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March 28 - March 31 : Seattle, Washington

Washington State Convention Center
800 Convention Place
Seattle, WA 98101-2350

Registration IS NOW OPEN!


Table of Contents

Kenneth Price (February 16, 1935 – February 24, 2012)

Updated Conference Program and Exhibition Guide Now Available

Cast your vote for NCECA's future leadership

Spaces Available on Shuttle Tours and Excursions

Seattle Conference Potter's Jam

Kenneth Price (February 16, 1935 – February 24, 2012)

Prolific artist employed genre-bending conceptual thinking, deep explorations of color, abstraction, ceramic history and technique to extend the vernacular of contemporary sculpture.

Last week, Keith Williams, Patsy Cox and I were gathered in Los Angeles to participate in a seminar with the Annenberg Foundation and the centennial of the College Art Association. Early in the morning of Friday, February 24th news of Kenneth Price's passing was already rippling through the cultural community out of which he emerged, contributing to and expanding upon orthodox definitions of sculpture in late 20th century art. Although he was careful to maintain critical distance from any materially-centric position in regards to his artistic inquiry, Price nonetheless transformed an entire generation of ceramic artists, educators, learners and collectors.

Reflecting on Price as a young artist at Alfred University, Val Cushing shared the following:
Ken came through here like a whirlwind!! He was probably the most "advanced" grad. student we ever had here in my time. He did get his degree in one year (MFA) and no one else ever did that !!. He knew what he wanted to do with clay and how to do it. His concepts, ideas and aesthetics were well formed as were his skills and techniques when he came here. He connected most strongly with John Wood on the faculty. John was a print maker / photographer/ and was instrumental in establishing the Foundation program. As you might expect the work we associate with Ken was developing in his grad. work and in his MFA show. His talent was obvious to all. He was exceptional.

Price's achievements as an artist were varied and influential. His unique vision caused us to re-examine many of the core beliefs of ceramic tradition and decorative arts history in the context of contemporary art. He re-invigorated the Bauhaus legacy by giving deep attention to objects of intimate scale, supercharging them through relationships of formal elements, spatial incongruities and saturated color. He returned handwork to a central place in sculptural production but did so in a way that eschewed the sentimentality and subjectivity of abstract expressionism. Through his work, Happy's Curios, exhibited to critical acclaim at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art in 1978, Price intermeshed vernaculars of folk arts and consumer-orientated decorative arts into sculptural environments. In the process he pressed content beyond the literal-minded punsterism of the Funk Movement and extended an assault on the barriers between high and low culture, art and commercial design initiated a decade or more earlier by Andy Warhol and other Pop artists.

In the late 1960s Price created an extensive series of drinking vessels he called "snail cups". The iconography of these works incorporating a common garden pest that also served as an enduring icon of slow, steady and self-sufficient progress – offer a wonderful metaphor for Price's relationship with the art-world… Price remained persistently oppositional to many of the overarching artistic principals of his time and place. He was also radically patient in his fetishistic methods of creation.

From the account of close friend and LA art-scene cohort, Billy Al Bengston, Price spent a great deal of his youth on a surf board. This milieu explains a good deal about what Price valued in creative process and attitude. Deep explorations of style and color, form and function, philosophy and skill, harmony and dissonance reverberate throughout all aspects of surf-culture from boards to custom cars to music. Perhaps the most poignant aspect of this image is to think of Price the artist as Pricer the surfer, resting atop his board amid a sea of complex sometimes chaotic currents. Imagine him observing the horizon for the wave that would be distinctly his own, exercising intellect, intuition and tacit knowledge to ride it as far as possible.

Because the date of Kenneth Price's passing has fallen so close to the 2012 conference in Seattle, and plans for the Past Masters program are already set, NCECA will seek out a representative to speak on his life and work for the 2013 conference in Houston.

Joshua Green, NCECA Executive Director




Updated Conference Program and Exhibition Guide Now Available


On the Edge, NCECA's 2012 Conference may represent the richest, densest and regionally wide-spread effort in NCECA's history. On-Site Liaisons, Marge Levy and Wally Bivins have done an exceptional job of engaging the entire cultural community in the conference effort. Now-outdated programming and exhibition information initially posted on the NCECA website has recently been removed.  As of February 29 a pdf of the updated conference program has been posted to for easy download . The pdf exhibition guide was most recently updated and posted on February 17. If you reviewed earlier conference program or exhibition information on we urge you to return to the site to download the latest documents. One additional update to the exhibitions guide may be made available prior to conference, so check back again before you depart for Seattle.

Cast your vote for NCECA's Future Leadership

The traditional schedule for NCECA's closing programs on Saturday, March 31 has changed for 2012 in an effort to increase member participation in our vote for President Elect. Based on bylaws changes approved by the membership at the conclusion of the 2010 conference in Philadelphia, NCECA's board is presenting Paul Andrew Wandless and Deb Bedwell, two exceptional candidates for the next Presidential cycle. Following the first three Emerging Artists' presentations, which take place from 9- 9:45am each of the candidates will deliver a brief speech. Members will cast their votes for President elect by 10am. Following this vote, Emerging Artists presentations will resume after which the program will transition to the closing co-lecture by Sandy Simon and Bob Brady. At Noon the second Members Business meeting will resume and candidates for Director at Large and Student Director at Large will deliver brief speeches and elections will continue. The meeting should come to a close and election results be announced at 1pm. If you must depart Seattle on Saturday, we hope this information will guide you to make your travel plans to enable you to participate in these critical decisions on NCECA's future.

Spaces Available on Shuttle Tours and Excursions

With more than 190 exhibitions detailed in NCECA's pdf exhibition guide, your plans to reach ones you really want to see can be made possible by reserving a seat on one of the shuttles or excursions being offered by Lew White Tours. The exhibition guide was last updated on February 17 and a new update with more images may be available prior to conference. Reservations for Lew White Tours can be made here.

Seattle is calling… Waited till the Last Minute?

The postmark deadline for advanced conference registration expired February 28th at midnight. You still have until midnight, eastern, March 7 to secure your conference registration online. Avoid the lines and beat the higher costs of onsite registration in Seattle. Go to to register today.


Seattle Conference Potter's Jam

Can you pick, strum, blow or honk? Can you play or can you sing?

Can you shake your mean thing?

It's time for another...

Potter's Jam

Thursday, March 29 9pm-1am

Metropolitan Ballroom at the Sheraton

Bring your axe, fiddle, banjo, uke, guitar, horn, penny-whistle, oca­rina, harp, voice, mandolin or other instrument of choice! We'll play all kinds of music and make you do all kinds of dancin'.

Microphones, sound reinforcement, drums and a few guitars will be provided.





In the most recent version of the e-news we misidentified a work from the 2012 NCECA National Student Juried Exhibition. A work by Norleen Nosri of Columbia, MO entitled Intimate, was mistitled and misattributed to Henry Crissman of the College of Creative Studies, Detroit, MI. Each of these young artists is doing great work in the format of serving sets and we apologize for this error. The images with correct attributions appear below. Please do whatever you can to see this exciting exhibition at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery at the University of Washington.



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