55th ANNUAL NCECA CONFERENCE – Rivers, Reflections, Reinventions
Wednesday, March 17 – Saturday, March 20, 2021

DEADLINE: Wednesday, December 2, 2020 (11:59pm EST)

Ceramic art connects us to physical and cognitive experiences that foster environments of cultural equity, diversity, access, and inclusion. NCECA convenes and engages people around ceramic art and education to cultivate learning, creativity, leadership, and opportunity through programs, exhibitions, knowledge sharing, research, networking, and mentoring.

One of the ways that NCECA strives to impact the cultural life of communities is through production and promotion of diverse and accessible art exhibitions. Venue Originated Exhibitions are designed by venues with curators based in the geographical region of  NCECA’s annual conference. When NCECA’s leadership learned in late August that indoor public gatherings in Cincinnati remained limited to no more than 300 participants, the organization made a decision to begin preparing for a virtual conference rather than one based in Cincinnati in March 2021. While the realization of large public gatherings in Cincinnati remains uncertain, this call is designed to encourage the resilient cultural community of the region to share ceramic art in venues large, small, and in between. Exhibitions are encouraged to open as early as Winter 2021 and run as late as June 30, 2021.

NCECA seeks exhibition proposals that incorporate clay as the principal medium of expression. Proposals that bear resonance with the theme of NCECA’s 55th annual conference are strongly encouraged. Waterways, natural and constructed, are key features of the Cincinnati region. Poet Langston Hughes captured an essential metaphor for the ways in which water courses through time and territory to mirror the experience of our inner lives. “My soul has grown deep like the rivers,” tells us that our lives are forever changing, our life spans occupying but a fraction of the events that occur throughout the natural and crafted world over time. Knowledge and experience change us, our personal courses move. The Seneca gave us the name Ohio meaning great river. Rivers are essential to ceramic art’s natural and cultural histories. Clays, minerals, stories, ideas, and aspirations of those who create are all transported through rivers’ currents, figurative and literal. Like clay hardened in fire, rivers far outlast us. NCECA’s 55th annual conference will explore ways that ceramic artists are charting new pathways from the complex meanings of our interwoven histories.

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 performance works. 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 exhibitions throughout the region surrounding its annual conference. NCECA’s efforts to site and promote exhibitions expand awareness of and engagement with ceramic art for audiences that travel to and reside throughout the conference’s host region.

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

This call for Venue Originated Exhibitions proposals is intended for and limited to curators, gallery directors or staff of art venues, galleries and organizations in the region of the annual conference.

Active membership in NCECA is suggested for the venue, curator, or organizer submitting the exhibition proposal. Exhibitions curated or organized by NCECA members are eligible for free listings in the conference promotional materials. Exhibition Proposals submitted by those who are not members of NCECA may be subject to a $50 listing fee for inclusion in NCECA’s publications, including print materials, mobile device app, website, blog, and social media. Artists included in the proposal are not required to be members of NCECA at the time the proposal is submitted.

All venues submitting these proposals will be independently responsible for display furniture, installation, de-installation, insurance and liability concerns related to the exhibition. The venue will be solely responsible for sales of artwork and any shipping/transportation agreement between the institution and the artists.

If venues typically charge admission fees, NCECA asks the fees be waived for people wearing conference registration credentials. Due to conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, at this time NCECA is not able to make commitments to any exhibition venue in regard to bus tours or collector events historically associated with NCECA conferences.

NCECA expects that all exhibitions it promotes 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 and re-confirm 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 2020. 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 exhibitions. Exhibitions must be fully installed and open to the public beginning Tuesday morning, March 16, 2021 and must remain on view until 5pm on the closing day of the conference, Saturday, March 20, 2021. Please consider withdrawing your proposal if you are not prepared to meet these essential terms.

NCECA does not provide direct financial support to individual exhibition proposals. It will make the utmost effort to highlight exhibitions to conference attendees and the general public through NCECA’s website, print exhibition guide, conference app and other communications.

By submitting an exhibition proposal for NCECA you acknowledge that you are fully responsible for artworks, visitors, and artists involved in exhibitions in your venue. NCECA and its representatives cannot be held responsible for any loss or damages that may happen in the course of your exhibition.

A 2021 NCECA conference exhibitions committee including NCECA’s Exhibitions Director Brett Binford and Onsite Co-Liaisons Marsha Karagheusian and Lisa Merida-Paytes will review all exhibition proposals.

Criteria for selection will include the following:

Quality of work samples and cohesiveness of the exhibition’s rationale

Solo and group exhibitions will be considered.

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.

All proposals and accompanying support materials must be submitted using NCECA’s ONLINE form by midnight Wednesday, December 2, 2020 (EST).  In order to access and complete the form you must LOGIN to your existing NCECA profile or create an account in NCECA’s database at this LINK

NCECA recommends using Google Chrome or Firefox when using forms on this site.
Some forms do not respond well to Internet Explorer or Safari. The link to the form is provided below.

Please prepare the following BEFORE starting the online application:

  • Exhibition Title
  • Exhibition Concept – Explain organizing ideas that support the exhibition and its relevance to the field. Pinpoint particular issues that the exhibition is exploring. Address the relationship of the exhibition to the conference theme, Rivers, Reflections, Reinventions (3000 character limit)
  • Exhibition description to be published (if accepted) in the Conference Program & Exhibition Guide and Smart Phone app. (maximum 180 characters including spaces)
  • List of participating artists to include First name, Last name, email address and personal website. (Maximum of 10 can be published) (For any artist involved in the exhibition that does not have a website, indicate NO Website Available.) Character count: 0/3000
  • Program Guide list of 10 artists (First name Last name, separated by commas)
  • Exhibition Dates
  • Reception Date during NCECA (if applicable)
  • Days and hours of operations Sunday/Monday (if applicable) and Tuesday through Saturday (required)
  • Is the venue willing/able to amend hours to accommodate NCECA bus routes?
  • Is the venue handicapped accessible?
  • Agree to waive admission fee, for people wearing NCECA conference registration credentials.
  • Proposals must include a minimum of 5 images/maximum 10 images.
    For video or audio files include a still image and link.
    (.jpg ONLY. Each image no larger than 800 KB)

Artist Name – Artwork Title (ex. Val Cushing – Stoneware Casserole)
Date of Piece
Brief image Description
Clay type
Firing method
Dimensions (H, W, D) Indicate in inches

The 2021 NCECA conference exhibitions committee will review and evaluate proposals from this pool for inclusion in conference materials. Notification of initial proposal results will be sent to all applicants as soon as possible after review.

For questions or technical assistance contact kate@nceca.net AND support@nceca.net

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