Clay Culture: NCECA 2017 Portland

How will our responses to the opportunities and challenges of today influence the direction of the field? This question will be explored through programming for NCECA’s 51st annual conference, “Future Flux.”

The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) conference will be held at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon, March 22–25. The overarching theme that connects presenters, other programming, and NCECA-organized exhibitions is “Future Flux.”

The programming examines where our field is going. There’s continued interest in multimedia work, combining digital and analog techniques, expanding the diversity of the field, social engagement, improving the sustainability of artists’ practices (and the conference itself), as well as how we respond to and initiate change.

Along with Steve Hilton and Brett Binford, the Portland conference on-site liaisons include Dylan Beck.

1 Stuart Gair

2 Elliott Kayser

3 Sarah Heitmeyer


This year’s keynote, “Where are we now? How did we get here? Where are we going? And where does clay fit in?” will be given by Jerry Saltz. The closing lecture will be given by Jim Melchert.

The four demonstrating artists are: Kim Dickey, who will handbuild sculptural forms; Malcolm Mobutu Smith, who will use wheel-throwing and handbuilding techniques to create abstracted vessel forms with surfaces referencing graffiti; Brendan Tang, who will share a variety of processes used in his Manga Ormolu series (see page 38); and Shoko Teruyama, who will combine handbuilding with sgraffito techniques to create utilitarian pots with narrative and intricate patterned surfaces.

Galleries that will have work for sale in the Gallery Expo area in the convention center include 18 Hands Gallery, Baltimore Clayworks, Eutectic Gallery, Gandee Gallery, Lillstreet Art Center, Northern Clay Center, Objective Clay, Red Lodge Clay Center, and the Artstream Nomadic gallery.

4 Amy LeFever

5 Caelin McDaniel

6 Tiffany Tang

7 Kelsey Duncan




NCECA organized exhibitions include “The Evocative Garden” at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center ( and the “National Student Juried Exhibition” (NSJE) at Oregon College of Art and Craft (

There are over 60 concurrent exhibitions organized in conjunction with the conference at venues around the Portland, Oregon area featuring work by hundreds of artists. Exhibitions of note are at venues including Adams and Ollman, Ash Street Project, Butters Gallery, C3 Initiative, Eutectic Gallery, Exchange Ballroom, Gallery 114, Lane Community College, Lewis and Clark College, MFA Applied Craft and Design, Pacific Northwest College of Art, and Skutt Ceramics.

8 Ashley Bevington

9 Christina Erives

10 Brooks Oliver

11 Judd Schiffman

Attending the conference? Please visit us at booth 700, share your thoughts on the magazine, pick up your free CM poster, a copy of the Conference Companion (also free online), and check out the Potters Council exhibition.

1–8 Work from the NCECA NSJE at Oregon College of Art and Craft.

9–14 NCECA’s Emerging Artists, who will give presentations on Saturday, March 25.

Images copyright and courtesy of NCECA, 2017.

12 Kate Roberts

13 Jessica Brandl

14 Rachel Eng


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