2012 Invitational "Push Play"


The 46th Annual NCECA Conference, “On the Edge”, will be held in Seattle, Washington at the Washington State Convention Center, March 28 – March 31, 2012. In conjunction with the conference, The Bellevue Arts Museum will host the 2012 NCECA Invitational “Push Play” from January 19 to June 17, 2012.

The NCECA Invitational is a themed, curated exhibition that features leading edge, large scale and often challenging ceramic art. Held in even-numbered years, a foundation group of works are selected by invitation; then additional artists are invited to submit images that support the theme for consideration. The submission process is open to all artists working in ceramics. This format brings established reputations and emerging talent to bear on the selected theme and adds vitality and fresh perspectives to an ongoing dialogue. A color catalogue documents the exhibition experience and contains artist statements, pertinent essays and color images of the art. The exhibition is curated and organized by NCECA Exhibitions Director, Linda Ganstrom.

The 2012 NCECA Invitational focuses on the importance of play as related to art and life.

2012 "PUSH PLAY" Participating Artists:

Adrian Arleo
Hannah Blackwell
Rebekah Bogard
Brian Boldon
Mark Chatterley
Caroline Cheng
Kelly Connole
Cristina Cordova
Charlie Cummings
Judy Fox
Arthur Gonzalez
Raymond Gonzalez
Margaret Keelan
Clayton Keyes
Henny Linn Kjellberg
Mika Laidlaw


Sarah Lindley/Norwood Viviano
David Linger
Megumi Naitoh
Jessica Gardner
Tara Polansky
Anne Drew Potter
Derek Reeverts
Diego Romero
Sam Scott
Yoko Sekino-Bove
Kiki Smith
Chris Staley
Beth Cavener Stichter
Ian Thomas/Ryder Richards
Christina  West
Irina Zaytceva

Push Play

Want to play? Such an invitation offers the possibility of learning through pleasurable, focused activity. Associated with nature, physical interaction and props, play allows the participant the freedom to observe, respond, interact and react in ways not prescribed, although some rules still apply with consequences for those who don’t play fair. The stories that evolve from play, in their authenticity, act as triggers for personal fantasy, artistic imagining and creative problem solving. The open nature of play and playthings endows them with the power to help establish gender roles, identity, social status and career roles. Governed by a set of rules or boundaries, an outside force directs gaming or sports play. As technology interfaces with gaming, play offers virtual experience, regulated and safe, but still exciting. No longer relegated to the realm of childhood, games simulate realities ranging from war to spiritual quests while assigning players alternative identities and enhanced personalities. What are the benefits and costs of these various types of play?

Is art play? Creativity lies at the heart of both art and play. When does play become art and how does skill figure into the mix? Artists often approach their work as highly focused play involving all their sentient faculties. Increasingly democratized by technology, art-making no longer requires the skills developed from material discipline. A movie can be filmed from a cell phone as evidenced by the 2010 Guggenheim and YouTube groundbreaking competition, “Play Biennial.” While everyone has potential as an artist, not all have the highly specialized skills to create artifacts with a marketable value. Where does ceramics fit in? Art making, particularly in clay, immerses the maker in sensual substance and offers an appealing alternative to technology and virtual reality play. The materials and processes of ceramics regulate the game. Whether intuitive or skillful, play in clay can be intensely engaging.
Sharing a neighborhood with the corporate offices of Nintendo and Microsoft, The Bellevue Arts Museum seems an appropriate place to investigate the question, “What is play today?” NCECA and BAM encourage artists to create works that “Push Play” up their 30 foot lobby walls to reach the gallery floors, weather the winter and spring outdoors, invite physical interaction and employ play as the subject of their art. Filling most of the second floor of the Bellevue Arts Museum, “Push Play” has room for large as well as more traditional format works.

Art is serious business, so too is play. This exhibition seeks to encourage artists to move into a realm where play and its connections to art, technology, individuality and community are investigated and celebrated, while stimulating thought and provoking conversation regarding the relevance of play in contemporary life. Ceramics is the perfect medium to “Push Play.”
Linda Ganstrom, Curator

Detailed information and Online Submittal form: Available Jan.12, 2011
Online Submittal deadline: July 5, 2011 (midnight EST)
Acceptance notification: August 1, 2011
Contracts and Statements due: August 15, 2011
Delivery of accepted work: Before December 19, 2011
Installation: December 20 – January 18, 2012
Exhibition dates: January 19, 2012 –June 17, 2012
Return of work: After June 17, 2012

Artists are responsible for shipping their work to the Bellevue Arts Museum and insuring it while in transit. Works may be shipped or hand delivered to the gallery. Works should be shipped in reusable containers with photographic documentation for re-packing. NCECA has a limited budget for reimbursement of return shipping only.
Accepted work will be shipped to:
Bellevue Arts Museum
510 Bellevue Way NE
Bellevue, WA 98004

Insurance and Sales
The Bellevue Arts Museum will insure all work upon its arrival and until departure under its fine arts policy for the amounts specified by the insurance value listed and up to the limits of the Bellevue Arts Museum’s current insurance policy. Certain restrictions apply.
The Bellevue Arts Museum will not conduct sales. Work may be offered for sale through the NCECA Office. A 30% commission on sales will be retained by NCECA.

Print and Publication
NCECA will produce a color catalog documenting the exhibition. Artists will receive two complementary copies of the catalog.

Photography and Permissions
Participating artists must agree to allow NCECA and gallery visitors to photograph work while on display for educational and publicity purposes.
Images of accepted entries will be retained for the NCECA archives and may be reproduced and posted on the NCECA website. NCECA will produce a color catalog that will be available at the conference.
It is understood that works in the exhibition may be photographed, telecast, and reproduced for press and publicity purposes including but not limited to reproduction in newspapers, periodicals, magazines, in television programs and on the internet in connection with the exhibition and the Bellevue Arts Museum.

A color catalogue documents the exhibition experience and contains artists' statements, pertinent essays and color images of the art. Various other educational and promotional materials may be created by the Bellevue Arts Museum or NCECA.

A reception during the NCECA conference will celebrate the exhibition.



Thank you for your support of the K-12 Exhibition! My students participated this year and it was incredible. When we touch these kids at such an impressionable age we are sending them the message of how important ART is!!
— Educator