THEME: Future Flux
The 51st Annual NCECA Conference takes place in Portland, Oregon
March 22-25, 2017

DEADLINE: June 15, 2016, 11:59pm MST. (CLOSED)
If you encounter problems and require technical assistance with submission contact kate@nceca.net

NCECA seeks Projects Space proposals that have conceptual resonance with the theme of its 51st Annual Conference, Future Fluxwhich takes place in Portland, Oregon in March 2017.

NCECA seeks proposals for interactive and time-based art projects involving clay to be produced during its 2017 conference. Projects that have conceptual resonance with the theme of NCECA’s 51st Annual Conference, Future Flux, are of special appeal. As journey’s end for Lewis and Clark in the early 19th century, Oregon frames our imagination with expedition and discovery. 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 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 capacities of artists and educators today and for the future? 

How can we reinvigorate and draw from rich historic traditions in the context of today? 

Portland, Oregon, a city of rivers, makers, and entrepreneurs is an ideal vantage point from which to investigate these questions and others.

NCECA’s annual conference has earned a reputation worldwide as a premier event for ceramic art drawing thousands each year.

NCECA reviews and selects programming from proposals submitted from the field as an important component of conference planning. Additionally, NCECA reserves the right to curate and develop programming that strengthens the quality and range of experiences related to the conference theme, sense of place, and other strategic objectives.

NCECA’s annual conference has earned a reputation worldwide as a premier event for ceramic art drawing thousands each year. Future Flux will join ceramic art’s historic engagement with empirical research and discovery to today’s evolving creative commons.

NCECA’s Projects Space is a platform for ceramic artists to create and present works during the annual conference that incorporate clay as medium in time-based, performative, relational or site-responsive work. 3-5 projects will be selected to take place in spaces created in a publicly accessible area the Oregon Convention Center adjacent to Gallery EXPO and the Commercial and Non-profit Resource Hall. Artists will create their works on-site interacting with visitors from Tuesday evening through Friday afternoon of the conference.

Successful proposals will be those that engage with the concept of Future Flux using the medium of clay as a central focus, and also with materials, processes, and audience in unique and unconventional ways. Artists should keep in mind that Projects Space is staged at the heart of the NCECA Conference, and works are meant to occur, grow and change throughout the duration of the conference.

View full prospectus (pdf)

Criteria for the Application Process

Everyone is eligible EXCEPT for those who participated in the program in Kansas City, MO during NCECA 2016.  Applications are welcomed from artists working with ceramic materials/processes as a significant component of their work
Invited artists will work within an assigned a space (approximately 10’ x 20’) to create their works. Artists will have from 9am to 4:30pm Tuesday, March 21st to install their materials and begin their piece and will be featured guests at a reception Tuesday evening. Artists will continue to interact with their materials and piece throughout the conference Wednesday through Friday, March 22-24, 2017. Artists will de-install and clean their spaces from 4:30-9pm that evening.

All proposals must be submitted using NCECA’s Online Submittal process (a link to the form is provided below). Proposals related to the Conference theme of Future Flux will receive preference. Your ONLINE submittal form must include the following or it will not be considered. (Only .doc, .docx, .JPEG or .PDF files will be accepted):

  • Proposer Contact information
  • Short Bio (Up to 300 characters)
  • Head shot (upload as jpg, 100dpi 2”x3”)
    If your proposal is accepted the abstract, short bio/s, and headshot/s will be used for website and print publications.
  • Project Title
  • Artist statement/project description – explaining the artistic vision as it relates to the proposed work for Project Space (3,000 character limit)
  • Supplies/equipment – A detailed list of ALL supplies and equipment that will be used, including amount and types of clay. A note on how much electricity is required (1000 character limit)
  • Installation Process – A detailed account of the installation process that identifies the artist(s)’ abilities to professionally and successfully ship, install, and create the work in the allotted amount of time, follow appropriate, logical and practical building and safety codes (1000 character limit)
  • Program Guide Abstract  – An abstract of the intended project that if selected will be included in the 2017 NCECA Program Guide (300 character limit)

Images – Exactly 10 images (.jpg ONLY. Each image no larger than 800 KB)
(Image Submission Guidelines)

(Only images that directly reference the actual proposal)

Required information for each image:

  • Image Title
  • Image date
  • Relevance to project – Up to 300 characters
  • Brief Image description – Up to 300 characters – photo credit if applicable to include clay type, firing method, date, dimensions (H, W, D)
The selection committee includes the NCECA Exhibitions Director, Leigh Taylor Mickelson and the Projects Space Coordinator, TBD.  Successful proposals will be those that engage with the concept of Future Flux using the medium of clay as a central focus, and also with materials, processes, and audience in unique and unconventional ways.
  • Selected artists will receive a 2017 Conference Pass and an honorarium. The amount of the honorarium will be in the range of $300- $500 to be determined through NCECA’s budgeting process in summer 2016. This fee will be all-inclusive and meant to aid in the purchasing of materials for the work, and in shipping work and materials to and from the conference site. No additional payments or reimbursements will be available through NCECA to support travel, lodging, food or other expenses.
  • Artists will be responsible for providing their own tools and equipment required for the production of their works. NCECA will not be held responsible for any loss or damage of tools or equipment that artists bring into the space.
  • Artists will be responsible for all shipping costs and ensuring all their materials are available for the installation to begin at 9am on Tuesday, March 21st. Artists shipping directly to and from the Oregon Convention Center will make arrangements with NCECA staff, and may incur an additional fee in the event that conference center staff are required to sign for materials received prior to artists’ arrival.
  • Artists’ honoraria will be paid following the conference. Payment will be dependent on spaces being left in clean condition, without debris, or leftover materials of any kind.  There should be no evidence of the piece remaining in any form.  Plastic sheeting will be available for the floor, and the spaces will be clearly delineated.
  • All proposals should follow all rules and regulations set forth by the Oregon Convention Center included at the end of this call
  • Electricity will be available for those who arrange for it with the NCECA Projects Space Coordinator beforehand at an additional cost to the artist. NCECA is not responsible for any loss or damage to an artist’s equipment or materials.
  • A small team of volunteers (4-6) will be on hand to assist artists with install, de-install, and throughout the week; however, artists are responsible for arranging their own assistants to ensure the timely installation and de-installation of their own works.
  • All installation arrangements and protocols are subject to approval by Projects Space: Future Flux coordinators to insure no building or safety codes are in violation.  This is for everyone’s security and is to help everyone make sure nothing is being overlooked that might cause potential problems.  Please consider this a safety step and not content scrutiny as once your proposal is accepted, the content is supported as you have outlined and is not in question.
  • Projects Space will be open to the public Tuesday evening for the reception followed by regular hours of 9am-6pm Wednesday-Friday.  All proposals should consider that the artists are asked to be in their spaces during these times, either working on the creation of their works, the changing of their works, or the performing of their works.


PARKING: Parking on the loading dock or inside the Center (except for loading or unloading) is prohibited; violators will be ticketed and/or towed at owner’s expense.

CHILDREN: No one under 16 is permitted in the hall or on the dock during the move-in/out.

SMOKING: There is no smoking inside the facility.

FIRE MARSHAL: All exits, hallways and aisles must be kept clear and unobstructed at all times. Materials used in exhibits must be flame-retardant and are subject to inspection by the Portland Fire Marshal (The Fire Marshal may request that certification accompany items). All straw, hay or live evergreen trees are prohibited.

PROHIBITED: compressed flammable gases, flammable or combustible liquids, and hazardous chemicals and materials (acetylene, hydrogen, propane, butane, pesticides, herbicides, poisons, gasoline, kerosene, cleaning solvents, and other petroleum-based materials). Adhesive-backed decals and stickers are not allowed inside the building. 

NCECA recommends using Google Chrome or Firefox when using forms on this site. Some forms do not respond well to Internet Explorer or Safari.

Any questions pertaining to the call should be directed via email to NCECA Projects Manager Kate Vorhaus kate@nceca.net