Ceramic artists list
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HCCC

Dark Light: The Micaceous Ceramics of Christine Nofchissey McHorse / Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Dark Light, Micaceous Ceramics of Christine Nofchissey McHorse at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Dark Light: The Micaceous Ceramics of Christine Nofchissey McHorse / Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston
February 7 – May 11, 2014

Opening Reception: Friday, February 7, 5:30 – 8:00 PM
5:30 - Artist Talk by Adrian Esparza
6:00 - Artist Talk by Christine Nofchissey McHorse

The opening will also feature Spectra by Adrian Esparza in the Front Gallery. Open studios by current resident artists to follow talks. 

In Dark Light: The Micaceous Ceramics of Christine Nofchissey McHorse, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) presents works by one of the most innovative contemporary forces in Native American pottery.  Working from traditional materials and techniques, Christine Nofchissey McHorse’s vessel-based art blends the boundaries of pottery and sculpture, erasing the line between function and form. As the Navajo artist’s first traveling exhibition, the show exhibits the unadorned sophistication of the sultry curves, black satiny surfaces, and modern forms of her Dark Light series, created from 1997 to present. An amalgam of Puebloan, Navajo, and contemporary influences, each sculpture possesses a cultural splendor that is as fertile as the Northern New Mexico riverbeds where McHorse harvests her clay.

Through the unadulterated beauty of micaceous clay and with Puebloan construction techniques learned from her Taos mother-in-law, McHorse transforms her sketches into voluminous shapes that swell upwards like a natural spring. Dismissing the rudimentary forms that define Native American ethnic identity in craft, she returns to primordial shapes, akin to the modern aesthetic of Henri Moore. Experimenting with shape, mass, volume, and line, she creates organic vessels in the vein of her ancestors, who recognized the spiritual power of water, air, and earth.

To complement her natural forms, McHorse gives each piece its own unique skin by pushing the boundaries of a raw material. Traditionally used for cookware and valued for its structural integrity, micaceous clay permits McHorse to build thin-walled structures that can withstand high temperatures, yielding a black satiny finish. The darkness of the fired clay provides a dramatic contrast to the tiny bits of reflective mica, glistening as light dances across each piece. Using light gradation as her palette, McHorse controls the presence of light by creating differently textured surfaces that either catch or reflect the light.  When combined with the elegance of each sculpture’s form, the element of light in McHorse’s works renders a captivating visual experience.

Born in Morenci, AZ, in 1948, Christine Nofchissey McHorse is a first generation, full-blooded Navajo ceramic artist. After marrying Joel McHorse, a Taos Pueblo Indian, she learned to make pots through his grandmother, Lena Archuleta, who taught her to work with micaceous clay, a rare but naturally occurring clay high in mica content that can be found in the Taos area. McHorse has since become one of the most admired and successful Native potters, working with traditional techniques but making the kind of reductive, sculptural pots that one would have expected Brancusi to make, were he alive today.

From 1963 – 1968, McHorse studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM, where her studio is now located.  She has received numerous awards from the SWAIA Indian Market, Santa Fe, and the Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial, Gallup, as well as the Museum of Northern Arizona. Her works are in the collections of the Denver Museum of Natural History, the Museum of New Mexico, the National Museum of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution, the Navajo Nation Museum, and the Rockwell Museum of Western Art. McHorse also has the unique distinction of winning Best in Show for both pottery and sculpture at the annual Santa Fe Indian Market.

Dark Light: The Micaceous Ceramics of Christine Nofchissey McHorse is organized by The Ceramic Arts Foundation, New York, NY, and curated by Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio.

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  • NCECA 2013 Ceramics Biennial / Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, USA

    NCECA 2013 Ceramics Biennial at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

    NCECA 2013 Ceramics Biennial / Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, USA
    January 26 - May 5, 2013

    Award presentation & Reception: Thursday, March 21, 5:30 - 9 PM.

    Held in conjunction with the Annual Conference in odd-numbered years, the NCECA Biennial is the premier juried exhibition open to all current members of NCECA (both national and international) and to all ceramic artists, 18 years and older, residing in the U.S.

    Houston Center for Contemporary Craft will host the 2013 Biennial Exhibition from January 26 - May 5, 2013. The opening reception will take place on January 25, 2013 and a reception will also be held during the Houston Conference on Thursday, March 21, 2013 from 5:30 - 9:00 pm. NCECA produces a color catalog featuring work by all participating artists and may be pre-ordered through NCECA’s Online Store. Remaining copies may also be available for purchase at conference.

    Participating artists: Nicole Aquillano, Christa Assad, Tom Bartel, Nicholas Bivins, Renée Brown, Josephine Burr, Gary Carlos, Lisa Cecere, Du Chau, Andréa Keys Connell, Emily Connell, Shenny Cruces, Elizabeth DeLyria, Sharan Elran, Léopold L. Foulem, Teri Frame, Chad Gunderson, Sarah House, Erica Iman, Ryan LaBar, Thomas Lane, Lauren Mabry, Ted Neal, Tybre Newcomer, Claudia Olds Goldie, Vijay V. Paniker, Joseph Pintz, Paolo Porelli, Audrey Rosulek, Joel Schroeder, Linda Sormin, Mark Nathan Stafford, Michael Strand, George Timock, Triesch Voelker

    Jurors: Cristina Cordova, Namita Gupta Wiggers, Richard Notkin

    Internationally acclaimed for her hauntingly, provocative figurative sculptures, juror Cristina Cordova has a well-established record of museum exhibitions including: Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Puerto Rico; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico; Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, NC; Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL; Gretchen Keyworth, Society of Arts & Crafts, Boston, MA and the Joseph -Schein Museum, NY. A highly respected workshop teacher, Cristina has led numerous workshops in figurative art in universities and art centers such as: Armory Arts Center, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Anderson Ranch Arts Center and Penland School of Crafts where she serves as a trustee. A graduate of Colegio de Agricultura y Artes Mecánicas, Mayagüyez, Puerto Rico and New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University; Cristina’s work challenges gender and racial boundaries while engendering discourse on intellectual conventions and social mores. Cristina recently exhibited her art in Bestiario at the Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, FL during the 2011 NCECA conference and in Push Play: The 2012 NCECA Invitational at Bellevue Arts Museum.

    Namita Gupta Wiggers is curator at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in partnership with Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR, where she directs the exhibition, collection and public programming. Her curatorial work combines her experience and training as an art historian, a museum educator, ethnographer and design researcher, teacher, writer, and studio art jeweler. Through exhibitions and programming, Wiggers considers how craft and design function as subjects and verbs, and as simultaneously distinct and intersecting practices, and how the exhibition operates as a site and space for cultural inquiry.
    Recent publications include Generations: Betty Feves (forthcoming), Ken Shores: Clay Has the Last Word (2010), and Unpacking the Collection: Selections from the Museum of Contemporary Craft (2008), the first publication to document the Museum’s collection and the institution’s connections to dramatic changes in craft-based and artistic practice over the past 70 years. Wiggers edited Garth Clark’s How Envy Killed the Crafts Movement: An Autopsy in Two Parts (2009) and contributes essays for museum catalogues, including Hand + Made: The Performative Impulse in Art and Craft (2010, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston) and Innovation & Change: Ceramics from the Arizona State University Art Museum (2009, Ceramic Research Center, ASU). Her writing on contemporary jewelry includes Mining History: Ornamentalism Revisited (Metalsmith, 2009), co-authored with Lena Vigna and Curatorial Conundrums: Exhibiting Contemporary Art Jewelry in a Museum Environment (Art Jewelry Forum Website, 2010). She is the co-founder of Critical Craft Forum, and serves on the Board of Trustees, American Craft Council and the curatorial board of accessceramics, an online clay-focused database.

    Richard Notkin lives and works in Helena, Montana, creating works deeply influenced by the centuries-old tradition of Yixing pottery from which he has adopted the precise working methods and a penchant for trompe l’oeil. With his artwork serving as an extension of his conscience, Richard’s ceramic sculptures and tile murals are visual explorations into social and political commentary questioning military misadventures and foreign policy around the world with particular focus on nuclear weaponry and energy. Richard Notkin received his BFA from Kansas City Art Institute and MFA from University of California, Davis. His awards include: Artist Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts, 1979, 1981, 1988; Fellowship in Sculpture, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation and the Hoi Fellowship from the United States Artists Foundation. In 2008, he was elected to The American Craft Council College of Fellows. His work is in over 60 public collections including: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, Charles A. Wustum Museum of Art, Mint Museum of Craft and Design, Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Shigaraki Museum of Ceramic Art and Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

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