Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant Recipients

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 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.