Navarrete, Spain, held the 12th National Meeting of Pottery and Ceramics (N.A.CE 2020) that focused on terra sigillata
The small Riojan town of Navarrete (Spain) has converted its traditional pottery and ceramics fair into a big National Meeting of Pottery and Ceramics (N.A.CE. 2020 for its initials in Spanish), a cultural forum revolving around terra sigillata pottery. The main events took place on the 17th and 18th July, but the central exhibition, “Terra sigillata. Past, present and future of ceramics” continues every weekend until 30th August at the “Sala de exposiciones Román Zaldívar” in Navarrete.
Although this year the fair did not have any exhibitors, three exhibitions have been laid on, two documentaries have been shown, a Ceramics Forum and workshop have been held and a mural by ceramicist Enric Mestre was inaugurated as part of the town’s artistic heritage. The local potters have also opened their potteries to show visitors their products.
In this special and unprecedented edition of the N.A.CE., the “Terra sigillata” exhibition displays pieces of a didactic character related to this Roman ceramic technique which have come down to us today, including historical artefacts on loan from the Museum of La Rioja and the Nájera Museum, items from Navarrete potteries and contemporary ceramics by the Extremadura artist Avelino Carrasco. The Government of La Rioja has loaned a series of plundered pieces from the Museum of La Rioja which are being shown in Navarrete for the first time.
In addition to this exhibition, 25 out of the more than sixty pieces entered for the “Unique Piece” competition organised by the Town Hall of Navarrete for the last 12 years are on display. This year the prize has corresponded to the Ukrainian artist Ihor Kovalevych, with his work “Towers”. The Jury awarded the runners-up prize to the Spanish ceramic artist Miguel Molet for his work “In the wake of Ulysses”. It is the second consecutive year that the prize has gone to an international artist, since last year the “Unique Piece” award was won by the Iraqui Jawdat Habib, with the Italian artist Evandro Casadio as runner-up.
For his part, the Navarrete potter Toño Naharro displayed his contemporary ceramic creations in the wine bar of Bodegas Corral.
During the National Meeting, the “Potters of Navarrete” documentary, produced by the local Town Hall, was premiered and there was also a preview of the documentary ‘Enric Mestre, the mark of the landscape’. A mural by this same artist, created in Navarrete in 2014, was officially inaugurated and is now part of the ceramic cultural heritage of Navarrete.
During N.A.CE. 2020, around fifty people attended the Ceramics Forum on terra silligata in the Hotel San Camilo, Navarrete, which was also broadcast live online by the N.A.CE YouTube channel where you can still see the talks. During the Forum, members raised the need to protect the archaeological ceramic heritage and from Navarrete demand a better defence and appreciation of terra sigillata. The Forum started with a talk by the archaeologist and curator of the main exhibition, Pilar Sáenz Preciado: “Sigillata, ceramics for Rome” and was closed by María Isabel Fernández García, professor at the University of Granada, with her talk, “In search of Spanish terra sigillata from Los Villares de Andújar”. In this Andalusian town you can find the archaeological site of Isturgi Triumphale, which is with Tritium (Tricio, La Rioja), one of the main potteries of Roman Hispania.
In addition, Navarrete hosted a workshop by the ceramicists Javier Fanlo Loras and Alfonso Soro Gayán which was attended by around 50 people and which was broadcast online by the N.A.CE. YouTube channel. Fanlo and Soro provided a resounding finale to this extraordinary edition of N.A.CE. by together tackling questions about technology.
During the weekend, the local potteries of Antonio Naharro, Alma de Cántaro and Hermanos Fajardo Lozano opened their workshops for the people visiting Navarrete to enjoy.
The 12th National Meeting of Pottery and Ceramics N.A.CE. 20 has been a rather special, different, cultural event, in line with the “new normality”, which has made a committed contribution to the culture and economy of Navarrete. Navarrete Town Hall has turned the Fair into a National Meeting of Ceramics and Pottery as a way of showing its support for ceramics and to contribute to reactivating the pottery industry which has been hit so hard by the crisis caused by COVID-19.
N.A.CE. 2020 has been organised by the Town Council of Navarrete with support from the Regional Government of La Rioja, Bodegas Corral, the Museum of La Rioja, the Nájera Museum, the Hotel San Camilo, Navarrete Craft Character and Crafts of La Rioja.
N.A.CE. Navarrete. Alfarería y Cerámica
Tel. 686 97 67 57, 941 44 00 05