Our Mission 

Northern Clay Center's mission is the advancement of the ceramic arts. Ongoing programs include exhibitions by contemporary regional, national, and international ceramic artists, as well as historical and architectural ceramics; classes and workshops for children and adults at all skill levels; studio space and grants for artists; and a sales gallery representing many top ceramic artists from the region and elsewhere.

More About Us

Opened in 1990, Northern Clay Center is now an established ceramic arts organization. Through special programs, lectures, symposia, and publications, we reach a national and international audience, as well as a direct audience of regional participants. Other programs, such as the American Pottery Festival, McKnight Residencies, and other fellowship grants, bring national artists to the region to continually feed a lively exchange of ideas and aesthetics.



  • 10 exhibitions each year, featuring emerging and established artists, where visitors can see over time, the complete range of work in clay: functional, sculptural, historical, industrial, architectural, and installations
  • Touring exhibitions
  • Permanent teaching collection, available for loan to qualified organizations
  • Catalogs and other publications
  • Classes offered year-round, from beginning to advanced, on a quarterly basis, where students of all ages and stages can learn about clay
  • Summer clay camps for children
  • Short-term workshops, lectures, demonstration, and tours for adults, children, families, and other groups
  • ClayToGo outreach programs, using the ClayMobile, with other arts and education organizations
  • ART@HAND programs for adults 55 and better
  • Publications
Artist Services
  • Studio spaces for annual licensing, from large studios to common spaces, where artists can create new pots and sculpture
  • Facility includes four gas kilns, 11 electric kilns and 2 test kilns, one Raku kiln, three glazing areas, three wheel classrooms with wheels, handbuilding classroom with slab roller and other equipment
  • Artist grants and residency support for emerging and established artists, from Minnesota and elsewhere, ranging from free studio space for three months to $25,000 fellowships
American Pottery Festival
  • The American Pottery Festivalour annual fundraising benefit and celebration of the art of the pot, includes a lively opening night reception and party, special conversations and artist workshops, panel discussions, and, of course, a huge array of pots ready to find new homes!
  • The 2016 American Pottery Festival will take place on September 9 – 11.
Sales Gallery
  • With primarily functional pots and some sculptural objects, by over 50 regional and national clay artists, NCC's sales gallery offers the serious collector and the generous gift giver a chance to shop for some of the best ceramics in the country
  • Also includes jewelry, clothing, and an extensive selection of ceramics related books and magazines
Annual Report

Please download our most recent annual report for more of our story.  Our 990 tax documents are also available below and upon request.

Download 2015 NCC 990 (484 KB pdf)

Download 2014 Annual report (2.2 MB pdf)

Download 2014 NCC 990 (497 KB pdf)

Download 2013 Annual Report (3.1 MB pdf)

Download 2013 990 tax document (457 KB pdf)