Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant Recipients

Northern Clay Center is proud to announce the recipients of the 2016 Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grants. Three grants in the amount of $6,000 each have been awarded to Bianka Groves, Brady McLearen, and Elizabeth Pechacek.

Bianka Groves will travel to Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Germany to research the northern European influences on the aesthetic choices of her pottery. She will specifically look at the work of Gertrude Vasegaard, Lucie Rie, Mies van der Rohe, the Bauhaus school, and the collections of the Grimmerhus Museum, before making work in her studio reflecting this experience.

Brady McLearen will fulfill an invitation to the Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center in Skaelskor, Denmark, for a six-week residency. He will pursue this experience to gain valuable insight and relationships outside of his Minnesota training, and to use the impressive variety of equipment available in the residency studio. In addition, he will purchase equipment for his own studio.

Elizabeth Pechacek will expand her practice beyond functional pottery to include work that combines ceramics and metal. Drawing upon her background as a potter and ironworker, she will create a new series of work that expands on the graphic motifs of her pottery, using metal to mirror a clay form and embellish the surface.

This year’s selection panel consisted of Kelly Connole, sculptor and assistant professor of art at Carleton College; visiting artist Molly Hatch, artist, designer, and author of New Ceramic Surface Design (2015); and visiting artist Tim Rowan, whose wood-fired work was included in the exhibition Influenced and Evolved at NCC. We wish to thank each of them for a day of thoughtful deliberations. Their valuable feedback is available to the grant recipients and applicants as a form of professional development. 

2016 marks the 26th 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. 
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