job posting: Executive Director – Pewabic Pottery

More than a century ago Mary Chase Perry Stratton founded
Detroit’s Pewabic, actively pushing the boundaries of ceramic practice
through exploration, experimentation and the development of
ground-breaking techniques.  Today, Pewabic is a center for the
promotion and development of contemporary ceramics and the living
repository of a rich tradition that continues to influence artists and
collectors. Like the city of Detroit, Pewabic is writing a new chapter
in its history, firmly establishing itself as a leader among Detroit’s
arts institutions.

Located in a 1907 Tudor Revival building – a National Historic
Landmark – Pewabic is one of the few working potteries in the country
dating back to the Arts and Crafts movement which flourished in Detroit
as a counterpoint to assembly-line industrialization.  Arts and Crafts
proponents emphasized the importance of art, design and handicraft in
everyday objects made for everyday use.  In a world struggling to
accommodate the rapid fire changes of technology, Pewabic is rooted
firmly in clay and looking ahead to a new vision of contemporary ceramic
craft that embraces change through a timeless medium.

Pewabic is a multi-faceted, non-profit organization.  It maintains a
thriving retail and design operation and supports the work of more than
100 ceramic artists throughout the region and extends Pewabic’s craft
around the world.  Pewabic pottery and tile designs are manufactured
on-site.  Pewabic operates a museum honoring its role in the development
of ceramics and cares for a growing collection of Pewabic pottery that
illustrates its history.  The pottery provides ceramic art education to
children and adults throughout the Detroit metropolitan area. Pewabic is
an active partner in the changing look and culture of its east-side
Detroit neighborhood, and a critical player in the revitalization of
Detroit promoted by arts and culture organizations.

The organization operates with an annual budget of $2,850,000.00.  It
has a full and part-time staff of 45 and a 23 member Board of


  • Building on an established brand and reputation, enhance Pewabic’s
    position as a leader in ceramic arts regionally and nationally.
  •  Review, assess and propose innovative programs in alignment with mission and vision.
  • Strengthen Pewabic’s finances by enhancing endowment, cultivating
    and engaging individual, corporate and foundation donors, optimizing
    retail sales and design commissions and integrating sound business
    practices throughout the organization.
  • Actively engage with local arts initiatives, collaborate with other
    educational and cultural organizations and promote and expand Pewabic’s
    work by engaging the community in meaningful and innovative way.
  • Support and build a dynamic, team focused organization that encourages creativity, productivity and excellence.
  • Develop the physical campus.


The Executive Director reports to the Board of Trustees and is
responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission
and strategic objectives. As the primary public representative of
Pewabic, the Executive Director works as a partner with the Board to
ensure that the organization remains mission centered, programmatically
exciting and fiscally viable.


Organizational Management

  • Assure that the organization has a long-range strategy that achieves
    its mission with consistent, timely and measurable progress.
  • Develop strategies and lead initiatives to grow fundraising, retail and design development.
  • Lead staff in the development of organizational and financial plans
    and execute those plans and policies with the support and approval of
    the Board.
  • Promote active participation by the Board and volunteers in support of the organization’s work.
  • Maintain official records and documents, and ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations.
  • Oversee the maintenance of the facility and work to expand the
    physical plant to increase manufacturing and programmatic capacity.

Community Outreach and Programming

  • Guide staff in the development and implementation of creative,
    interesting and dynamic programs and activities to engage the greater
    community in ceramic opportunities and experiences.
  • Oversee educational and exhibition programming and the historical collections.
  • Manage the growth of the Pewabic brand and future development of Pewabic designs and fabrication.


  • Ensure appropriate financial and legal practices are utilized and maintained.
  • With staff, develop long-range financial projections, prepare the
    annual operating budget and manage the organization within budget
    guidelines and funding.
  • Execute legal documents and correspondence on behalf of the organization.


  • Act as primary spokesperson for Pewabic.
  • Establish proactive working relationships with area arts
    organizations, volunteers, community groups and organizations and the
  • Actively foster and support internal communication, ensuring that
    the entire staff is working to achieve Pewabic’s mission and vision.
  • Keep the Board informed of the overall condition of the organization
    and all the important factors influencing it, such as finances, human
    resources, operations and programs.

Organizational Development and Human Resources

  • Strengthen all aspects of human resources including policy and practices.
  • Encourage staff and volunteer development and education.
  • Ensure compliance with health and safety regulations.


The new Executive Director must be a person of vision able to inspire
and excite a committed board, dedicated staff and extensive community
of ceramic artists, designers, collectors, students, faculty,
administrators, as well as residents of and visitors to Detroit. Success
will require prior experience in the arts or a related field and
appreciation of ceramic art throughout history to the present in
addition to proven management skills.  Most importantly, the successful
candidate will possess exemplary personal and leadership qualities and
will be eager to be part of an extraordinary organization dedicated to
the ceramic arts.

Specific qualifications include:

    • BA in a related field; advanced degree in arts administration or an MPA or MBA;
    • Proven track record as a leader with 5 to 7 years in a management position, preferably in an arts organization;
    • Artistic vision with a passion for ceramics;
    • Fund development experience;
    • Demonstrated ability to coach, lead, and manage a diverse, creative
      team of artists, designers, third party contractors, retailers,
      fundraisers and administrators;
    • Skill as an administrator familiar with setting and achieving
      objectives and managing projects; experience with manufacturing and/or
      retail a plus;
    • Excellent writing and speaking skills as well as excellent interpersonal and listening skills;
    • Personal warmth, charm, sensitivity, compassion and a good sense of humor greatly appreciated.


Winter/Spring 2015


Applicants should submit a resume, a one-page narrative describing
interest and experience, and the names of three references. Applications
will be reviewed by Management Consultants for the Arts, the executive
search firm working with the Board of Trustees of Pewabic. Suggestions
of candidates are also welcome.

Send resume and accompanying materials via email to:

Linda Sweet, Partner

Email: Christy Wall at

Subject Line: Pewabic

Manufactured Mementos: New Work by Darien Arikoski-Johnson and Monica Wilson

Reception: Friday, July 11, 6-8pm

Dates:  Friday, July 11 –  Sunday, August 24
Talk: Thursday, August 14, 2014, 7pm
Pewabic will open a
new exhibition with new work from Darien Arikoski-Johnson and Monica Wilson. Manufactured Mementos explores the
methods in which memories are created, catalogued, and later
retrieved. Inspired by the digital recording of moments in time, Darien
Johnson’s work questions the process in which we create and remember
work represents the current entanglement of human cognition and digital
processing.  The recent
proliferation of the camera-phone enables us to record spontaneously.  Experience is interrupted to capture
and store moments.  The recordings
are used for recollection; however, over time our reliance on the two-dimensional
image to replace perceptual experience flattens and fragments the memory.  By dissecting and altering these
fragments, my work raises awareness of a continually altered state of visual
consciousness.  It makes reference
to a shift in contemporary experience relating to the cognitive processing of
Arikoski-Johnson received his BFA from Saint Cloud State University, Minnesota
in 2002. He received an MFA at Arizona State University in 2009. He was an
artist in resident at The Experimental Pottery Workshop, Jingdezhen, China and
at Guldagergaard: International Ceramic Research Center, Skælskør,
Denmark.  A.-Johnson’s work has
been in national and international exhibitions such as “Ink and Clay 34,” CA,
“Concordia Continental,” MN, and “Generously Odd: Craft Now,” KY.  He was an NCECA emerging artist at the
2012 conference in Seattle, WA. He has also been published in 500 Ceramic
Sculptures, Surface Design for Ceramics, and Ceramics Monthly.  His sculptures can be found as part of
the following public collections, the Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ; California
State Polytechnic Collection, Pomona, CA; and The Ceramics Research Center,
Tempe, AZ.  Darien is currently
working out of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Monica Wilson
utilizes manufactured materials on ceramic organic forms to stir up
recollections of times past.  
“My work is influenced by
the constant push-pull between the organic and the mechanical, variation in
physical and psychological weight, and the process of working with a malleable
material and firing it to an inflexible object.  Recent works combine memories with materials: plastic grapes
from my mother’s Thanksgiving cornucopia, a crawdad’s hidden black egg cluster,
and nostalgic surfaces like flocking, wax, rubber, and concrete.  Combining distal products, such as
porous terra-cotta with vitrified porcelain or hand-made objects with new and
reused manufactured materials, is a springboard for my current work.“
Monica Wilson was born and raised in Colorado and
now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she works at Studio Camelot, Clay
Gallery, and the Potters Guild and teaches art at Summers-Knoll. She has
traveled extensively in India, Morocco, Jordan, Pakistan, Argentina, and
Brazil, where she did documentary video and photography
with a paleontological team. Her work is influenced by these travels —the
similarities between different cultures, the passage of time— and how
they interact with her memories of specific materials, events,
and places from her mid-west upbringing.
Monica Wilson graduated from Eastern Michigan
University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ceramics and sculpture, and
was an artist-in-residence at the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony (Woodstock, New York), Siena Heights University (Adrian, Michigan), Kripal Kumbh Pottery (Jaipur, India), and Brigham
Young University (Provo, Utah).
Wilson will hold an
artist talk on Thursday, August 14 2014 at 7pm at Pewabic. She will also lead a
special workshop as part of Pewabic’s Vistit
Artist Series
. Her
workshop will focus on lightweight
mold processes and include demonstrations and lecture. Registration for the workshop can be done online or by calling 313.626.2062.  
Pewabic, founded in
Detroit in 1903, is a community of makers, educators and innovators devoted to
progressing ceramics. We are a non-profit business dedicated to making ceramics
relevant and accessible to all by supporting artistic innovation and creating
meaningful learning experiences. We achieve this through a rotation of
contemporary ceramic exhibitions, adult and youth educational programs, and the
handcrafted production of Arts & Crafts era ceramics. We encourage the
public to tour our National Historic Landmark pottery for free during regular
business hours, M-S from 10am-6pm and S from noon-4pm.

Upcoming workshops @ Pewabic

Adult Classes

2013 Visiting Artist Series

Form, Function and Fantasy | $125.00

Day 1: October 26th, 10:00AM – 1:00PM

Day 2: October 27th, 12:00PM – 3:00PM 
Melissa Mytty2007 Graduate of Cranbrook Academy of Art and her work is featured in an upcoming issue of Ceramics Monthly

weekend intensive workshop will focus on the vessel as an object.  We
will be exploring form, function, and surface, focusing primarily on
coils, pinching, and slab building as construction methods.  Saturday we
will build several forms whether they are vases, bowls, cups etc; they
may be functional or non-functional.

we will add surfaces and embellishments and talk about each vessel’s
silhouette and how that plays into each objects attitude.  Does your
vessel need a bouquet of porcelain flowers nesting inside of it?  Would
your cup be better painted in plaid or polka dots?  Should the foot of
your pot have the appeal of a stiletto or the comfort of a running shoe?
 All of these elements will be discussed and every technique can be
tailored to each participants specific interests.

Plaster Prototyping for Perfect Forms | $ 125.00

Day 1: November 9th, 10:00AM – 1:00PM
Day 2: November 10th, Noon – 3:00PM

Jamie Hickey, Pewabic Artist and Assistant Vessel Maker

focus of this workshop will be creating prototypes from plaster for
press molding and slip casting after the workshop. Students will learn
to create templates to use in the sledging technique of forming plaster
in its soft stages. Other techniques will be reviewed and include
finishing techniques to prep the prototype for mold making, plaster
repair, and altering plaster after it has cured.  Pulling a mold from a
plaster prototype will be demonstrated.  Participants will create one
small prototype to use for mold making in their own studios.

Hands On With Emily Schroeder | $175.00 

Day 1:  Nov. 16th, 10:00AM – 5:00PM  | 1 hour break for lunch (student responsibility)
Day 2: November 17th, 12:00PM – 3:00PM
Emily M. SchroederPresenter at the 2013 Utilitarian Clay conference at Arrowmont and Chicago Studio Artist

people shy away from learning how to make pinch pots, often equating it
with elementary processes that lack elegance and delicacy.  In this
two-day workshop, we will challenge this thinking. By using only her
hands and a few basic tools, Emily will show several different ways to
create elegant pinched and coiled forms such as pitchers, cups, open
vessels and vases.  We will discuss tapering forms and how to create
volume by simply manipulating the clay during the building process. 
Additionally, she will demonstrate how she creates and uses bisque and
greenware molds to help support and shape complex bases. The workshop
will be divided up into 3-hour demo in the morning and three hours of
hands on time in the afternoon. This workshop is for all skill levels; no previous ceramic experience is required.      

sizes are limited, sign up today!  You can register by calling (313)
626-2000 to reach Customer Service, in person at our Museum Store
(Mon-Sat 10am-6pm or Sun 12-4pm) or click here to Register Online.
We accept Visa, Mastercard, cash or personal check.  Please note: There
will be no refunds given after the first class.  Classes are
education-based, therefore no commission work is allowed.