Spotlight: Drawn to Ceramics

Ceramics Monthly: What are the most important factors that you consider when jurying work for an exhibition like Strictly Functional Pottery National (SFPN)? 

Margaret Kinkeade, Roberto Lugo, and Brooks Oliver: We want to start by offering our gratitude to SFPN (which is presented by Market House Craft Center) for giving us the honor and privilege of being the 2021 exhibition jurors. There were so many extraordinary works included in the submission pool, and it was a pleasure to be able to review and select the pieces that resonated the most with each of us.

As individual makers, we jurors have vastly different aesthetics and processes, and find ourselves drawn to very different types of functional objects. We ask very different questions within our studio practices as we investigate how far we can push the idea of function, consider what spaces our forms will occupy, and imagine the hands that will use and interact with our work. Regardless of our different approaches, we are all committed to the power functional and utilitarian objects can hold.

The work selected for this exhibition is positively as diverse in nature as its jurors, and as a result, there was no singular theme within our selection process. Instead we found ourselves drawn to exciting surfaces, inventive functional solutions, and well-considered forms that spanned a variety of building and firing processes. With so many high-caliber entries, the selection process was very difficult, but in the end, the 111 makers included in the exhibition offered refreshing and imaginative solutions to historic and contemporary functionality. 

We were particularly impressed with the strong union of varying surface techniques with the forms they adorned—some told stories, some paid homage to historical pottery and ornamentation, others were more minimal to highlight the forms’ precision, but all the surfaces accentuated their forms very well.

A sincere thank you to everyone who applied, and to the team at SFPN for their hard work facilitating this exhibition. We are very excited to see it all come together and hope our extended community enjoys it as much as we do.

The SFPN exhibition is on view at Lancaster Museum of Art in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, through November 13, 2021. Learn more about the 29-year history of the annual exhibition at http://strictlyfunctionalpottery.net. 

Artists featured, top row (left to right): Lindsay Oesterritter, Chris Alveshere, Breana Ferreira. Middle row (L to R): Bobby Free, Chris Pickett, Donte Moore. Bottom row (L to R): Tyler Quintin, Dallas Wooten, and Samuel Newman.

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