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Gary Erickson, Nestled Spiral with Black Dots,2011

Exhibitions are the bridge between ceramic makers and the viewing public. This vital aspect of our organization and annual conference speaks to our mission of advancing the ceramic arts and educating our communities through dynamic personal interaction with ceramics in exhibitions that encompass the full spectrum of ceramic art. To further increase public awareness and appreciation of the ceramic arts, as well as instigate critical investigation and dialogue, NCECA sponsors two exhibitions in conjunction with each annual conference and helps place dozens of concurrent independent exhibitions featuring ceramics in the conference host community.


Held in odd-numbered years, the NCECA Biennial is the premier international juried exhibition hosted in the United States for the ceramic arts. It is open to all U.S. artists and to International NCECA members. The notice for the NCECA Biennial Call for Entries is distributed in conference registration packets the year prior to the exhibition. The entry form is online and can be accessed through the NCECA web site. The jury consists of leading experts in the field of ceramics and a catalogue featuring accepted work is published. A color catalogue documents the exhibition experience and contains artists’ biographies, essays and color images of the art.


NCECA is committed to expanding the dialog on contemporary ceramics in a manner that preserves a traditional base while simultaneously considering shifts and advances in the field.  As a major component of each annual conference, Concurrent Independent Exhibitions are sited throughout the host city in a range of venues. Collectively, these exhibitions present a view of the diverse approaches within contemporary ceramic practice that range from utilitarian and designed objects to sculpture and performative events. Proposals are sought from artists at various stages in their career as a way of best showcasing the field at a particular moment.  Selected by a review committee, proposals are considered for their ability to successfully respond to the thematic structure of the conference.


The NCECA Invitational is a themed, curated exhibition that features leading edge, large scale and often challenging ceramic art. Held in even-numbered years, the exhibition concept is developed and a select foundational group of artists’ works is assembled by invitation. Augmenting this core selection, additional artists may respond to an open call for images of ceramic works that support the theme.  This format brings established reputations and emerging talent to bear on the selected theme and adds vitality and fresh perspectives to an ongoing dialogue.   


Held annually, this exhibition showcases undergraduate and graduate student work. The Prospectus is now available and reminders will be sent to schools, and to teacher and student NCECA members at the start of the fall semester. Two prestigious and well-respected ceramic experts are chosen to jury the images and select the best of our emerging student talent. Merit and Purchase awards are given to works selected by the jury. This is a great exhibition opportunity for undergraduate and graduate ceramic students –Give your career a boost! Get your work seen! Represent your school's ceramics program! 


The NCECA Emerging Artist program is intended to give early career artists, who show exceptional promise, the opportunity to present their work to an international audience at the NCECA Annual Conference. Emerging Artist nominations are welcomed from professionals in the field of ceramics, or artists may self nominate with the support of two professionals.

View Past Emerging Artists

Special Exhibitions

The National K-12 Ceramic Exhibition is an annual competition and Exhibition for K-12 ceramic students to showcase their Ceramic Art Works, and to promote and encourage Ceramic Arts in the K-12 Education System. The “National K-12 Ceramic Exhibition Foundation, Inc.” places emphasis on creating awareness, offering incentive and increasing motivation to K-12 students and teachers in their study of ceramic arts. The Exhibition is held annually in conjunction with the NCECA Conference. Deadline is January 2013.

Visit their website at:
www.k12clay.org OR email Leah Schlief at .

NCECA Exhibitions are funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal Agency.     NEA


Awareness of the vastly different ways other people use and treat clay.
— Studio Artist