects Space; Lectures, Panels, and Discussions; and Demonstrating Artists share a deadline of May 16, 2018 (11:59 pm EDT). Visit to see the full annual cycle of exhibition, conference programming, and opportunity calls for 2018-2019.

ENTRY DEADLINE: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 (11:59 pm MDT)
The Form Will Find Its Way: Contemporary Ceramic Sculptural Abstraction, curated by Elizabeth Carpenter, will be hosted by the Katherine E. Nash Gallery within the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota. The exhibition will run from January 22 – March 30, 2019. Invited artists include Nicole Cherubini, Alexandra Engelfriet, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Brie Ruais, and Anders Ruhwald. NCECA encourages artists working with clay as a primary medium of expression to consider entering this exciting exhibition. Visit to learn more about submission eligibility, procedures, and requirements.

The NCECA Annual blends impactful attributes of invitational and open juried models of exhibition development. The vision of a single curator generates an organizing concept for the exhibition and invites five leading artists in the field whose work serves to build out and expand on the exhibition’s conceptual framework. The curator then makes selections of additional works and artists for the exhibition through an open call for submissions.

Elizabeth Carpenter is an independent curator, writer, and educator. As curator of visual arts at the Walker Art Center from 2001-2015, some of her exhibition highlights included Frida Kahlo (2007); Robert Irwin: Slant/Light/Volume (2009); Hélio Oiticica / Rirkrit Tiravanija: Contact (2010); Absentee Landlord (2011), curated with filmmaker John Waters; Frank Gaard: Poison & Candy (2012); and Dance Works III: Merce Cunningham / Rei Kawakubo (2012). Prior to her role at the Walker, Carpenter served on the curatorial team responsible for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum exhibition, Robert Rauschenberg: A Retrospective (1997). In 2001, as guest curator in the Department of Prints and Drawings, she curated Jim Dine Prints: 1985 – 2000 at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for which she also wrote and edited a catalogue raisonné of Dine’s graphic work. Carpenter’s writing has appeared in numerous exhibition catalogues and Art in Print.

Currently a lecturer in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota where she teaches art history and theory, Carpenter holds a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, MA in Art History from the University of Minnesota, and M.Phil. in Art History from the City University of New York Graduate Center (CUNY).

Carpenter shares…
With The Form Will Find Its Way: Contemporary Ceramic Sculptural Abstraction, I will be exploring experimental, cross-disciplinary, and aesthetically diverse artistic practices, with the explicit intention to avoid preconceptions about established categories like art and craft. My interest in ceramics launches from the modernist sculptural tradition. The works that I hope to select for the exhibition will tend toward a sculptural exploration of abstraction rather than traditional or functional ceramic objects and vessels.I am seeking to include artists who work in an interdisciplinary mode, not only in order to tap into ambiguity, disorder, entropy, and the uncanny, but also to challenge the plinth and the pedestal while embracing the possibilities of alternative installation strategies, and/or time-based media. Within the rubric of sculptural abstraction, I am especially interested in phenomenology—i.e., the tension and scale of objects in space; the impact of perception and bodily movement on the part of the artist while creating and the spectator while experiencing art; and performative strategies, processes, and outcomes.

There is no aim at being comprehensive—my selection of artists will be a sampling of current practices, and represents an attempt at a sustained consideration of one crossover tendency within the worlds of ceramics and contemporary art.

Obituary: Chase D. Grover

I would like to thank Didem Mert for putting together today’s post. Such beautiful work by a creative soul taken too soon. I’m sad that I can’t add a personal anecdote, but I didn’t have the honor of meeting Chase. 

My condolences to all the family and friends. 
~ Carole 

“I first began talking to Chase over the holidays. We were creeping each other on Instagram hearting this, commenting on that. Finally I found a post saying he was willing to trade sculptural work for vessels. I was immediately excited. His work was so highly detailed and showed the very fragile and delicate side of the material, clay. We began messaging each other on Instagram trading addresses and any thoughts concerning the piece we wanted in the trade. Chase was a doll and made a piece tailored to be just for me.

Thankfully, since I’m horrible at responding to Instagram private messages, Chase gave me his number and we began texting. We talked about work, school, how excited we were to meet and hang out at NCECA, etc. He was so genuine in his conversations.

Chase texted me saying he was so sorry, he was going to run to the post office to ship his piece to me, but he was rushed to the hospital. We began discussing a bit of his medical history. I was so upset to hear that this humble and caring 25 year old emerging artist in his last year of graduate school was spending the beginning of this last semester on a hospital bed.

Every couple of days I’d check in to see how he was doing. Eventually, Chase said everyone in the hospital thought he’d get out in a couple of days, which was so exciting. Then he wasn’t out. Two days before he passed away I was trying to lift his spirits up a little bit, sending him ridiculous photos of my dog, Tipp, with doggie boots on and a photo of the Edinboro winter to show the hilarity of how much snow this town gets. I just wanted him to have a little chuckle and forget about where he was at for a second.

The day after that I texted him in the morning asking how he was doing. I didn’t get a response, but didn’t think anything of it because I figured he was busy and would respond later. I went into the studio to find out, from fellow grad and friend of Chase’s, Sara Catapano, that Chase had passed away.

I didn’t really believe it at first. I was so confused and I’m still confused. Why would the world take such a kind soul and in the beginning of his journey? It’s a tragedy for our field and for the world. Chase was and would have continued to do great things. I feel cheated that the world took him away before we could meet and become better friends. After his passing I’ve been reading some of the stories of others meeting Chase in person and experiencing his charismatic energy. I wish I could have had that experience.

Thankfully, Chase will life on in the memories of others and in his work. I’m so so sorry he had to go. My thoughts are with all of those sharing in the loss of Chase.”

Didem Mert

“My first NCECA was the Milwaukee conference. I was a gallery assistant with Lillstreet at that time. I remember the first time I saw Chase Grover, he had at least one big ring on each finger. We introduced ourselves and started talking. We talked everyday during that conference, he would come by and we would shoot the shit. Talk about what was rad and…not so rad. Chase and I kept in touch throughout the weeks after, calling, texting, and emailing each other. He came to visit Lillstreet in Chicago soon after the conference and I gave him a tour of the art center.

Months later, I became the Gallery Director. I called Chase and told him the news, he was sooooooooooo excited for me. But the excitement was all mine. I told Chase we are definitely showing his work the first chance we get. Again, we exchanged emails, phone calls, and texts while he updated me about pieces that came out of the kiln…and pieces that really didn’t come out of the kiln.

I feel like he and I grew up together, in a sense. He was with me every step of the way, watching me and giving me praise and confidence. I watched his work morph, evolve, and mature into really stunning forms. He was an artist that gave meaning to my job. He told me about his angle of making. To be blunt, he was ‘discussing’ with the viewer the frailty and fragility of the human condition.

That statement right there is why this loss is so tragic to me. Chase and I had big plans for his work. We were talking about multiple exhibitions. He was even working on an alternative materials and alternative processes exhibition which we talked about A LOT.

I am so lucky to have a single piece of his. When he gave it to me, I just started swearing and yelling at him “You can’t give me this!” He was so generous with me and I hope I was to him.

To Chase (or if his artwork is listening): Your work is completely representative of you. It is incredible. You are incredible. You are strong and unique. You are fragile and human. You are colorful and bold, and even a little flashy at times. But most importantly, your work gives me hope. It gives me hope that their are great artists (and people) around us that have the most amazing lives and stories. I wanted to work FOR YOU so bad I can’t express it, I’m actually tearing up just thinking about how much I wanted to work with you more. You inspire me to make my work better, look at work in a different way, hold work in a different way, think about making in a brand new way, and to make this gallery one of the best in the business.

I hope people read this and feel what I feel when I look at his work and pictures of him. Clay is forever. Love you brother.”

Brian Malnassy


“I first met Chase Grover at NCECA last year in Providence, Rhode Island. He walked up to me at an after hours event with a swagger and handed me his card. He was tall and handsome, with an aura of authenticity about him. Later that night when I looked up his artwork, I could see an incredible talent in his delicate, painstakingly assembled porcelain sculptures.

Over the next few days, Chase and I became fast friends. He a had strong, intense energy beneath his calm demeanor, with a quiet wisdom that permeated his youth. Not only a talented sculptor in ceramics, Chase had a penchant for photography and carried a film-loaded Contax camera with him everywhere. He told me that he had been born with a heart condition, and because of this he was unable to do anything physically demanding. Despite this, he possessed a stubborn strength and strong will to go beyond his limits and experience his life to the fullest.

On the last night of NCECA, I dragged him all around downtown Providence by his arm while he happily snapped photos of me and my friends. He explained that he wanted to photograph everything he saw, ever since he had a serious medical incident which left him unconscious for several days. The only memories he had from the time lost were photos that he had taken. I found his choice of the film medium appropriate because of the delay in its development and the magic of chance, which matched his careful movements and almost mythological demeanor.

Over the year we kept in touch fairly regularly. We talked about our artwork and our lives, and I encouraged Chase to start applying to shows. He applied to several over the year and was accepted to a majority of them, including the NCECA Invitational in Kansas City, Missouri. We were looking forward a reunion this year at the conference, only a few short months away.

I was devastated to hear of Chase’s passing. And yet, I am so incredibly proud of my friend. His enormous talent and genuine warm energy was a rare and special combination. I am incredibly grateful for our short year of friendship, but so heartbroken to see the life of a young man just beginning to take flight be cut so short. Despite this, he will continue to inspire me and many of us I’m sure- through his creative endeavors and his zest for life, captured through his photographs and in our memories of him. Through his work, we can be aware of the tenuous connections that hold us all together, and serves as a reminder to appreciate the temporal fragility of life.

Check out insta @chasegrover to see the photographs he shared of his work, as well as the people and the events in his life.”

Lauren Shapiro

Chase D. Grover, 25, passed away Tuesday, January 19th, with family by his side, after a lifelong battle with congenital heart disease. 
He was an amazing artist and photographer working towards a Masters of Fine Arts degree. He was very loved and will be greatly missed by family and friends.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

Artist bio
“I had my first experience with clay in January 2011 at Eastern Illinois University under Dwain Naragon. Unfortunately, I lacked natural abilities to manipulate clay, but was determined to learn. After a very short time, I, on a whim, decided that that is what I wanted to be, “A Ceramic Artist.” I began to work as hard as I could to progress and so far things are looking up. I am currently in my third year of my MFA at Central Washington University with full intentions of pursuing a career in the field.”

“Ultimately, I want the viewer to consider the instability within all objects and apply this concept to the elements of their everyday lives, to be aware of the tenuous connections that hold everything together.”

To see more of Chase’s work please visit:
Insta: @chasegrover

Call for entry: Flow: The 2014 NCECA Invitational

Call for submissions now open!  Entry fee for NCECA members only $20 (Non members $35 or BECOME A MEMBER)   Flow: The 2014 NCECA Invitational will be on exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum from February 22 to March 23, 2014 in conjunction with Material World, the 48th Annual NCECA Conference, taking place at the Delta Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin March 19 – March 22, 2014.

The NCECA Invitational is a themed, curated exhibition that features
leading edge, large-scale and often challenging ceramic art. Held in
even-numbered years, NCECA’s Exhibitions Director collaborates with the
host venue curator to develop an exhibition concept and select a
foundational group of artists’ works by invitation. Augmenting this core
selection, additional artists may respond to an open call for images of
ceramic works that support the theme.  This format brings established
reputations and emerging talent to bear on the selected theme and adds
vitality and fresh perspectives to ongoing discourse in contemporary
art. The exhibition is organized and co-curated by NCECA Exhibitions
Director, Linda Ganstrom and Mel Buchanan, Assistant Curator,
20th-century Design at Milwaukee Art Museum.

The 2014 NCECA Invitational explores the significance of flow in
a physical, historical and symbolic sense. Water flows. Glaze flows.
Clay flows. To flow is to move in a current, like a liquid. Yet you
don’t need water to flow. A line can flow. Air flows. Music flows.
Electricity flows. Ideas flow.  Artists can flow in a state of focused
motivation that brings a deep enjoyment to the process of their
activity. Energy flows. Time flows. Life flows. Our present fluidly
becomes our past. The museum promotes the flow of culture through the
presentation of artworks and ideas of material culture.

With their spectacular view of Lake Michigan, the dramatic windows of
the Baumgartner Galleria in the Milwaukee Art Museum allow the flow of
water and light to be a constant presence in the art gallery.  Whether
in the atmospheric form of mist, rain, ice or snow, water in its various
physical states transforms the elegant space, marking the flow of time
and seasons. Set in this dramatic chamber of changing light and color, Flow: The 2014 NCECA Invitational seeks
an elite group of memorable ceramic works that embody the spirit and
physical properties of flow, as well as connect the contemporary space
of the Calatrava architecture with the historic collections of the
Milwaukee Art Museum.

Linda Ganstrom and Mel Buchanan, Co-Curators

Apply Now

Media & Limitations
All works must be primarily ceramic or unfired clay. Mixed
media works will be accepted only if ceramic materials are the primary
media, although video documentation of projects involving ceramics is
encouraged.  The curators will make final determinations.  Large-scale
work can be accommodated. Floor works must be firmly stable.
Wall-mounted pieces can be accommodated.  Works may be hung from the
ceiling in specific places. Work must have been produced within the last
five years and not have been shown in previous NCECA sponsored
exhibitions, the Milwaukee Art Museum or the greater Milwaukee area.

Entry Guidelines
All entries must be submitted electronically through Juried Art
Services.  The initial curatorial phase will be accomplished through
review and selection of images of works submitted and available for the
exhibition. No substitutions will be allowed.  Artists may submit up to ten pieces with two images of each work, not to exceed 20 images.

Members fee is $20
Non-Members fee is $35
NCECA membership runs 12 months from the date of joining or
renewal. NCECA Membership fees are not included in any event
registration. Membership is a standalone annual fee. To renew or become
an NCECA Member go to:  . If you are unsure of your Membership status, please contact

Before beginning submission, applicants must be prepared to provide the following:
o          Biographical statement, up to 100 words.

Each work submitted must include the following image details:
o          Title
o          Catalogue Statement – up to 200 words addressing the theme of “flow” as it relates to this piece.
o          Description – Date of Completion, Photo Credit (if artist,
type in ARTIST), Clay body, materials, and decorating/firing methods
o          Sale Status – For Sale or Not For sale
o          Image #s – Image 1, Image 1 detail = piece 1 w/detail
Image 2, Image 2 detail = piece 2 w detail
Etc. for each subsequent piece up to 10 pieces
o          Dimensions (inches) H x W x D
o          Weight (lbs.)
o          Retail Price
o          Insurance Value: Milwaukee Art Museum requires Insurance value to equal Retail Value
o          Estimated return shipping cost

No changes will be allowed once an entry is accepted into the database. Once
data is entered in the system, it cannot be altered.  Proofread your
data carefully as this information will be used to generate the
exhibition budget, catalog, insurance and publicity information. Your submission is considered a formal agreement that the work is available for exhibition, accurately described and priced. 

Detailed information and Online Submittal form: Available March 8, 2013
Online Submittal deadline:  June 5, 2013 (midnight EST)
Acceptance notification: August 1, 2013
Contracts and Statements due: August 15, 2013
Delivery of accepted work: January 2 – January 22, 2014
Installation: February 11 – February 21, 2014
Exhibition dates: February 22 – March 23, 2014
Return of work:  By April 23, 2014
Deadline for submission of shipping reimbursement form: May 1, 2014

Apply Now

Artists are responsible for shipping their work to and from the
Milwaukee Art Museum and insuring it while in transit.  Works may be
shipped or hand-delivered to the museum. The artist must contact the
Milwaukee Art Museum registrar’s office in advance of shipment,
informing them of the method of shipment and date of shipment. The
Museum cannot accept anything over the weekend.  Works should be shipped
in reusable containers with photographic documentation for re-packing.

NCECA has a limited budget for reimbursement of RETURN shipping only.
Reimbursement amounts payable to individual artists will be determined
based on estimated return shipping costs submitted at the time of entry.
The reimbursable amount will be calculated on an individual basis and
stated in the exhibiting artist’s contract.

Accepted work will be shipped to:
Registrar’s Office c/o
Milwaukee Art Museum
700 North Art Museum Drive
Milwaukee, WI  53202

Insurance and Sales
The Milwaukee Art Museum will insure all work upon its arrival
and until departure under its fine arts policy for the amounts specified
by the insurance value listed and up to the limits of the Milwaukee Art
Museum’s current insurance policy.  Certain restrictions apply.
The Milwaukee Art Museum will not conduct sales.  Work may be offered
for sale through the NCECA Office. A 30% commission on sales will be
retained by NCECA.  Return shipping reimbursement is available to
artists only.  In the event a work is sold, it is the responsibility of
the artist to arrange and pay for shipping to the buyer.

Photography and Permissions
Images of entries may be retained for the NCECA archives.
Images of works included in the exhibition may be reproduced in print
materials and posted on NCECA’s website, blog and social media. NCECA
also reserves the right to use images, biographical materials and artist
statements in reports and share them with the media. Images of works in
the exhibition may also be shared by NCECA within an image library as
part of

Various other educational and promotional materials may be created by
the Milwaukee Art Museum or NCECA. Works in the exhibition may be
photographed, telecast, and reproduced for press and publicity purposes
including but not limited to reproduction in newspapers, periodicals,
magazines, in television programs and on the Internet in connection with
the exhibition and the Milwaukee Art Museum.
Participating artists must agree to allow NCECA and gallery visitors to
photograph work while on display for educational and publicity purposes.

NCECA will produce a color catalogue documenting the exhibition
experience through artists’ bios and statements; color images of
artwork, and pertinent essays. The catalogue will be available for
pre-purchase and for purchase at the conference. Two complementary
copies of the color catalogue will be provided to each artist whose work
is included in the exhibition.

A reception during the NCECA conference will celebrate the exhibition.

Push Play: The 2012 NCECA Invitational

Christina West
What a Doll: The Human Object as Toy , 2010
Slip-cast and glazed ceramic cone 6 oxidation

January 19 – June 17, 2012

Want to play? In conjunction with the 46th Annual Conference of NCECA (The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts), taking place in Seattle March 26 – 31, 2012, Bellevue Arts Museum is pleased to present Push Play: The 2012 NCECA Invitational. Both in life and in art, play is not all fun and games. It is also serious business, teaching essential life skills and developing healthy, well-balanced lives through the pleasure of participation. Not relegated to the world of children, it continues to cultivate enlightenment and enjoyment through informed, creative activity into maturity. Imaginative, engaging and at times challenging, Push Play showcases the work of more than 35 important and emerging ceramic artists from across the globe, exploring how the act of play effortlessly expands human potential while also entertaining us.View works from the show online here.