2023 Concurrent Exhibition Proposals

57th ANNUAL NCECA CONFERENCE – Cincinnati, Ohio
Wednesday March 15 – Saturday, March 18, 2023

Proposal deadline: June 29, 2022 11:59PM (Eastern)

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

NCECA’s Concurrent Exhibitions  program makes ceramic art visible and accessible throughout the communities that host NCECA’s annual conference.  Artists and curators from throughout the US and abroad may submit proposals for concurrent exhibitions. A peer review process involving NCECA’s exhibitions director and members of the conference region’s arts and culture community selects proposals after careful consideration.  The concurrent exhibitions series provides a platform for diverse artists to engage with regional, national, and international audiences.

NCECA’s Concurrent Exhibitions call is geared to artists and curators from the field at large, hoping to match an exhibition proposal with a venue in the conference region. Curators of venues based in the Cincinnati region who are developing exhibition proposals for venues with which they are collaborating or affiliated are advised to participate in the call for Venue Originated Exhibition Proposals. Both calls are open in April 2022 and will have a deadline of June 29, 2022.


Current day Cincinnati is home to a vibrant creative community of artists, many working with clay. Collectively and individually, they are getting their hands dirty and shaping new worlds. The region’s first peoples of the Eastern Woodland Indian tribes venerated their ancestors, moving tons of earth over long distances to form massive mounds. In the early 19th century, scores of brickmakers and artisans churned out construction materials from the clay-rich flatlands bordering the mill creek in their very back yards. Still later, ceramic artists like Maria Longworth Storer established Rookwood Pottery when she found that the clays of the Ohio Valley rivaled those used in the world’s finest ceramics.

Current can be a flow of electrons, a force of water, a moment in time. Current invites us to consider how working with clay leads us to engage in worlds of continuity and continual change. The river is an essential and enduring feature of Cincinnati’s history and evolution. Current predates the history of human creation and transports artifacts, stories, ideas through time to future generations. Ceramic artworks embody currents that carry diverse traditions of invention and renewal.

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, and performance works.

A member driven organization, NCECA’s innovation and vision emerges from its communities. NCECA’s efforts to site and promote exhibitions raise awareness and create opportunities for engagement with ceramic art for diverse audiences, including those who live in the conference host region as well as those who travel from around the United States and abroad.

Active membership in NCECA is a requirement for the person submitting the exhibition proposal. Other artists included in the proposal are not required to be members of NCECA. NCECA welcomes proposals showcasing the work of artists in various stages of their careers. 
NCECA appoints an exhibition committee composed of members of the conference region knowledgeable about clay as a medium of expression in art and contemporary craft to review and select proposals.

After the initial acceptance of a proposal, NCECA’s Onsite Conference Liaisons will prioritize efforts to situate it with a suitable venue. NCECA’s exhibitions committee reserves the right to provisionally accept exhibition proposals and provide requirements for alterations to organizers and curators. Such alterations may include excluding works or artists described in the initial proposal due to concerns about space/ installation requirements, quality, inconsistent cohesion between the proposal’s organizing concepts. If there is no venue available to host an exhibition, the exhibition is put on a waitlist until a suitable venue becomes available.

NCECA requires Concurrent Exhibitions to be fully installed and open to the public beginning Tuesday morning, March 14, 2023, and remain on view until 5pm on the conference closing day, Saturday, March 18, 2023, unless the venue cannot accommodate these dates. NCECA encourages exhibitions to be available to the public for longer runs throughout the conference region prior to and following the conference.

NCECA does not provide direct financial support to individual exhibition proposals. It will make the utmost effort to highlight Concurrent Exhibitions to conference attendees and the general public through NCECA’s website, print exhibition guide, conference app, and other communications. Shuttle and excursion buses may not be able to include stops at all Concurrent Exhibitions. The Onsite Conference Liaisons will work with the transportation provider to develop routes that permit access to many high-impact venues within route duration and geographical limits.

Applicants are encouraged to be mindful that more modestly scaled exhibitions containing work of 10 or fewer artists will be more feasible to realize through this proposal and placement process. Many of the venues available to NCECA in Cincinnati may be of the alternative space variety and lack the infrastructure typically found in commercial galleries, museums, and nonprofits with ongoing exhibitions programs. 

All proposals and accompanying support materials must be submitted online by Wednesday, June 29, 2022 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 instead of Internet Explorer or Safari.

***IMPORTANT*** Although the system supporting this submission form does not currently include an active word counter, NCECA requires adherence to word count limitations identified in open fields.

NCECA recommends composing responses to open fields utilizing word-processing software on a computer or device and using the integrated word-counting tools.

Please make certain that the spelling of artists’ names in the proposal are correct.

Once composed, proofed, and counted, save the document and copy the text from the local word-processing software into the appropriate fields in the form. We caution applicants to avoid using unnecessary special characters due to incorrect conversion within the form system.

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

*NOTE* Extended time in the form may cause the form to time out and the system to log the applicant out.

The online submittal form must include the following or it will not be considered: (Only .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .pdf or .jpg files will be accepted as indicated below)

To reiterate, please prepare the following BEFORE starting the online application:

1. Exhibition Curator or Organizer. Name/contact information will auto-populate once you log in to the NCECA database and access the form.

Curator – Is responsible for the project’s organizing principles, selection of artists and presentation work, and the curator’s artwork is NOT included in the exhibition.)
Organizer – Is responsible for the project’s organizing principles, selection of artists and presentation work, and is PARTICIPATING AS AN ARTIST in the exhibition.)

2. Curator/Organizer Resume (PDF or Word document not to exceed 2MB)
3. Exhibition Title (in all capital letters)
4. Exhibition Premise/Concept – Explain the premise of the exhibition and its relevance to the field. Pinpoint particular issues and concepts that the exhibition is exploring. Address the relationship of the exhibition to the conference theme, CURRENT (maximum of 500 words).
5. A concise description of the exhibition to be used in NCECA promotional materials (maximum of 30 words).
6. For ADJUDICATION, list no more than 10 committed artists: First name Last name, email address, personal website. (For artists without a website, indicate NONE.)
7. Indicate why each artist’s work was chosen and how each relates to the overall exhibition concept. (maximum of 350 words).
8. For PUBLICATION, list no more than 10 committed artists: Include ONLY First name Last name, repeat as comma separate.
9. Indicate whether or not you have already secured a venue for your proposal. If so, please provide the venue name, venue address, venue phone, venue website, venue contact person, and venue contact email (maximum of 165 words).

Exhibition Requirements
10. Indicate the minimum and maximum square footage your exhibition requires.
11. Indicate if the venue must be able to accommodate wall hanging/ suspended works? If yes, provide a range of weights for these works.
12. Indicate whether you (and participating artists) are able to be responsible for the installation.
13. Indicate whether you are able to provide your own pedestals.
14. Understand that you and your venue are responsible for the security of the artwork in your exhibition. If the venue does not provide insurance are you able to self-insure or display the work at your own risk?
15. If the venue is unable to receive advanced shipment or store works included in the exhibition, are you able to see that the work arrives on the date that it can be installed and pack/remove the work on the exhibition’s closing date.
16. Include a range of weights and values of proposed work.

Proposal Images
Proposals must include a MINIMUM of 10 images with a MAXIMUM of 20 images.
(.jpg ONLY – Each image no larger than 800 KB.)
For video or audio files include a still image and link to the video or audio file.
Image details required:

Artist First Name Last Name
Title of Piece
Year of Piece
Size: Height x Width x Depth
Brief Image Description
Clay type
Firing/Decoration Method

A 2023 NCECA conference exhibitions committee including NCECA’s Exhibitions Director Brett Binford, and members of the Greater Cincinnati arts community working in cooperation with 2023 Onsite Conference Liaisons will review exhibition proposals. Solo and group exhibitions will be considered. Exhibitions featuring more than one artist may have the best chance of being selected through this process. Exhibitions with a high number of participants, however, may be challenging to match and place with suitable venues.

Selection of proposals will include be based on a variety of factors including…

  • Quality of work samples,
  • Clarity of the exhibition’s organizing concepts,
  • Meaningful and innovative interpretations of the conference theme
  • Diversity of artists within each proposal and the series to be presented as a whole

Stage 1
The NCECA exhibitions review committee will select proposals from this pool and notify applicants by late July 2022 of the initial results.

Stage 2
NCECA’s Onsite Conference Liaisons will begin to present potential venues in the conference region with selected exhibition proposals. Host venues working with the Onsite Conference Liaisons will make final decisions on the placement of accepted Concurrent Exhibitions. Please note that NCECA cannot guarantee the placement of every proposal approved in the review process.

Stage 3
NCECA will notify applicants of exhibition placement outcomes from summer through fall 2022 through a letter of introduction to the host venue contacts. NCECA is no longer directly involved after host organizations, and exhibition organizers begin to negotiate and plan individual shows.

All information on exhibitions to be promoted with the 2023 conference will be finalized and verified by mid-October. 

Artists and host venues are responsible to come to agreement on specific details and coordination of exhibitions; NCECA is not involved in this process.

On a limited basis, NCECA may be able to allocate space in the convention center or a leased facility to selected Concurrent Exhibition proposals. Exhibition organizers and artists invited to mount exhibitions in spaces provided by NCECA will be asked to sign waivers and commit up to 20% in commissions to NCECA on any sales made from these areas.

Basic Requirements for Artists and Venues
NCECA expects that all Concurrent Exhibitions will maintain professionalism and be accessible to the public during all the hours provided to NCECA for publication in the conference app and exhibition guide.

All exhibitions will be required to provide pertinent information on their exhibitions on a timeline corresponding to NCECA’s app and print promotion deadlines. In general, final information will be due for publication by mid-October 2022. NCECA may not accommodate changes or additions to published information later than this date.

Signage, labels, and price lists (except in instances where works are unavailable for purchase) are fundamental requirements of all Concurrent Exhibitions.

Exhibitions must be fully installed and open to the public beginning Tuesday morning, March 14, 2023, and must remain on view until 5pm on the conference closing day, Saturday, March 18, 2023 unless the venue cannot accommodate these dates. Please consider withdrawing the proposal if these basic terms are unattainable.

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

Submit 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

Thank you