Potters often cite putting a pot to use as the moment that feels most satisfying as a maker or the point at which their process is complete. During my time as a student in a post-baccalaureate program and in graduate school, my work was largely sculptural or installation based. If new work made it out of my messy studio, its point of fruition was putting it up for display. The reach of this display varied—from formal installations at galleries, to the studio wall I tried to keep clear for visualizing works in progress, to coveted critique spaces that operated on a tight schedule of install, teardown, patch up, repeat—but the important part was to see the work in a new light with fresh eyes. The exercise of taking a piece out of the context of your workspace and into a clean space free of distraction can be revelatory. As a viewer, taking in art in a gallery or exhibition setting is a uniquely invigorating experience. There is excitement in entering a gallery to come across something unexpected or to encounter a piece in person that you’ve previously only studied online. 

1 Nikki Blair’s turquoise/orange/white basket (with fruit), 12 in. (30 cm) in height, handbuilt white earthenware, Amaco Velvet underglazes, 2021. Photo: Vanderveen Photographers.

This issue’s feature and department articles relate to galleries and all the many elements that lead up to exhibiting ceramic art: the regular Exposure section, a discussion of an online database of artists turned non-profit, an exhibition review, the perspective of a curator and gallery coordinator, advice on developing your artistic voice, the work of two artists making distinctly functional objects, our annual listing of ceramics-focused galleries, plus my Tips and Tools list of go-to supplies for installing work (I am convinced that many an installation crisis can be averted with a utility knife and some blue painter’s tape). 

Kay Whitney reviews the exhibition, “Body Vessel Clay: Black Women, Ceramics, and Contemporary Art,” at Two Temple Place in London. Curated by Dr. Jareh Das, this show contextualizes the impact and influence of renowned Nigerian potter Ladi Dosei Kwali over the span of decades and through the ceramic work of Black women artists. Bisila Noha, shown on this issue’s cover, is one such contemporary artist. 

2 Installation view of “Body Vessel Clay” at Two Temple Place, 2022. Copyright Two Temple Place. Photo: Amit Lennon.

The Spotlight provides a glimpse behind the scenes at Red Lodge Clay Center from curator and gallery coordinator Jill Oberman. Oberman outlines how the gallery must coexist with the center’s other programming, as well as the factors their team considers during the decision-making processes for artist representation and exhibition. 

The 2024 Gallery Guide is a listing comprised of nearly 500 US and international venues. Near or far, be sure to check here for galleries to visit on your next travel adventure. I encourage you to explore the multitude of possibilities for both seeing and showing ceramics. Enjoy! 

Katie Reaver, Interim Editor

Topics: Ceramic Artists