Society for Contemporary Craft
2100 Smallman St
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

ENTRY DEADLINE: Wednesday, June 14, 2017 (midnight MDT)
If you encounter problems and require technical assistance with submission contact kate@nceca.net

EXHIBITION DATES: March 14–August 18, 2018

The recently refreshed format of the NCECA Annual blends impactful attributes of invitational and open juried models of exhibition development. NCECA’s aspiration for this exhibition is to enable exceptional work to represent clay’s concerns for craft and material expression in concert with meaningful content and conceptual rigor. NCECA remains committed to the belief that relatively under-exposed artists will have opportunities to present their work with that of more established and already recognized emerging creators in the field.

The NCECA Annual is developed through the vision of a single curator/juror who generates an organizing concept for the exhibition and invites five artists whose work will frame curatorial ideas. Additional works and artists for the exhibition will be selected through an open call for submissions. The curator/juror will review these entries and make final selections for the exhibition.

Winnie Owens Hart is recognized as an educator, artist, filmmaker, author and critical thinker in matters of clay, art and culture. She taught at Howard University for more than 37 years and has conducted research, exhibited, and presented lectures internationally. Her career in ceramics began very early in life and has continued professionally since the 1970s. She opened her first studio in 1972 in Alexandria, Virginia. As a young art student, she imagined what pot-making and art must be like in Africa and then pursued that vision throughout undergraduate school. While teaching crafts in a Philadelphia public school, she discovered a film that demonstrated some African women hand-building a huge pot. She realized her dream of studying women’s traditional pottery techniques and culture in 1977, when she was selected to represent the United States and exhibit her ceramic work at FESTAC in Lagos, Nigeria. After receiving an NEA Fellowship she returned that summer to work in the village. Eventually she took a job with the federal government of Nigeria teaching ceramics at a nearby university to enable her to continue apprenticing traditional pottery, and was eventually accepted as part of the community’s pottery culture. For the past 10 years she has worked with women in a pottery village in Ghana. A published author, Owens-Hart has curated exhibitions primarily focused on contemporary African American artists and has also produced documentary films, including Style & Technique-Four Pottery Villages and The Traditional Potters of Ghana-The Women of Kuli. Over more than four decades, her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally with work in the collections of the Smithsonian and Kohler, universities and private collections.

Curator/juror, Winnie Owens-Hart has invited artists Syd Carpenter, Roberto Lugo, Sana Musasama, Reginald Pointer, and Janathel Shaw to frame the curatorial concerns of Visual Voices: Truth Narratives. The artists selected create powerful works that speak in a variety of visual volumes that touch on personal and global issues and emotions. Their narratives, whether literal or abstract, acknowledge that intolerances spawn racial, religious, class, and gender biases in every part of the world. The sense of interconnectedness created by modern media has transformed what was once an ancestral community to now a global community. Our stories, re-told in clay, are borderless. Historically, the narrative ceramic object has engaged with the retelling of events through visual imagery codification. Clay works dating back thousands of years have enabled archaeologists to theorize on ceremonial, spiritual, and utilitarian societal markers that document the social and cultural contexts of their makers’ communities.

Makers have continued the creation of narrative works using clay. Contemporary narrative ceramic artists, compared to their historical counterparts, are visually bombarded through media systems. Some work is created based solely on the artist’s personal experiences while others are influenced by what they see through the media; many today are shaped by both.

Winnie Owens-Hart seeks emerging as well as seasoned artists to apply. She will make selections for the exhibition from digital images and statements submitted through an online portal within the CaFE™ system to develop the exhibition. Artists whose work is selected through the review process will exhibit with the five artists invited by the curator. This is a GLOBAL call/request inviting all ceramic artists who consider their work narrative to apply for this exhibition.

For 45 years, the mission of the Society for Contemporary Craft has been to engage the public in creative experiences through contemporary craft. A key aspect is helping people to see the connections between creativity, art making, and daily life. Known for its strong commitment to innovation and quality, Contemporary Craft presents the best national and international contemporary art in craft media (clay, metal, fiber, wood, glass, and found materials), and showcases important techniques, concepts, and artists in the field. A core value is Using Art to Build Community with a focus on creating social justice exhibitions such as ENOUGH Violence: Artists Speak Out, Mindful: Exploring Mental Health through Art, and Shelter: Crafting a Safe Home to address the following goals:

• Create awareness and open dialogue surrounding urgent social issues;
• Validate the human experience by showcasing art infused with personal stories and perspectives;
• Demonstrate that art making is a vehicle for open communication, healing, and compassion; and
• Engage the broader community in support of positive social change.

Through its mission, Contemporary Craft offers meaningful art opportunities for more than 145,000 people a year through four core values: providing vital support for artists; filling critical gaps in public education; sharing cross-cultural perspectives; and using art to build community. Interpretive programs, lectures, performances, and weekend activities are offered in conjunction with each exhibition. Because families are a highly valued audience, Contemporary Craft offers the Drop-In Studio wherein visitors can participate in a hands-on art activity developed by artists to tie-in with exhibitions.

2018 Annual Visual Voices FULL prospectus


Submission of works for consideration is open to the broad field of ceramic art. Artists must be over 18 years of age and not matriculating for a degree in higher education. (NCECA provides a platform for student artists in the National Student Juried Exhibition which will take place at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in 2018.) NCECA membership is not a requirement of eligibility, however, NCECA members receive a discount on entry fees.

Members entry fee is $20
Non-Members entry fee is $35

Membership in NCECA is paid on an annual basis and is not included in conference registration. NCECA membership runs 12 months from the date of joining or renewal. If you are unsure of your Membership status, please login into your Member Profile which contains your expiration date or contact kate@nceca.net.  To renew or become a member of NCECA, go to: www.nceca.net/membership/

All works must be …

… primarily ceramic. Mixed media works will be accepted only when clay is the dominant material.  Video featuring clay or ceramics will be juried; the link provided must be anonymous, any reference to an applicant’s name will disqualify participant from jurying;

… able to fit through the venue’s entryways and be safely installed on premises. Floor and pedestal works must be self-supporting. NCECA and exhibition venue staff reserve the right to exclude from exhibition works that arrive at the venue in unstable condition. The curator will make final determinations;

… completed within the last two years prior to the entry deadline and should be responsive to the theme of the exhibition. Works shown in previous NCECA exhibitions are not eligible. Please do not enter the same work in more than one NCECA exhibition call.


Applications will be accepted online only at www.callforentry.org

Before beginning submission, applicants must be prepared to provide the following:

*Artist statement (limit 1000 characters with spaces – Address the pertinence to the curator’s call and the work/s submitted. Do not include artist name in statement as this will be blind juried by artwork.)

*Brief biographical statement (limit 1000 characters with spaces…to be uploaded as either a pdf or word doc)

*A two-page resume of ‘highlights’ … max 2mb…to be uploaded as either a pdf or word doc

All submissions must include declaration of a monetary value for insurance purposes. This value may not be altered at a later date.

Interested artists may submit up to three (3) distinct works with no more than two (2) media files (images, video, or audio) per work, not to exceed six total media files. (See media files details below). Jurying will be conducted from images of actual works available for the exhibition.

CREATE a CaFÉ™ profile www.callforentry.org Artists’ names may not appear in any of the images or file names submitted for consideration.

UPLOAD MEDIA files – Uploaded media files will be stored in your CaFE Portfolio so you can submit them to calls. You will choose which media files to submit to a call when you fill out the application. Media file submissions must comply with specifications found at CaFÉ https://www.callforentry.org/image_prep.phtml

IMAGE: Only JPEGs. Image should not be smaller than 1920 pixels in either dimension. Landscape or portrait formats are acceptable. The file size may not exceed 5MB.

AUDIO: Only AIFF, WAV, XMF, MP3 up to 10MB with a minimum bit rate of 96.

VIDEO: Only 3GP, WMV, AVI, MOV, ASF, MPG, MP4, M2T, MKV, M2TS up to 100MB with a minimum resolution of 640 x 480; minimum 12 fps.

For complete specifications, tutorials and resources please go to CaFE Help

NO CHANGES will be allowed once an entry is accepted into the database. Once data is entered in the system, it cannot be altered. PROOFREAD your data carefully as this information may be used to generate the catalogue, insurance and publicity information.

Each work submitted must include the following details:

  • Title
  • Medium (60 character limit with spaces)
  • Height/Width/Depth (in inches)
  • Retail Value
    (Retail value must be reported even for works included in the
    exhibition that are not available for purchase.)
  • Year completed
  • Primary Discipline (ceramics)
  • Description (300 character limit with spaces about 45-50 words) Statement explaining the narrative for this piece.
    This is entered when you add images to your portfolio.
    Important…Curator/juror, Winnie Owens-Hart is particularly interested in this narrative.


NCECA reserves the right to exclude from adjudication any submissions that include more than three (3) works or more than two (2) media files per work. Please do not submit the same pieces to multiple NCECA calls in the same year.

Additionally NCECA reserves the right to exclude from adjudication any submissions made with incorrect fees. It is the artist’s responsibility to verify and update member status before submitting his/her work and paying the entry fee. NCECA will not process refunds to those who submit incorrect fees. 

Individual works will be selected through blind jurying. Artists’ names may not appear in any of the images or file names submitted for consideration. Curator/juror Winnie Owens-Hart will make selections for the exhibition from digital images and work statements to develop the exhibition. Artists whose work is selected through the review process will exhibit with the five artists invited by the curator. Selected artists will be asked for high-resolution images.
Contemporary Craft shall maintain insurance coverage for all works included in the exhibition only while they are on its premises. It is the responsibility of the artists to provide insurance coverage for their work while it is in transit. Contemporary Craft’s insurance will provide coverage for up to 50% of the works reported retail value. Retail value must be reported even for works included in the exhibition that are not available for purchase. In the event that damages occur to works in the exhibition, artists may be required to demonstrate that the value(s) declared are established fair market values.
All works included in the exhibition must arrive at Contemporary Craft by February 9, 2018.
It is the responsibility of artists to securely pack their works for the exhibition, arrange and pay for shipping to and from the exhibition venue, and insure their artworks while in transit. NCECA recommends that all artists document their packaging process using digital images and text description prior to closing all crates and /or boxes for shipment. This documentation may provide critical information to support claims against carriers for damage in transit.

The exhibition will be taken down and works will be packed for return shipping beginning on
August 20, 2018. All return shipping of unsold works must be paid in advance by participating artists who must be the shipper of record. NCECA will reimburse participating artists up to $500 for shipping expenses following the exhibition. Details on claiming reimbursements will be included in the loan agreement.

Works to be offered for purchase at the discretion of artists included in the exhibition. Artists will receive 50% of the purchase value on works sold and 50% will be retained as commission by NCECA and the exhibition venue. Shipping of purchased works will be the responsibility of collectors.
Participating artists must agree to allow NCECA, the exhibition venue, and gallery visitors to photograph work while on display for educational and publicity purposes. Images of accepted works will be retained by NCECA for promotional purposes, posting on the NCECA website and sharing with media related publications.
NCECA reserves the right to produce a color print and/or electronic catalogue for the exhibition featuring an essay by the curator along with statements and images of artwork by all participating artists. Each artist in the exhibition will receive two (2) complimentary copies of the catalogue. The catalogue will be available for pre-order purchase online and at the conference so long as supplies remain.

Deadline – June 14, 2017 (11:59pm Mountain time)
Curator’s decisions will be made by late July 2017
Artists will be notified by mid-August 2017
Signed loan agreements to be returned to NCECA early September 2017
Works due at SCC by February 9, 2018

Exhibition dates: March 14–August 18, 2018
52nd Annual NCECA Conference in Pittsburgh, PA: March 14-17, 2018
Reception: 6 PM- 9 PM Thursday, March 15, 2018
Exhibition take down and prep to return ship work: August 20, 2018


If you encounter problems and require technical assistance with submission contact kate@nceca.net.