Awesome Foundation June Winner

Awesome Foundation June Winner | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

The Santa Cruz Chapter of the Awesome Foundation picked its third winner! We love reviewing these amazing, creative ideas – keep them coming Santa Cruz! $1000 micro-grants are given out monthly.

Congrats to Stephanie Suarez for their community project, Bipoc Arts Healing Circles! Click here to learn more about this project.

Got an Awesome idea that needs a little funding? Pitch it here!

Awesome Foundation May Winner

The Santa Cruz Chapter of the Awesome Foundation picked its second winner! So blown away by the submissions that have come in, there’s a lot of talent in this county!

Congrats to Andrew Purchin for his film project, What’s Home? Painters Listen Across Differences! Click here to learn more about his project.

Got an Awesome idea that needs a little funding? Pitch it here!

First Awesome Winner

Really excited to announce that the brand new Santa Cruz chapter of the Awesome Foundation picked their first micro-grant winner! It was so amazing to see how many great ideas were submitted and I have a feeling we are just getting started. So thrilled to have helped launch this project with an amazing team of supporters.

Congrats to Emily Meehan for her film project called Concurrent! Click here to learn more about Concurrent.

Got an Awesome idea that needs a little funding? Pitch it here!

Article Share: Don’t ‘get’ art? You might be looking at it wrong

I came across this gem of an article on the NPR app and thought it would be great to share with you all. I really liked their idea of taking the pressure off of trying to see the whole museum on one visit and instead, taking your time to see a collection or a new exhibit. Also great tips for how to look at and appreciate art that you might just as easily dismiss. Let me know your thoughts….

Many of us would love to have this kind of deep connection when we look at a painting or sculpture, but it can be challenging. Art can feel inaccessible, as if it can only be interpreted by those who know a ton about the subject. And museums can be overwhelming. With thousands of pieces in a collection, how do you know which to focus on? And once you see a piece you like, how do you interact with it?

read full article here

Malaka Gharib/ NPR

ArtAxis Fundraising Sale

Over 100 works donated by over 75 artists are now available on the Artaxis web shop and all sales support their mission, one of my Medusas is available too! The sale launches Tuesday November 15th at 11am (PST).

Artaxis is an all volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization that is guided by a simple principle – artists supporting artists. Featuring nearly 1000 artists from over 50 countries and all 50 States in the US, Artaxis engages the ceramics community through promotional, educational, and networking programs while celebrating diverse artistic practices and being a resource of aesthetic values.


Local artists doing public art

In my last post I shared my installation at the new Kaiser building in downtown Santa Cruz but I also wanted to share a few of my favorites of the other local artists that were chosen for this space too. It’s so great to see large organizations or corporations prioritize local artists and unique work into their public spaces. Chandra Cerrito Art Advisors was given the task of presenting all of the works for potential selection and it was great working with them. Check out some of these great pieces…

Ethan Estess uses reclaiming fishing rope to create many of his pieces. John Maxon paints the great beauty that surrounds us. Laura Beach combines her love of science and printmaking to create her works. Lea de Wit creates large scale glass installations that swim, fly and flow across walls. Leslie Morgan creates work that is inspired by her time in the water.

There are many, many more pieces included in the building, so if you’re going to get your flu shot or booster be sure to keep an eye out as you pass through the halls. You’re sure to be inspired!

Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery Visit at UCSC

I went up to Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery this week with curator Tauna Coulson to see the gallery space and toss around ideas for my upcoming exhibition there this fall. It’s a beautiful space nestled into the redwoods that I hadn’t been to a million years. As a bonus, I got to see the current exhibition on display.

Warp & Weft is about how textiles are integral in our lives, yet often overlooked. The exhibit showcases nine artists work with themes of family, community and politics through weaving and the history of cloth. Here are a few images I took of the show…

I know the parking is awful, but they are open Thursday nights until 7 and on Saturdays 12-5, so if you get a chance get up there and check it out!

For more information…

Scenes from NCECA 2022, day three

Three days and viewing almost 40 exhibitions is definitely pushing my limits of creative absorption but I’m honestly so amazed by the diversity of ways that artists use this humble medium of clay. From hand-built functional ware to high tech 3D printing, artists are really doing just about anything and everything with it and it’s so, so impressive.

From Ground to Surface at Sacramento Fine Arts Center & Constructed Landscapes- Brick, Tile and Pillar at Blue Line Arts

I ended my conference with a first time visit to the Crocker Museum which hosted the NCECA Annual Exhibition Belonging, and enjoyed the permanent collection on display. Their collection was vast and displayed beautifully…I loved seeing their collection of Stephen deStabler works since I took a workshop with him the year that I moved to California, and their Japanese ceramics collection was stunning as well. I also included one image below of a Ruth Asawa crocheted copper piece which is technically not clay but I love her work so much, I had to include it as one of the highlights of this art adventure.

Beneath the Surface-Origin Stories at The MACC: , Belonging and Permanent Collection at the Crocker Art Museum & Body Image at E Street Gallery

And with way too much art swirling in my brain, that’s a wrap NCECA 2022…

So grateful for the opportunity to work with this dream team!
Marisa Sayago-Professor of Art at Folsom Lake College + Artists Shannon Sullivan, Jenni Ward, Cynthia Siegel, Susan Whitmore & Wesley Wright

Supporting Ukrainian Potter Yuliya Makliuk

Looking for a way to help those in Ukraine directly? I was.

I then I realized that I follow a fellow ceramic artist on Instagram who is based in Kiev Ukraine. I literally watched their posts go from sustainable produced handmade pots to war posts overnight.

Studio potter Yuliya Makliuk is still in Kiev and has set up a number of ways that we can help support her and her community. One of the easiest is to buy a digital poster (like the one on the left here!) from her Etsy shop. She’s sending the money from these sales to local humanitarian organizations and the Ukrainian armed forces who are supporting those in the most dire situations.

To learn other ways to help: Here And Now Pottery

A year of Artists Sharing Artists

This past year, I’ve shared eleven artists with you through the Artists Sharing Artists project and I really hoped you enjoyed meeting them. There is so much talent and passion wrapped up in this one photo, and looking at them all together, just makes me so happy to know that all these amazing artists are doing their thing out there in the world.

India Maya, Susun Gallery, JB Boyd, Nika Kovalenko
Kristen O’Neill, Shannon Sullivan
Ruth Li, Sally Walk, Wesley Wright, Susan Whitmore & Cynthia Siegel

Big thanks to Nika Kovalenko, Kristen O’Neill, India Maya, Susun Gallery, Ruth Li, Sally Walk, JB Boyd, Cynthia Siegel, Shannon Sullivan, Wesley Wright & Sue Whitmore for taking the time to help me create these posts. If you missed any of them, click here to see all of the artists posts and videos. If you like their work, you can support the artists directly by buying their work and adding some amazing pieces to your collection.

And let me know… should I do this again next year??