FREE SPEECH ZONE | A Sneak Peek at Northern Clay Center’s American Pottery Festival


Over the past few weeks the Northern Clay Center (NCC) has been buzzing with activity as staff and members set-up an impressive exhibition comprising over 1100 works of pottery.

Throughout September and October the Northern Clay Center is celebrating its 20th Anniversary with an ambitious line up of events you do not want to miss, beginning with a special edition of their annual American Pottery Festival. This year’s event will be a reunion of eighty-five of the finest potters from around the country -many from our own backyard – who have participated in the festival since its debut in 1999.

Whether you’re a professional artist or clay hobbyist, serious collector or art enthusiast, this year’s three day festival offers a fun and enriching experience for all.

Highlights of the festival include:

Friday, September 10
5-9pm Opening Night Benefit Sale and Party ($25 admission donation)
This will be an evening of mingling with fellow lovers of clay and (friendly) competition for the early selections (appetizers and cash bar). All for a great cause too! This is the NCC’s largest fundraiser of the year with proceeds going to support artists’ services, education, and exhibitions.

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New this year, is a series of PechaKucha (a Japanese term meaning “chit-chat”), a fun, fast-paced presentation of images by visiting artists. Each artist presents 20 slides for 20 seconds apiece, giving each presenter a total of exactly 6 minutes and 40 seconds of potential fame and glory. It promises to be an entertaining and action-packed way to see a lot of fantastic pottery in a short amount of time.

An assembly of color and form (Rosalie Wynkoop of Montana on the left and Betsy Williams of New Mexico on the right)

Fascinating demonstrations by APF artists: Including Liz Quackenbush of Pennsylvania who shares her techniques in creating her hand-built earthenware vessels, influenced by European and Islamic ceramic traditions together with her own deep appreciation for the natural world, or what she calls, “the creepy-crawly beauty of the great outdoors”, Alaska potter, Steve Godfrey, who will walk viewers through his steps in throwing, altering and assembling his vessels, often decorated with exquisitely sculpted birds, and local Minnesotan artist, Mark Pharis, who will show how he makes his geometric, earthenware pots from two-dimensional paper patterns drawn onto clay slabs, cutting, folding and joining the flat slab in visible seams like a tailor working with fabric.

NCC Exhibition Director, Jamie Lang, and staff have the tremendous task of curating the work of eighty-five artists.

Thoughtful and engaging panel discussions on topics such as web marketing for the artist, the ways of selling and the whys of buying, how artists make it as gallery owners, and a collector’s-eye view of contemporary ceramics.

And of course the much anticipated Warren Mackenzie Pot Sale: Fri. 7pm, Sat. and Sun. 10 am. (Visit website for sale details/admission prices)

Joe Christensen’s (Minnesota) impressive pots.

Galleries M and A, Northern Clay Center
2424 Franklin Ave E, Minneapolis, MN

Opening Night Benefit Sale and Party: 5 – 9 pm, Friday, September 10, 2010

Admission Donation: $25

Visit for a schedule of activities and admission fees