Current Artist Grant Recipients

Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant

Northern Clay Center is proud to announce the recipients of the 2019 Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grants. Three grants in the amount of $6,000 each have been awarded to Lynn Wadsworth, Zoe Powell, and Erin Paradis. The Foundation supports emerging artists in Minnesota and New York City who, among other qualifications:

  • take risks and embrace challenges
  • are developing a voice that reveals significant potential
  • are rigorous in their approach to creation and production
Lynn Wadsworth
Fringe Pot 
2018
earthenware, fiber, wire,
18” x 8” x 8”. 

Zoe Powell 
Partition Vessel
2018
Minnesota clay blend, cone 3,
oxidized electric,
13" x 10" x 11".

Erin Paradis
Dotty Pink Arms 
2019 
earthenware, glaze, underglaze,
22”x 12”x 6”.

Lynn Wadsworth plans to continue pushing the boundaries of materiality as she investigates the definitions of fine craft, handicraft, and art. She plans to engage makers from other areas of fine craft in a conversation supporting the development of her work, while sharing that conversation with the Minnesota craft community. The jury found humor, intelligence, and an element of surprise in her work.

Zoe Powell has been exploring local materials, which are rough and richly saturated with iron to create voluminous and elegant forms. She desires support to explore a pristine clay body, porcelain, which she believes may “showcase the inherent grace of my forms, undisturbed by color.” The jurors were equally excited by the forms Powell presented and very curious about the contrast and balance her project will result in as she brings porcelain into conversation with wild clay.

Erin Paradis was one of many applicants interested in developing the business end of her practice while she simultaneously pushes scale and audience. The jury was impressed with the presence of her sculptures and her consistent momentum in the area of professional development. They were taken with the way she draws in space with ceramic forms. 

This year's selection panel consisted of NCC’s recent Visiting Artist Jeff Schmuki, who was part of the exhibition In Service and is an associate professor of art at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA; Armando Ramos, a multi-media artist whose work can be found in the Oakland Museum and the North Dakota Museum of Art. Ramos is an assistant professor in the art department at Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara, California; and Malcolm Mobutu Smith,  an associate professor of ceramic art at Indiana University, Bloomington. His work is represented in the collections of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, FuLe International Ceramic Art Museum, Beijing, China, and Indiana State Museum.

NCC thanks each of them for being articulate and forward-thinking and strongly encourages all grant applicants to avail themselves of the opportunity to learn from their conversation as their valuable feedback is available to the grant recipients and applicants. 

Additional information on the award is available here.

McKnight Artist Fellowship for Ceramic Artists

The 2019 McKnight Artist Fellowships have been awarded to Kelly Connole (Northfield) and Guillermo Guardia (St. Paul). Each McKnight Artist Fellow will receive a $25,000 cash stipend, and will be featured in an exhibition in July of 2020. Stay tuned for a free demonstration and lecture by the artists on January 25, 2020 from 12 - 4 pm in the NCC Library. ​

Kelly Connole Guillermo Guardia

Three individuals comprised the 2019 selection panel: 

  • Dr. Sequoia Miller is chief curator of the Gardiner Museum in Toronto, Canada. After nearly fifteen years as a full-time ceramic artist in the Pacific Northwest, Miller’s path took an unexpected turn in 2010 when he enrolled at the Bard Graduate Center to investigate persistent questions about the nature of the work of potters, earning an MA in Decorative Arts and Design History. His curatorial research and interests are not too removed from his philosophy as a maker. He was noted to have said that people don't actually purchase pots--“they buy the exploration, of which the pot is an artifact.”
  • Dr. Sharif Bey is an associate professor of art at Syracuse University and is a teaching artist with extensive experience in ceramics, sculpture, art community programming and art teacher training. In 2010, the United States Arts in the Embassies program commissioned Bey to create one of his large-scale "conceptual bead" installations for the United States Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan. His research focuses on uncovering and revising art education histories with a particular focus on African American artists and the art education of former communist Europe. His studio work ranges from decorative/functional pottery to conceptual ceramic works that are influenced by ritual and identity. 
  • Linda Lighton has had over 60 solo shows since 1979 and participated in over 150 group shows. She is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics and her work is in many international museums in China, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and the US. She is the founder and director of the Lighton International Artist Exchange Program which has sent 150 artists to 53 countries and the Arctic Circle.

The McKnight awards are designed to recognize ceramic artists whose work demonstrates exceptional artistic merit, who have already proven their abilities, and are at a career stage that is beyond emerging, i.e. “mid-career.” Both the fellowship and the residency awards strengthen Minnesota’s artistic community by supporting artists and by promoting the exchange of ideas and knowledge in our communities. They are funded by The McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The deadline for the 2020 McKnight Artist Fellowships and Residencies for Ceramic Artists is Friday, May 22, 2020 by 5 pm.

McKnight Artist Residency for Ceramic Artists

The recipients of the 2020 McKnight Artist Residency are: Pattie Chalmers (Carbonale, IL) is inherently an explainer and a storyteller and through her work she attempts to map her experiences; Rebecca Chappell (Philadelphia, PA) makes objects that require subtle, playful interactions, looking to find breath within a tight, enclosed space; Jin Cho (Fort Collins, CO) creates narratives that portray human nature and complicated interactions with society; and Marcelino Puig Pastrana (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) brings forth animated forms resonant with memories and feelings about to become manifest or in the process of dissolving back into primordial matter. These four artists will each be in residence at Northern Clay Center for three consecutive months in 2020.

Pattie Chalmers
Every Day I Think of You
(Detail of 365 objects), 2018,
terra cotta, copper, fiber,
size variable

Rebecca Chappell
Lemon Candleholder for the Wall,
2019, terra cotta, cone 03, gold luster,
12” x 12” x 6"
Jin Cho
We Hold Each Other (Series), 2019, stoneware, 27” x 20” x 20" 
Marcelino Puig Pastrana,
VII Sobre los destrozos se alza
profética una
voz (VII Over the Carnage Rose Prophetic a Voice)
(Detail), 2017, stoneware with
oxidesand engobes, fired to cone 3,
12” x 12” x 2.75"  

Three individuals comprised the 2019 selection panel: 

  • Dr. Sequoia Miller is chief curator of the Gardiner Museum in Toronto, Canada. After nearly fifteen years as a full-time ceramic artist in the Pacific Northwest, Miller’s path took an unexpected turn in 2010 when he enrolled at the Bard Graduate Center to investigate persistent questions about the nature of the work of potters, earning an MA in Decorative Arts and Design History. His curatorial research and interests are not too removed from his philosophy as a maker. He was noted to have said that people don't actually purchase pots--“they buy the exploration, of which the pot is an artifact.”
  • Dr. Sharif Bey is an associate professor of art at Syracuse University and is a teaching artist with extensive experience in ceramics, sculpture, art community programming and art teacher training. In 2010, the United States Arts in the Embassies program commissioned Bey to create one of his large-scale "conceptual bead" installations for the United States Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan. His research focuses on uncovering and revising art education histories with a particular focus on African American artists and the art education of former communist Europe. His studio work ranges from decorative/functional pottery to conceptual ceramic works that are influenced by ritual and identity. 
  • Linda Lighton has had over 60 solo shows since 1979 and participated in over 150 group shows. She is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics and her work is in many international museums in China, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and the US. She is the founder and director of the Lighton International Artist Exchange Program which has sent 150 artists to 53 countries and the Arctic Circle.

The McKnight awards are designed to recognize ceramic artists whose work demonstrates exceptional artistic merit, who have already proven their abilities, and are at a career stage that is beyond emerging, i.e. “mid-career.” Both the fellowship and the residency awards strengthen Minnesota’s artistic community by supporting artists and by promoting the exchange of ideas and knowledge in our communities. They are funded by The McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The deadline for the 2020 McKnight Artist Fellowships and Residencies for Ceramic Artists is Friday, May 22, 2020 by 5 pm.

Emerging Artist Residency Awards

Northern Clay Center’s Emerging Artist Residency programs, the Fogelberg Studio Fellowship and the Anonymous Artist Studio Fellowship, are designed to provide emerging ceramic artists an opportunity to be in residence for one year at NCC. Between September 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020 the residents will have the opportunity to develop their work while exchanging ideas and knowledge with a dynamic network of ceramic artists. Among national clay art centers, NCC offers an urban experience within a diverse and supportive community. 

Anonymous Artist Studio Fellowships
Alyce Carrier (Minneapolis, MN), who moved to Minnesota from Utah last year, creates porcelain forms imbued with primitive electricity. Earning her BFA in 2014 at the University of Utah, Salt Lake Carrier has been developing her practice steadily with a Post-Baccalaureate at the University of Arkansas; an assistantship at Rat City Studios in Seattle, WA; and residencies at Pottery Northwest in Seattle, WA; Zentrum fur Keramik in Berlin, Germany; and the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. Her enthusiasm for her work is contagious, “I am wholeheartedly dedicated to life as an artist and I am truly excited about the work I am making. I feel that I have all the working parts, all I want to do is continue investigating in the work I am currently making.”

Natalie Nicholson (Iowa City, IA) just earned her BFA in ceramics at the University of Iowa. Her sculpture follows a process which allows structures to repeatedly rise, verge on collapse, and accumulate debris until they take on their final form. Nicholson is looking forward to being part of the NCC studio program community, imagining how it will positively impact her practice she says, “I [will] observe new perspectives of artwork and conceptual endeavors to broaden my own way of thinking and dissect my own processes.” 

Alyce Carrier
You go/I go, 2019, porcelain,
32” x 14” x 8”

Natalie Nicholson
Orange Loop, 2019, earthenware,
glaze, coffee, acrylic, 11” x 8” x 3”

Fogelberg Studio Fellowship
Chris Singewald (Minneapolis, MN) left his position as NCC’s Outreach Manager in 2017 to pursue his studio practice full-time. In the studio he seeks answers to form and surface through explorations in materials and firings that forge a path of expression, accomplishment, and understanding, “I desire to become more adventurous and intentional with my surfaces.” NCC is pleased to welcome him back in an artistic capacity and delighted the 2019 jury saw the potential in Singewald those at the Center have long admired. “I am excited to establish a new type of rapport with staff at Northern Clay and to continue investing in my own professional development as a ceramic artist.” 

Chris Singewald
Yellow Textured Pitcher, 2018, cone 10 soda-fired stoneware, glaze, 7.25” x 7” x 6”

2019 BISQUE Residency
BISQUE stands for Believe, Include, Sustain, Question, Understand, and Evolve. BISQUE is also a metaphor for makers in the early stages of development. NCC is proud to announce the creation of an experimental residency program inspired by our desire to cultivate new voices in the field. As a community-based ceramic art center, NCC is in a unique position to have access to pre-emergent talent. The BISQUE Residency will offer time, space, and professional development resources for one-year, plus participation in a group exhibition in January and February, 2021. The future of this program will be dependent on funding.

NCC issued an invitation to Donna Ray (Bloomington, MN) to be the first BISQUE Resident Artist. Ray has been exhibiting around the Twin Cities since 2010 and taking classes at the Bloomington Art Center since 2001. A 2019 recipient of a POCI Scholarship to attend the NCECA Conference, Ray commented, “Networking and meeting other emerging artists…at the NCECA conference helped me realize how much I would benefit from more education in my studio building practices.” Ray intends to use her residency to holistically and professionally concentrate on developing her ceramic skills to create works related to social issues surrounding home.

Donna Ray
Rebel the Malabar Squirrel, 2018, cone 6, 12” x 12” x 7”

Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation Awardee

This award is made possible by the Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation, and is presented by Northern Clay Center to a deserving individual pursuing a career in pottery, or studying or researching the historical aspects of the pottery industry. The Foundation endeavors to broaden appreciation of pottery, past and present, for the general public and maintains the Red Wing Pottery Museum in Red Wing, Minnesota. This is the eleventh year in which the Clay Center has awarded the grant.

Nick Earl (Stillwater, MN) received his BA in Art from the University of Vermont, Burlington in 2011, and apprenticed with potter Dick Cooter in Two Harbors, MN from 2012 - 2014. Nick currently maintains his studio at Abnet Farm just north of Stillwater. His wheel-thrown pots are influenced by medieval Korean, Japanese, and English pottery, as well as by nature, food, and imperfection. 

Nick Earl
Wheel-thrown Vase, 2018, reduction-fired stoneware, Chün glaze,
5” x 5” x 9”

 

Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award

The Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award (WMAA) provides an opportunity for students and emerging artists to continue their ceramic research and education for a period of up to a year to further expand their professional development. During the grant year, recipients are provided with fiscal support to research a new technique or process, study with a mentor or in an apprenticeship setting, travel to other ceramic art centers or institutions for classes and workshops, collaborate with artists of other media, and travel.

The 2019 recipients of the WMAA are Aaron Caldwell and Elliot Corbett.

Aaron Caldwell (Carbondale, IL) just completed his BA in studio art with a minor in art history at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He has been researching various ways of telling Black American narratives with ceramics through imagery, texture, and finishing techniques by learning about central and west coastal African tribes, African American history, and European conquest/invasion history. Caldwell will attend Penland School of Crafts to study Traditional Pottery Making of Nigeria and Ghana with Winnie Owens-Hart. He will supplement his research through travels to all-Black populations in search of valuable, primary source information about the lives of unsung Black American leaders, innovators and pioneers. These unearthed narratives about Black American history will then inform his ceramic practice.

Elliot Corbett (River Falls, WI) uses inspiration from the fluidity of natural cycles and physical formations in the landscape to inform their sculptural and functional forms. Corbett pursues, through art created parallel to nature, an understanding of personal identity and acceptance of the fluid and constant changing nature of identity. Through the WMAA grant, Corbett will expand their perspective with a journey west where, “…there are more extremes of temperature, and quick and dramatic weather changes. I am extremely interested in experiencing a vastly different climate and environment, and see how I can incorporate that change in my concepts of queer identity.”

Aaron Caldwell
Twin Ballerinas Urn, 2019,
terracotta, underglaze, glaze, luster,
15” x 9" x 8" 

Elliot Corbett
Horizon, 2019, cone 04 earthenware,
terra sigilatta, mason stain, soda wash,
8” x 8” x 7.5"

 

This year’s selection panel was inspired by applications which demonstrated a sense of imagination that extended beyond the traditional paths of research. They were interested in supporting emerging voices that would amplify overlooked perspectives in the field and applications which demonstrated a thirst for growth and expansion. Even with these guideposts, they found their decision difficult to finalize with so many quality applicants in the pool. 

The 2019 jurors for the WMAA Awards:

  • Ted Adler(Wichita, KS), our current McKnight Resident Artist. Adler is a Professor of Art and Area Head of Ceramics Media at Wichita State University. He apprenticed with Toshiko Takaezu in her Quakertown, NJ studio and was an artist-in-residence at the Archie Bray Foundation. He has exhibited work, conducted workshops, and served as visiting artist at numerous ceramic centers and universities around the globe;
  • Jenny Mendes(Chesterfield, OH).  Mendes has been a full time studio artist since 1994. A recipient of four Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship awards, she has exhibited her ceramic artwork internationally at galleries and juried shows. Since finishing a three-year residency at the Penland School of Crafts in 2007, she has completed additional short-term residencies in France, Slovenia, Macedonia, Turkey, Serbia, The Netherlands, Latvia and the USA. She currently resides in Ohio.