Current Artist Grant Recipients

Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant

Northern Clay Center is proud to announce the recipients of the 2018 Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grants. Three grants in the amount of $6,000 each have been awarded to Heather Barr, Alex Chinn, and Mitch Iburg.

Heather Barr Alex Chinn Mitch Iburg

Heather Barr has been investigating terra sigillata, a surface she finds “enticingly tactile,” but she has reached a plateau and the Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant will help her reach the next level. She says, “A ball mill would allow for experimentation in materials…leading to richer surface opportunities and a greatly increased color palette.” 

Alex Chinn wants to push scale in a way that influences human interaction with his forms, evaluate materials for exterior durability, and develop a body of work inspired by the landscape and architecture of his birthplace—rural Massachusetts and its tobacco barns. Chinn notes, “The experience of coming around a corner to see an open expanse with these simple structures framed by the surrounding field always made an impression on me.” 

Mitch Iburg wants to examine Minnesota’s mineral resources, broaden the technical and visual vocabularies of local materials in the field of ceramic art, and question the role of materials use in defining the boundaries between ceramic and sculpture.

This year's selection panel consisted of our winter McKnight Artist Resident, Derek Au, who developed the open source database Glazy.org and has been working in Jingdezhen, China, since 2008; visiting artist George Timock, who was in town for our spring exhibition, Expatriate Ceramics; and Kip O'Krongly, former McKnight Fellow and renowned Minnesota potter.

We thank each of the jurors for a day of very thoughtful deliberations; their valuable feedback is available to the grant recipients and applicants as a form of professional development. 

2018 marks the 28th year of support for this program from the Jerome Foundation. The Foundation supports emerging artists in Minnesota and New York City who, among other qualifications:

  • take risks and embrace challenges
  • are rigorous in their approach to creation and production
  • are under-recognized by their peers. 
McKnight Artist Fellowship for Ceramic Artists

The 2017 McKnight Artist Fellowships have been awarded to Xilam Balam (St. Paul) and Mic Stowell (Minneapolis). Each McKnight Artist Fellow will receive a $25,000 cash stipend, and will be featured in an exhibition in July of 2018. Stay tuned for a free demonstration and lecture by the artists in January of 2018. ​

Three individuals comprised the 2017 selection panel: 

  • Namita Gupta Wiggers,  American crafts curator, educator and writer based in Portland, Oregon.
  • Josh DeWeese, a ceramic artist and educator. He is currently an Associate Professor of Art teaching ceramics at Montana State University in Bozeman.
  • Elaine Olafson Henry, a ceramics artist, curator, writer, and the former Editor and Publisher of the international ceramics journals Ceramics: Art & Perception and Ceramics TECHNICAL

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 2018 McKnight Artist Fellowships and Residencies for Ceramic Artists will be Friday, May 25, 2018 by 5 pm.

McKnight Artist Residency for Ceramic Artists

Two awards were made for the 2017 McKnight Artist Residencies, for artist to be in residence in 2018. We are looking forward to another engaging year with Linda Cordell and Bryan Czibesz. Two additional artists are invited through a nomitative process. Derek Au will join us in the winter of 2018 and Zachary Tate will join us in summer 2017. Each artist will be in residency for a three-month period and will present a free lecture to the public during their stay. 

Three individuals comprised the 2017 selection panel:

  • Namita Gupta Wiggers,  American crafts curator, educator and writer based in Portland, Oregon.
  • Josh DeWeese, a ceramic artist and educator. He is currently an Associate Professor of Art teaching ceramics at Montana State University in Bozeman.
  • Elaine Olafson Henry, a ceramics artist, curator, writer, and the former Editor and Publisher of the international ceramics journals Ceramics: Art & Perception and Ceramics TECHNICAL

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. Residencies are awarded only to artists from outside of Minnesota. 

The deadline for the 20187 McKnight Artist Fellowships and Residencies for Ceramic Artists will be Friday, May 25, 2018 by 5 pm.

Emerging Artist Residency Awards

Northern Clay Center is proud to announce the 2017 recipients of our Emerging Artist Residencies and Warren MacKenzie Advancement 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 with an opportunity to be in residence for one year at Northern Clay Center. Here they can develop their own work, as well as exchange ideas and knowledge with other ceramic artists. Among national clay art centers, NCC offers an urban experience within a diverse and supportive community. The following four artists will be in residence at Northern Clay Center between September 1, 2017 and August 31, 2018:

Fogelberg Studio Fellowships

Katie Bosley Olivia Tani

Katie Bosley (Atlanta, GA) earned her BFA in ceramics from the University of Florida. She finds beauty in repetition and symmetry. The complex layered surface decoration in her work is inspired by geometry and architecture.

Olivia Tani (Alfred, NY) recently completed her BFA at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Her work is driven by formal exploration and interest in the process of slab building. Tani blends precise building techniques with experimentation to derive her forms.

Anonymous Artist Studio Fellowships

Evan Hauser Austyn Taylor

Evan Hauser (West Missoula, MT) holds an MFA from the University of Montana and a BFA in Ceramics from Herron School of Art and Design. He is interested in “the cultural shift in perspective of land” and how the permanence of ceramic material can extend these ideas into the future.

Austyn Taylor (Napa, CA) describes her sculpture as mischievous and tongue-in-cheek. Her work combines both high- and low-art references to highlight constructed narratives. She earned an MFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and a BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation Awardee

Audra Smith (Minneapolis, MN) is the 2017 recipient of the Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation Award through Northern Clay Center. Smith received a BA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and has been a staff member and teaching artist at Northern Clay Center since 2010. Smith’s goals for her work are to make well-made, utilitarian pottery. She continually explores color, pattern, space, and shape in her surface decoration, all of which inform the “ongoing discovery of [her] personal language as a ceramic artist.” 

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 eighth year in which the Clay Center has awarded the grant.

Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award

Warren MacKenzie Advancment Award

Adrienne Eliades Grace Tessein

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 a $4,000 grant 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 2017 recipients of the WMAA are Adrienne Eliades and Grace Tessein.

Adrienne Eliades (Vancouver, WA) creates functional tableware that aims to “encourage connection with one another and the food we eat,” through inviting forms and surfaces. She holds an MFA at the University of Florida and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Grace Tessein (Baton Rouge, LA) is an MFA candidate at Louisiana State University and has a BFA from Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Her sculpture brings to life remnants of lives and traces of memories. She works in clay for its versatility in representing texture and ability to replace and stand in for precious objects.