Wednesday, March 16 – Saturday, March 19, 2022

DEADLINE: Wednesday, June 23, 2021 (11:59pm Eastern)

NCECA will accept exhibition proposals from venues in its conference region to be considered for promotion through its communications efforts. NCECA seeks exhibition proposals that incorporate clay as the principal medium of expression. Proposals that bear resonance with the title of NCECA’s 56th annual conference are strongly encouraged. The conference will take place March 16-19, 2022, though exhibitions are encouraged to run from dates preceding the event and run as late as June 2022. For questions regarding exhibition proposals, contact our 2022 Onsite Liaisons, Nancy Servis nancy.nceca@gmail.com and Ray Gonzales raygonzalesnceca@gmail.com


Poet and activist Gary Snyder writes, “The great Central Valley region does not prefer English over Spanish or Japanese or Hmong. If it had any preferences at all, it might best like the languages it has heard for thousands of years, such as Maidu or Miwok, simply because it is used to them. Mythically speaking, it will welcome whomever chooses to observe the etiquette, express the gratitude, grasp the tools, and learn the songs that it takes to live there.”

Migrants to the region bearing cultural practices from all over the world have cultivated the rich evolution of Northern California’s arts and agriculture. Intermingling diverse traditions with innovations, expression in ceramic art has taken many forms: vessel, sculpture, architecture, and installation. Northern California is celebrated both for the emergence of unconventional clay practices and sustaining traditions. Enduring influences of Native wisdoms and vibrant multiculturalism are essential to the region’s contemporary context of ecologically and socially engaged creative practices.

The Farm to Fork Movement, which originated in Northern California, demonstrates how significant impact can occur when stewardship of the environment fully integrates cultural practice that is equally attentive to traditions and innovation. The territory of the Central Valley and Northern California are threaded with clay caches, rivers, coastline, and mountain ranges. These features are expressive of the natural environment that reflect a sense of awe and spirit of interconnectedness between the land and its people. Fertile Ground invites us to gather around an expansive and inclusive table for continued sustenance and dialogue through ceramic art, teaching, and learning.

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 may promote exhibitions through a print guide, mobile app, website, Blog, and social media. While NCECA makes efforts to cluster the shows within art/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 venue and the artists.

If venues typically charge admission fees, NCECA asks the fees be waived for people wearing conference registration credentials. A small number of venues may be invited to be included on the itinerary of NCECA’s Collectors Tour, which will be refined from Autumn 2021-Winter 2022. Venues included on the itinerary may be asked to provide a contribution to NCECA stemming from sales made directly through this Collectors Tour.

NCECA cannot promise any venue that it will be included on exhibition bus routes planned for the conference. Exhibition bus routes will be determined by NCECA, its Onsite Conference Liaisons, and its transportation provider to efficiently move people on routes within limited time frames.  

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 October 1, 2021. 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 15, 2022 and must remain on view until 5pm on the closing day of the conference, Saturday, March 19, 2022. 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 2022 NCECA conference exhibitions committee including NCECA’s Exhibitions Director Brett Binford with Onsite Conference Liaisons Nancy Servis and Ray Gonzales 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 June 23, 2021 (11:59pm Eastern).  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.

***IMPORTANT*** Although the system that supports this submission form does not currently include an active word counter, NCECA requires all applicants to adhere to word count limitations identified in open fields. Compose responses to these open fields first utilizing the word-processing software on your computer or device and take advantage of the included word-counting tools.

Please take extra care to ensure that all names of artists in your proposal are spelled correctly. Once composed, proofed, and counted, you can copy your text from your local word-processing software into the appropriate fields in the form. Please note that in some instances, special characters copied from word-processing platforms may be converted in the form system. For this reason, we caution applicants on the use of special characters where not absolutely necessary.

NCECA reserves the right to edit any and all text submitted for clarity, word count, spelling, and grammar.

Please prepare the following BEFORE starting the online application:

Venue name and contact information
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 title, Fertile Ground (Limit 500 words)

Exhibition description to be published (if accepted) in the Conference Program & Exhibition Guide and Smart Phone app. (Limit 30 words)
List of participating artists to include First name Last name, email address, and personal website. The first 10 artists’ names in your submission will be those that appear in print publications. (For any artist involved in the exhibition that does not have a website, indicate NONE.) (Limit 300 words)

Exhibition Dates
Days and hours of operations Sunday/Monday (if applicable) and Tuesday through Saturday (required). Although evening exhibition receptions are not required, NCECA will reach out to venues to coordinate their scheduling.
– Is the venue willing/able to amend hours to accommodate NCECA bus routes?
– Is the exhibition wheelchair 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)
Year completed
Brief image Description
Clay type
Firing method
Dimensions (H, W, D) Indicate in inches

The 2022 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 late September 2021.

For questions or technical assistance please contact BOTH support@nceca.net AND kate@nceca.net NCECA recommends using Google Chrome or Firefox when using forms on this site. Some forms do not respond well to Internet Explorer or Safari.

Apply Now

After you complete your online submission form for this opportunity, please hit SUBMIT only one time. The form data could take several minutes to submit particularly with multiple images. A confirmation email will be generated through NCECA’s database to let you know that your application has been successfully transmitted and received. Please save the confirmation email. If you do not receive this confirmation message within an hour after the time that you submitted your proposal, please email kate@nceca.net