Say YES! To the Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant Deadline

Minnesota provides artists more fiscal support, per capita, than any other state in the country—by a significant margin. Northern Clay Center is proud to be part of this legacy. In 2017 NCC paid out some $557,000 in support to artists, bringing the total artist payout since 1995 to $8.6 million!

This impressive support for ceramic artists is fueled by NCC’s efforts as a re-granting institution. One organization they proudly represent is the Jerome Foundation, which has enabled NCC’s efforts to support emerging artists since 1990. And, by 5 pm on Friday, February 16th, NCC hopes to amass the most competitive and diverse applicant pool yet for the Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grants.

Yes, the Jerome Grants support emerging artists, but it’s important to note that “emerging” does not mean the applicants and recipients are unpracticed, untried, or without vision. On the contrary, this award is meant to comb the quiet, dark studios for those who have been toiling, working to clarify their voice. This award is for those who know where they want to go and for those who convey the kind of flexibility that allows for discovery. It is for those who see the next ledge, even though it may be just out of their reach. The grant helps them make that leap.

Realizing his obsession with making traditional wheel-thrown forms didn’t align with the world he was occupying; Brett Freund had already made a compelling aesthetic shift before he applied for the grant in 2015. “For five years I [had} been influenced by graffiti, nightlife, bright colors, and gemstones. [I did not] always get it right, but eventually the work became a statement of my own.” His goal was to expand his tool chest, becoming versed in 3D printing technology. It proved a process more in sync with his influences and aesthetic. The grant gave him the time to tackle a significant learning curve and now he generously shares his knowledge with others as his practice continues to develop a national reputation.

All the alumni of the Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant have gone on to have their work exposed to national and international audiences. They have built thriving studio practices. Some alumni have pursued and been awarded McKnight Ceramic Artist Fellowships, while others have secured international residencies.

Is it that a Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant bolsters emerging ceramic artists, giving them the confidence to continue striving for greatness as they stand in their truth? Is it that individuals who are bold enough to dream, naturally rise, regardless of accolades and support? The answer most likely lies in the measured space between grace and persistence. Before February 16th rolls around, the Clay Center asks you to look in the mirror and see the potential within yourself. NCC encourages you to put yourself in a position to let someone say, “YES, we want to support YOUR vision!”

For inquiries about this dynamic program, please contact Coordinator of Artist Services & Storytelling, Jill Foote-Hutton, at NCC requires ZERO application fees for its grant programs. And, as time and resource allow, NCC will preview your application materials, a service it provides to all of its applicants. Applicants for the Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant must be residents of Minnesota. Residency requirements and other eligibility guidelines are available at


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