Announcing the Recipients of the 2020 Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grants

Northern Clay Center is proud to announce the recipients of the 2020 Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grants. Three grants in the amount of $6,000 each have been awarded to Casey Beck, Rita Panton, and Ginny Sims-Burchard. The Foundation supports emerging artists in Minnesota and New York City who, among other qualifications:

  • take risks and embrace challenges
  • are developing a voice that reveals significant potential
  • are rigorous in their approach to creation and production
Casey Beck

Ginny Sims-Burchard

Rita Panton

Casey Beck plans to continue his exploration and development of materials science related to the soda-firing process. Expanding on research on both materials and down-firing that he conducted during the pursuit of his undergraduate degree, Beck hopes to develop new and richer surfaces for his pieces while creating a digital platform and resource for those seeking reference material on this under-documented topic. The jury found his work and proposal to be very cohesive and his aspirations to generate a firing-specific resource available to the public both refreshing and forward-thinking for the continued development and advancement of the soda-firing technique.

Rita Panton was one of many applicants looking to utilize funds from the Jerome Foundation to afford them the space and capacity to revitalize their studio practice through the investment of time and a committed space for the development of their work. Having spent the last several years focusing her time and efforts as a parent, Rita intends to revisit her practice of exploring drawings in her works. She will investigate a new format with more developed surfaces and color palette as sculptural wall pieces. The panelists of the selection committee were invigorated by Panton’s bold and courageous embrace of unique forms and new method of working.

Ginny Sims-Burchard intends to create a visual catalog that explores the “how” of what we take in through observation and interaction. From the most prosaic to the most profound, Sims-Burchard will make a body of work that represents the complex questions and moments that we encounter on a daily basis. Reflective of many social and political questions of our time surrounding topical conversations of class, gender, race, domestic space, and displacement, Sims-Burchard aims to create a piece a day over the project’s duration to serve as a sort of diary of her navigation through these increasingly important conversations and discussions. Collectively, the panelists felt that her work was pushing boundaries within the ceramic vocabulary and that the proposed risk of this project was both bold and future-looking.

This year's selection panel consisted of our recent visiting artists Kristen Cliffel and Angelica Pozo, in association with the exhibition Triaxial Blends, and NCC’s 2020 Winter McKnight Artist Resident, Rebecca Chappell. Pozo received her BFA from the New York College of Ceramics at Alfred University and her MFA in ceramics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In addition to teaching in Cleveland, OH, she is a public and community artist, studio artist, and author. Cliffel received her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in1990. In addition to teaching workshops at colleges and universities across the country, teaching sculpture and ceramics to school-aged children, and participating in residencies and exhibitions, she is currently a full-time studio artist in Cleveland, OH. Chappell earned her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art and her MFA from the New York College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Chappell currently resides in Philadelphia, PA where she in an instructor at the Maryland Institute College of Art and long-term resident artist and instructor at The Clay Studio, Philadelphia.

We thank each of them for being articulate and forward-thinking. We strongly encourage all grant applicants to avail themselves of the opportunity to learn from their conversation as their valuable feedback is available to the grant recipients and applicants.