Oh, NCECA, how I love you.
In March, I went to the annual NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) convention in Minneapolis. Land of the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Warren McKenzie. I found inspiration traveling by bus through the Upper St Croix River Valley, visiting the studios of Matthew Krousey, Will Swanson, Janel Jacobson, and Linda Christianson(one of the invited artists in our upcoming Good Earth Pottery pitcher show). The numerous gallery exhibitions offered drool-worthy and jaw-dropping examples of what ceramics has to offer, I even had the great pleasure of seeing my own work in an NCECA sponsored exhibition, "You've Been Served" organized by Clay Arts Vegas and the University of North Dakota ceramics department. The vast array of studio tools in the expo hall is overwhelming and covet-worthy. All in all, it's a highly stimulating and overwhelming experience, brought to its apex by the community of people that readily embraces each other. I feel fortunate to have found myself in this tribe of clay people, who understand the struggles and triumphs and why we keep repeating the madness that is ceramics. This, my 5th NCECA, did not disappoint when it came to the people. It strengthened existing friendships and built new ones, and was just what this working potter/gallery owner needed to energize herself for the coming year, both in the studio and the gallery--and life in general!
See you next year in Richmond, Virginia!
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Ann Marie Cooper
Consumed by a love of clay.