NCECA 2017: The Evocative Garden

The Evocative Garden happened in Portland and it was a beautiful show! I am so humbled to be included among this list of talented and creative artists. Thank you so much to everyone who came to the show, supported me from afar and shared my work with others- I’m forever grateful!  Here are a few of my favorites (mostly detail shots) from The Evocative Garden exhibit from NCECA 2017 curated by Gail M Brown.

 

The Evocative Garden

The Evocative Garden | events | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

2017 NCECA Annual Exhibition:
The Evocative Garden

Disjecta Contemporary Art Center | Portland, OR
www.disjectaarts.org
March 8- April 1, 2017
Opening Reception March 23, 2017 6-9pm

JUROR/ CURATOR: Gail M. Brown, curator will select works for the exhibition in coordination with NCECA Exhibitions Director Leigh Taylor Mickelson.

 

 

ABOUT THE EVOCATIVE GARDEN
The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts is pleased to announce that in 2017, esteemed curator of contemporary craft Gail M. Brown will launch this new series with The Evocative Garden, an international juried and invitational exhibition exploring natural and cultivated worlds. Invited artists include Megan Bogonovich, Jess Riva Cooper, Kim Dickey, Linda Sormin and Dirk Staschke.

A breadth of implied and articulated dramas will be staged as a personally defined natural landscape or more formalized garden scenario. In works of ceramic sculpture, installation, object and vessel format, each participant will offer a new or recent work- some potent objects-as-metaphors, with sub-text and, others as choreographed scenes with figuration or the figure/s implied in a verdant location, in vocabularies from nuanced realism to personal symbolism. Each will be designed to reference an array of issues- nature’s fragility and sustainability, the wild and the tame, life’s appetites and dilemmas, conflict and resolution, the everlasting and the temporal- social and historic events, of the natural world and the human condition. Artists remind us that nature and the articulated garden, as context, stimulation and tactile allure, is a seductive, universal, ever present enticement.

~Gail M. Brown, Curator

making pots

Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture | the dirt | making pots

 

When new students come to my studio for classes, typically the first thing they want to do is learn how to throw on the wheel. I don’t blame them, its messy, fun and frustrating and it was the first thing I wanted to do with clay too. In the beginning, I thought I would try to make a living selling mugs but when I realized all the possibilities of hand-building, I never went back to the wheel. And if it wasn’t for my students, I’d get rid of the two wheels in my studio altogether.

A lot of times my students ask me if I’ve made all of my dishes and mugs and the truth is that I’ve hardly got any handmade ware in my cupboards- WHAT?!?- the pottery community gasps! But, when traveling to NCECA this year and staying with my college roommate, I found this cute little thrown mug in her bathroom that I’d made when I was in school. Its got a beautiful pink blush from a soda or salt kiln and a not so bad handle on it, the lip could be a little fatter and the piece a lot lighter but the fun in finding this relic from the past brought me back to a time when I did (attempt) to make pots and I thought I’d share. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Emerging Inspiration

At this year’s NCECA event, Roberto Lugo was chosen as one of the events honored emerging artists. I missed his presentation live, but there was such a buzz going around social media afterwards that I had to check it out. When a link was posted on the NCECA blog, it did not disappoint, check it out for yourself…

Roberto Lugo describes himself as a “potter, activist, culture-maker, rapper, poet and educator.”

NCECA 2015

Going to NCECA for the first time, I didn’t really know what to expect. It’s a big event, over 5,000 clay people attend and the hosting city has satellite exhibitions in conjunction with the activities going on at the convention itself, so its a little overwhelming to think about seeing everything. What I learned was that I could make it my own experience, I could choose to listen to lectures and watch demos all day (which I did on a rainy day) or walk the city and hit as many exhibitions as my brain could handle which I did too. And then when I thought I couldn’t handle anymore creative stimulation, I went to exhibition openings happening in the evenings at various gallery spaces too. It was all good stuff, all creative and inspiring and I would definitely go again. The images below range from the competitive K-12 students exhibition, to site specific sculptures at the Botanical Gardens, to the NCECA Biennial exhibit on the Brown University campus to the graduate student exhibit on the RISD Campus- a wide range of styles, techniques and aesthetics, hope you enjoy!

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experiencing technical difficulties….

Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture | the dirt
Well, I was so excited to share pics of all the art I was experiencing at NCECA 2015 in Providence live, but of course that is the same time that my website was hacked and taken down.

Yeah, so that happened. :/

BUT, thanks to the amazing talents of Priscilla Cinque of Zaptuba, my site was back up and fully functional in a matter of a few days.  And despite having to deal with all of that, the conference was great, I reconnected with past professors, fellow students, met new people, caught up with my college roommate and even got to experience some east coast winter snow. Now that I’m back in sunny California and my website is all fixed, I can share all of the amazing art of NCECA, Wahoo!

Business Trip

Yup, even artists take business trips! I’m off to my very first NCECA conference and I’m pretty excited….

 

If you don’t know about NCECA (pronounced EN-SEE-KAH, but stands for National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts), they are an organization that engages and sustains a community for ceramic art, teaching and learning. In addition to deepening knowledge within the field, NCECA expands it by working to cultivate the next generation of ceramic artists and enthusiasts through programing that affects professional artists, K-12 schools, community centers, universities, museums, galleries, businesses, organizations, collectors and enthusiasts of ceramic art. One of its exhibitions is a biannual conference hosted at different locations around the country at which they promote, explore and share the world of ceramics. NCECA 2015 is being held in Providence RI which not only gives me the chance see amazing ceramics all day every day but I also get to see my college roommate and fellow artist/art teacher who lives there and as a bonus experience- a tiny bit of this crazy east coast winter I keep hearing about.

More to follow in the next few days, so stay tuned….