Prospectus For Concurrent Exhibition Proposals
DEADLINE: Wednesday, February 3, 2016 (CLOSED)

Wednesday March 22 – Saturday, March 25, 2017
Portland, Oregon

NCECA is committed to the exhibition and expansion of contemporary ceramic practice including diverse approaches that range from utilitarian and designed objects to sculpture, installations, site-specific works and performative events.

A member driven organization, NCECA is enriched by the innovation and vision that emerges from our community to present ceramic art of the highest caliber in the form of Concurrent Exhibitions (CEs). These exhibitions represent an important feature of NCECA’s Annual Conference experience bringing high visibility to the work of participating artists. Moreover, NCECA’s efforts to site and promote Concurrent Exhibitions expand awareness of and engagement with ceramic art for audiences that travel to and reside throughout the conference’s host region.

NCECA promotes CEs through the print conference guide, app, website, Blog and social media. While NCECA makes efforts to cluster the shows within art/ cultural districts to maximize viewer attendance, it is not able to guarantee that all exhibition venues will be included on tour routes.

2017 Exhibitions Focus
NCECA seeks exhibition proposals that have conceptual resonance with the theme of its 51st annual conference, Future FluxThe conference will take place in Portland, Oregon and NCECA specifically seeks Concurrent Exhibition proposals that resonate with our theme.  As journey’s end for Lewis and Clark in the early 18th century, expedition and discovery have framed our imagination of the Pacific Northwest. As we pass beyond NCECA’s first fifty years, the interconnection of mind, materials, and transformation at the heart of ceramic process, art and education can serve as trail heads to our future. Our creative work in the 21st century increasingly engages with hybrid practices, issues of diversity, notions of community and dynamic change. How will more sustainable models of ceramic art and education continue to evolve? What are the essential competencies and capacities for ceramic artists and educators today and for the future? How can we continue to draw from rich historic traditions while reinvigorating their relevance in rapidly changing global societies? Portland, Oregon, a city of rivers, makers, and entrepreneurs is an ideal vantage point from which to investigate these questions and others. NCECA seeks Concurrent Exhibition proposals that will help transport us to the ways that ceramic art and education will continue to matter going forward.


Proposals are welcomed from artists at various stages in their careers. Active membership in NCECA is a requirement for the person submitting the exhibition proposal whether as an exhibition organizer whose work is included in the exhibition or as a curator whose work is not included in the exhibition. Other artists included in the proposal are not required to be members of NCECA at the time the proposal is submitted. 


Exhibitions must be fully installed and open to the public beginning Tuesday morning, March 21 and must remain on view until 5pm on the closing day of the conference, Saturday, March 25, 2017

NCECA does not provide direct financial support to individual exhibition proposals. It will make the utmost effort to highlight concurrent independent exhibitions to conference attendees and the general public through NCECA’s website, print exhibition guide, conference app and other communications.  Shuttle and excursion busses may not be able to include stops at all concurrent independent exhibitions. The On-Site Conference Liaison will work with the transportation provider to develop routes that permit access to a high number of high impact venues within route duration and geographical limits.

Exhibition proposals that are submitted through the CE process but not selected may still seek venues in the conference region. If matched with a venue and paperwork is completed on time, these exhibitions may be included in promotional guides as locally generated or other exhibitions.

Those venues organizing exhibitions independently of NCECA’s exhibition proposal process may choose to pay a promotional fee in order to be listed in NCECA’s promotional materials.

Keep in mind that more modestly scaled exhibitions including work of 10 or fewer artists will be more feasible to realize through this proposal and placement process. Many of the venues available to NCECA in Portland may be of the alternative space variety and lack the infrastructure typically found in commercial galleries, museums and nonprofits with ongoing exhibitions programs.


All proposals and accompanying support materials must be submitted online by midnight Wednesday, February 3, 2016 (EDT). Link provided below.

You will provide the following in the online application:

  • Your role regarding this exhibition. You must select one of the two following options:
    • Curator (You are responsible for the project’s organizing principles, selection of artists and presentation work, and your artwork is NOT included in the exhibition.)
    • Organizer (You are responsible for the project’s organizing principles, selection of artists and presentation work, and you ARE PARTICIPATING AS AN ARTIST in the exhibition.)
  • Curator/Organizer Resume (PDF or Word document not to exceed 2MB)
  • Exhibition Title
  • Exhibition Premise/Concept - Explain the premise of the exhibition and its relevance to the field.  Pinpoint particular issues and concepts that the exhibition is exploring.   Address the relationship of the exhibition to the conference theme, Future Flux. (3000 character limit)
  • concise description of the exhibition to be used in NCECA promotional materials (maximum of 180 characters with spaces).
  • List of no more than 10 committed artists; First name, Last name, email address and personal website (For any artist involved in the proposal that does not have a website, indicate NO WEBSITE AVAILABLE.)
  • Indicate why each artists work was chosen and how each relates to the overall exhibition concept. (2000 character limit)
  • Indicate whether or not you have already secured a venue for your proposal. If so, please provide the venue name, venue address, venue phone, venue website, venue contact person and venue contact email and (1000 character limit)
  • Exhibition Requirements - Indicate the minimum and maximum square footage your exhibition requires. Indicate if the venue must be able to accommodate wall hanging/ suspended works? If yes, provide a range of weights for these works.
  • Indicate whether you (and participating artists) are able to be responsible for the installation.
  • Indicate whether you are able to provide your own pedestals.
  • Understand that you and your venue are responsible for the security of the artwork in your exhibition. If the venue does not provide insurance are you able to self-insure or display the work at your own risk?
  • If the venue is unable to receive advanced shipment or store works included in the exhibition, are you able to see that the work arrives on the date that it can be installed and pack/remove the work on the exhibition’s closing date.
  • Include a range of weights and values of proposed work.

Proposals must include a minimum of 10 images/maximum 20 images.
(.jpg ONLY – Each image no larger than 800 KB.)
For video or audio files include a still image and link.
Image details required:

  • Artist First Name   Last Name
  • Date of Piece
  • Title of Piece
  • Brief Image Description
  • Size: Height  x Width  x Depth
  • Clay type
  • Firing/Decoration Method

Review Process and Selection Criteria

A committee including NCECA’s Exhibitions Director Leigh Taylor Mickelson, On-Site Conference Co-liaisons Dylan Beck and Brett Binford,  and Museum of Contemporary Craft Deputy Director & Curator of Collections Nicole Nathan will review and select CE proposals. NCECA’s Onsite Conference Liaisons work to match approved proposals with potential host venues.

Criteria for selection will include the following:

  • Quality of work samples and cohesiveness of the exhibition’s rationale will be the primary determining factors in the selection of proposals.
  • Proposals that address the conference theme in meaningful and innovative ways will be highly considered.
  • Solo and group exhibitions will be considered.
  • Exhibitions featuring more than one artist may have the best chance of being selected through this process.
  • Exhibitions with a high number of participants, however, may be challenging to place within potential venues.
  • While individual artists may be included in more than one proposal, NCECA seeks to have a diverse representation of artists included in the exhibitions program. 
Stage 1

The NCECA exhibitions review committee will make an initial selection of proposals from this pool. Successful proposals from this stage of the application process will be matched with host organizations. Notification of initial proposal results will be sent to all applicants by the end of March 2016.

Stage 2

NCECA’s On-Site Conference Liaisons will begin to present potential venues in the conference region with selected exhibition proposals. Host venues working with the on-site conference liaisons, will make final decisions on the placement of accepted Concurrent Exhibitions. NCECA cannot guarantee placement of every proposal approved in the review process.

NCECA will notify applicants of exhibition placement outcomes in summer through fall 2016.

All information on exhibitions to be promoted with the 2017 conference must be finalized and verified by mid-October 2016.

Artists and host venues are responsible to come to agreement on specific details and coordination of exhibitions. NCECA will no longer be directly involved in this process after host organizations begin to negotiate and plan individual shows. These details will be clearly explained in letters sent to the submitters of selected proposals.

On a limited basis, NCECA may be able to allocate space in the conference center or in a leased facility to selected Concurrent Exhibition proposals. In the event that such a space becomes available, participants will be required to waive any rights for claims or liability against NCECA. NCECA reserves the right to exercise a space fee and/or an agreement to a 20% commission on sales resulting from exhibitions in NCECA-provided spaces.

Basic Requirements for Artists and Venues

NCECA expects that all Concurrent Exhibitions will maintain levels of professionalism and be accessible to the public during all hours that are provided to NCECA for publication in the conference app and exhibition guide.

All exhibitions will be required to provide pertinent information on their exhibitions on a timeline that corresponds to NCECA’s app and print promotion deadlines. In general final information will be due for publication prior to the end of December 2015. NCECA may be unable to accommodate changes or additions to published information later than this date.

Signage, labels and price lists (except in instances where works are not available for purchase) are basic requirements of all Concurrent Exhibitions. Exhibitions must be fully installed and open to the public beginning Tuesday morning, March 21 and must remain on view until 5pm on the closing day of the conference, Saturday, March 25, 2017. Please consider withdrawing your proposal if you are not prepared to meet these essential terms. 

For questions or technical assistance contact