2017 American Pottery Festival Review

In the wake of the American Pottery Festival, which brings with it packing, shipping, clean up, and notes of gratitude sent across the country, we here at NCC are still catching our collective breath and reflecting on the accomplishments of everyone who helped us pull off the most successful fundraiser to date. Here’s the highlight reel:

  • This year’s APF guest artists sold more pots than in any year prior;
  • Of the 25 invited artist on this year’s roster, 20 traveled from every corner of the country —from Oregon to Florida to Arizona — and brought along friends, students, mentees, parents, and spouses;
  • All of the workshops and artist lectures graciously led by visiting artists, both at NCC and through residencies with colleges and universities, reached over 400 participants;
  • Our continued partnership with US Bank Flexperks Reward Visa and American Express brought in new audiences throughout the weekend;
  • The farewell Collector Adventure tour included two private collections, A Culture of Pots: The 25th Anniversary of the St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour exhibit at Weisman Art Museum, the Ron Gallas Cup Library, a private tour of the newly renovated Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center, a studio visit with Kip O’Krongly, early access to the APF exhibition, and nightly soirees;
  • Chef Nettie Colón of Red Hen Gastrolab catered the Thursday night Welcome cocktail party, for visiting artists and collectors, in the gardens of a gracious local ceramic artist and supporter;
  • Epic foodstuffs were prepared and served by scores of tireless volunteers and generous donors, including over 200 pizzas from our wood-fired pizza oven, countless passed appetizers on Opening Night, and a Tailgate Party on Sunday served up in perfect weather to artists, staff, and volunteers with seemingly everlasting energy;
  • The support of over 140 event volunteers, artist hosts, and donors guaranteed 2017 APF was an unequalled event this year.

All of us who stay behind at NCC after the event, while everyone else travels back home to their everyday lives, can’t help but float a little and feel deeply fortunate for the contributions of so many artists, businesses, collectors, volunteers, and others. If you contributed to the festival in any way, please know you are appreciated and that this thankfulness doesn’t fade!

We are already well on our way to planning 2018 APF—be sure to mark your calendars for September 7 – 9! Watch our website for more information, including our presence at the NCECA conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in March, as well as guest artist announcements and festival workshop opportunities.


Top row: APF mugshots. Title wall with vase by Sam Chung. A group of pots by Marty Fielding. APF artists Jason Bige Burnett and Matt Repsher getting some refreshments.

Bottom row: Teaching artist Angie Renee with NCC materials technician Heather Barr at Opening Night. APF artists Jeff Oestreich and Sam Chung sharing a hug. Kurt Brian Webb and Pattie Chalmers during their workshop.