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 nominatative process. Derek Au will join us in the winter of 2018 and Ian Meares will join us in summer 2018. 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

Each year, numerous courageous souls step into the world to better define their lives as makers and begin to forge their individualized creative paths. This year more applicants than ever applied for our Emerging Artist Grants and it was a great competition to witness. Northern Clay Center remains proud to offer these opportunities for emerging artists. The life of NCC’s programming is always enriched in return by the annual contributions of new creative energy entering our community. The 2018 spring award recipients from three of our grant programs include artists from the full spectrum of contemporary ceramic arts. NCC will continue to support artists at all stages of their careers.

Emerging Artist Residency Awards
The Emerging Artist Residency (EAR) awards provide a furnished studio space for one year, plus a materials/firing stipend, a group exhibition in January and February 2020, teaching opportunities, a feature in our sales gallery, and other benefits. The awards are comprised of two fellowships--the Fogelberg Studio Fellowship and the Anonymous Artist Studio Fellowship.

Fogelberg Studio Fellowships
Under the Fogelberg Studio Fellowship program, we will welcome Maia Homstad (Minneapolis, Minnesota), who creates wares informed by a combination of historical Shaker furniture, early American spongeware, and Scandinavian design; and Keather Lindeman (Plymouth, Minnesota), who collages memento mori upon the surface of her functional wares, contrasting the abundance of service with the finality of death. We are grateful to a variety of institutional and individual donors, including secondary market sales through NCC’s sales gallery, for their support of these particular grant programs.

Maia Homstad Keather Lindman

Maia Homstad (Minneapolis, MN) has been the sales gallery manager of Dock 6 Pottery Gallery since 2013, and has been an active member of the Minneapolis ceramic community for over 20 years. She is inspired by the parameters of function, stating, “To create a form that ‘works for a living’ is immensely satisfying.” She plans to focus her residency on further developing a line of wares informed by a combination of historical Shaker furniture, early American spongeware, and Scandinavian design.

Keather Lindman (Plymouth, MN) is a committed teacher, as passionate about her students as she is her own practice. She holds a BFA in Art Education and Studio Art, with a minor in Special Education from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. Keather creates collages of imagery upon the surface of her functional wares inspired by the tradition of still life painting, or memento mori, contrasting the abundance of service with the finality of death.

Anonymous Artist Studio Fellowships
This year the applicant pool was so rich in talent, we elected to award three 2018 Anonymous Artist Studio Fellowships to Bri Burke (Rochester, New York), who employs underestimated mediums to illuminate the unacknowledged realities she encounters as a black woman; Soojin Choi (Chang-Won, South Korea), who combines representational imagery with abstracted geometric forms to blind a viewer’s perception; and Peter Ronan (Boise, Idaho), who uses function to create a tangible representation of queer culture beyond the sterilized and commodified versions created for mass consumption.

Bri Burke Peter Ronan Soojin Choi

Bri Burke (Rochester, NY) is just finishing up a Post Baccalaureate year at Kansas State University, after earning her BFA at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred. This year she also received the Zenobia Award to attend a two-week residency at Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts. Bri uses “mediums underestimated in their ability to convey complex meaning, and create a quiet moment for the viewer to consider what lies in the shadow.” In this way she illuminates the unacknowledged realities she encounters as a black woman. 

Peter Ronan (Boise, ID) has most recently been an education assistant at the Clay Studio of Philadelphia. His BFA in ceramics is from Boise State University where he had the opportunity to complete a summer session in Nagoya, Japan. Peter is using function to create a tangible representation of queer culture beyond the sterilized and commodified versions created for mass consumption through pop culture.

Soojin Choi (Chang-Won, South Korea) earned her MFA at New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred this May after completing a double major in Painting/Printmaking and Craft Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. Soojin combines representational imagery with abstracted geometric forms to blind a viewer’s perception. She is looking forward to the challenge of conveying large concepts in a more intimate scale during her residency.   

The 2018 grant juries reflected a growing imperative to encompass divergent voice, experience, and approach to the material, as well as concepts relating to contemporary ceramic arts. Each panel thoughtfully weighed the goals and objectives of the respective programs and kept an eye toward supporting growth for the field at large.

The panel was composed of: 

EAR Awards:

  • Linda Cordell is the 2018 Spring McKnight Artist Resident at NCC and she has also been a 1998 recipient of an Evelyn Shapiro Foundation Fellowship and a 2003 Pew Fellowship in the Arts in the category of crafts. She received Pennsylvania Council of the Arts individual artist grants in 2003 and 2007 and a New York Foundation for the Arts Artists’ Fellowship in 2011; 
  • Guillermo Guardia is a 2018 American Pottery Festival artist and he creates figurative sculptures, integrating pattern and form, which are influenced by art history, his upbringing in Peru, Catholicism, his transition to living in the United States, and political events.

Congratulations to all of our award recipients! Please watch our website and our Winter 2019 newsletter for future deadlines for these grant programs and others. If you would like a presentation on NCC’s grant programs at your school or institution, please contact Jill Foote-Hutton at jillfootehutton@northernclaycenter.org.

A special thank you to all of the 2018 applicants—your interest in the grant programs and your applications help keep our arts economy strong by demonstrating the great talent, need, and diverse work that is present—from Minnesota to continents around the world.

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 Advancement Award
Launched in 2014, the Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award honors the educational legacy of Warren MacKenzie. Recipients of the award can research a new technique or process, study with a mentor or in an apprenticeship setting, visit other ceramic art centers or institutions for classes and workshops, collaborate with artists of other media, and travel. The grant period is 12 consecutive months, from June 2018 to May 2019. Three awards were made in 2018.

Katie Couglin Issac Logsdon Kelsie Rudolph

Katie Coughlin (Brooklyn, NY) holds a MFA from the Ohio State University and a BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred, with a Post Baccalaureate from the University of Montana. Katie will execute in-depth research throughout Ireland, focusing on familial history and the development of the Habit and monastic work within the Benedictine Order of Nuns. She will, with this research be able to deepen her investigations on how objects of labor extend personal identity. 

Issac Logsdon (Central/Northern New Mexico) is curious about how history is portrayed through artificial museum display, selective archiving, and one-sided written accounts. Thusly he is motivated to visit museums and cultural centers of the southwest to study the relationship between architecture and “the land it rests on” as a way to talk about Mestizo culture through material and place. Issac just completed his BFA at Kansas City Art Institute and will be a fellow at Ox-Bow School of Art in 2018.

Kelsie Rudolph (Bozeman, MT) is an MFA Candidate at Montana State University with a BFA from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She also apprenticed with Simon Levin in 2013. Kelsie makes “large scale sculpture and utilitarian objects to celebrate simple architectural space, as well as our relationships with and within it.” She will be using the grant to return to a country that inspired her imagination during a 2016 residency at Tainan National University of the Arts where she has been offered an internship with sculptor and designer Hun Chung Lee outside of Seoul, Korea.  

The 2018 grant juries reflected a growing imperative to encompass divergent voice, experience, and approach to the material, as well as concepts relating to contemporary ceramic arts. Each panel thoughtfully weighed the goals and objectives of the respective programs and kept an eye toward supporting growth for the field at large.

The panel was composed of: 

WMAA Awards:

  • Kelly Connole, a former McKnight Artist Fellow and Associate Professor of Art at Carleton College;
  • Jan McKeachie Johnston, a studio potter with work in represented in many private and public collections, including the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia; the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota; and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts;
  • Bobby Silverman, a world-renowned ceramic artist and designer who runs ceramic programming at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.

Congratulations to all of our award recipients! Please watch our website and our Winter 2019 newsletter for future deadlines for these grant programs and others. If you would like a presentation on NCC’s grant programs at your school or institution, please contact Jill Foote-Hutton at jillfootehutton@northernclaycenter.org.

A special thank you to all of the 2018 applicants—your interest in the grant programs and your applications help keep our arts economy strong by demonstrating the great talent, need, and diverse work that is present—from Minnesota to continents around the world.