Happy Spring from Northern Clay Center! We are so excited about warming temperatures, the subtle hints of color showing, and the sense of new beginnings that hangs in the spring air. This sense of newness is not only evident outdoors, but also inside our building as we welcome a whole new season of classes, artists, creative opportunities, exhibitions, and special events.
As of this newsletter production, NCC was in the thick of its leadership transition, with our new director, Leah Hughes, slowly taking the reins from Sarah Millfelt. Amidst the transition, we teased out some fun facts from our incoming leader. You’ll have the wonderful opportunity to meet Hughes in the coming months, and we encourage you to stop by and see her in person and learn for yourself why we are so excited to have her at the helm.
After eight years at the helm and 20 years of service, Board Chair Craig Bishop reflected on the legacy she is passing to Hughes, “Through Sarah’s advocacy for ceramic arts, her desire to see Northern Clay Center scale new heights, her love and empathy for her colleagues, a desire for equity, and sound fiscal management she has created a magical institution.”
It is with mixed emotions that I publicly announce my pending departure from Northern Clay Center (NCC), effective October 31, 2019. I have devoted the past 20 years of my life to advancing the ceramic arts and have been privileged to do so on behalf of Northern Clay Center. My time here has been a true and constant source of energy, challenge, love, satisfaction, and motivation.
April showers will bring a whole lot more than May flowers for NCC in 2018; we anticipate a lot of growth for NCC’s outreach program. In the fall of 2017, NCC embarked on a sizeable building remodel to create an outreach prep zone within our existing building — a private space for teaching artists to manage the cumbersome tasks of preparation, firing, and glazing. Additionally, this space will house special outreach and education classes, ultimately freeing up our existing classroom space to support our adult education program.
The ceramics and broader art world lost one of the greats on January 2nd : Betty Woodman, an inspiration to countless ceramic artists and a two-time NEA Fellow.
In 1999 Northern Clay Center had the pleasure of naming Ms. Woodman a Regis Master Artist, honoring her for her contributions to the development of 20th and 21st Century ceramics.
“Did you have fun at NCECA?” just spilled out of the mouth of another curious Northern Clay Center constituent. Those of you who have attended the NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) conference know that while “fun” is the operative word for most attendees (I mean, how could you not have fun with thousands of your closest clay friends?), for those of us on the service side of the conference (with our offsite galleries and resource tables), there are other words seemingly more apropos.
Looking back while looking forward—never an easy task, but a requisite one in the not-for-profit world. What have we done? What had we wanted to do? What’s next? Where do we hope to be? Fourth quarter of our calendar/fiscal year is all about finding answers to these questions.
The Autumn Newsletter marks the end of Northern Clay Center’s 25th year of operations—and the start of the next 25 years of magic! For many of us, the mid-twenties call to mind a time in which life was filled with possibility, learning, trial-and-error (and often success!), and the defining of some major life goals.
In the last year, we’ve taken big steps to identify new ways that we can engage audiences, further diversify the field of ceramics, better serve artists, and respond to the changing needs of all of our constituents: