As many readers of Art Taco have noticed, this month there's a lot of ceramics shows in the area. From a brochure put out by Clay Around The Bay, there are about fifty of them in 40+ venues. This is not by coincidence. The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA, pronounced "en-see-ka") is an organization that (from their own site [Link] ) "...fosters global education and appreciation for the ceramic arts." They do this via "programs, exhibits, publications, opportunities and resources".
We are the beneficiaries of this energy because NCECA is having its 45th Annual Conference at the Tampa Convention Center. The Bay area is rich with ceramics artists and studios, particularly St. Petersburg, and this event has put a spotlight on ceramics in the area.
Closest to the Convention Center, and as good a place as any to begin, is the Tampa Museum of Art's NCECA Biennial show, a juried exhibition consisting of over 40 innovative works of great variety. This show explores the range of expression, techniques and materials in this flexible medium.
At the University of Tampa, the Scarfone-Hartley Gallery is showing work by Don Reitz. In St. Pete, the Museum of Fine Arts has the show "Place", which has been recently reviewed here. Then there's Craftsman House (about to be reviewed here), Charlie Parker Pottery, St. Petersburg Clay Company, Morean Arts Center for Clay, Highwater Clays for Florida, Duncan McClellan Gallery, Creative Clay, Cakewalk Artists Co-Op, Interior Motives, Artful Living, Donna Gordon Gallery, The Collective, Florida Craftsmen Gallery (recently reviewed here), Florida Holocaust Museum, Lynn Merhige Gallery, Mindy Solomon Gallery (about to be reviewed here), Shapiro's Gallery, Crystal Mirage Gallery, New Cobb Gallery, Nancy Markoe Gallery, Suntan Arts Center, Beach Art Center, and many other venues, far too numerous to mention here, extending all the way to Sarasota will be involved with the convention.
This is a unique opportunity for seeing a significant concentration of the best ceramics artists in the US and around the world, right here and at one time. Most, but not all, of these shows will close with the convention, so make time to see as many as possible before they're gone.
NCECA's choice of Tampa for its 45th convention is bringing us a wealth of national and international artists, as well as energizing our own into synchronous exhibits.
Even if you're not acquainted with, or lukewarm about ceramic arts, take the leap and immerse yourself. Let the work wash over you. Ask questions, learn, think, feel, love.
PS. To learn more about the medium, here's a few URLs...
Ceramics Art Daily: [Link]
Vicky Hardin Links: [Link