Multi(VA)lent: Clay, Mindfulness, Memory
Prospectus for 2020 Concurrent Exhibition Proposals

54th ANNUAL NCECA CONFERENCE 
Wednesday March 25 – Saturday, March 28, 2020
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

Deadline: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 (EST)

For questions regarding technical assistance contact kate@nceca.net or candice@nceca.net

Overview
The exhibition and expansion of contemporary ceramic practice will include diverse approaches to ideas and senses of materiality involving clay and process. NCECA’s annual conference is enriched by the innovation and vision that emerges from our community to present ceramic art of the highest caliber in the form of Concurrent Exhibitions (CEs). These exhibitions make ceramic art visible and accessible to communities in which the conference is based. Concurrent Exhibitions also provide a platform for participating artists to engage with the global audience of ceramic enthusiasts to expand, challenge, and celebrate critical and aesthetic horizons of art made with clay. NCECA promotes Concurrent Exhibitions through the print conference guide, 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.

2020 Concurrent Exhibitions Focus
NCECA seeks exhibition proposals that incorporate clay as the principal medium of expression and have conceptual resonance with the theme of its annual conference. The theme of NCECA’s 54th Annual Conference in Richmond, Virginia is Multi(VA)lent: Clay, Mindfulness, Memory.

NCECA seeks exhibition proposals that incorporate clay as the principal medium of expression. Proposals that bear resonance with the theme of NCECA’s 54th annual conference are strongly encouraged. The conference will take place March 25-28, 2020, though exhibitions are encouraged to run from dates preceding the event and run as late as June 2020.

Steeped in history and engaged with reinvention, the arts, teaching and learning are at the heart of Richmond, Virginia’s vision for innovation. The primary material of ceramic art, clay, connects our human experience from our local communities to distant places, and times long past. Ceramic art’s diversity of expression and continuous renewals and advancements generate affinities that extend the human imagination across time and place. NCECA’s 54th annual conference will explore ways that ceramic artists are charting new pathways from the complex meanings of our interwoven histories.

Through the selected exhibitions, NCECA hopes to share and promote innovative approaches to ceramic art that explore and highlight the experiences of diverse cultures within a dynamic society.

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 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.

Proposals are welcomed from artists at various stages in their careers. Active membership in NCECA is a requirement for the person submitting the exhibition proposal whether as an exhibition organizer whose work is included in the exhibition or as a curator whose work is not included in the exhibition. Other artists included in the proposal are not required to be members of NCECA at the time the proposal is submitted.
NCECA appoints an exhibition committee composed of members of the conference region who have a knowledge of clay as a medium of expression in art and contemporary craft to review and select proposals. The committee will have a list of potential venues and select a cohort of exhibition proposals that it believes can be successfully sited in the conference region. Initial acceptance of a proposal means that 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 the exclusion of works or artists described in the initial proposal due to concerns about space/ installation requirements, quality, and /or inconsistent cohesion between the proposal’s organizing concepts.

Keep in mind that more modestly scaled exhibitions including 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 Richmond may be of the alternative space variety and lack the infrastructure typically found in commercial galleries, museums, and nonprofits with ongoing exhibitions programs.

All selected and successfully placed exhibitions must be fully installed and open to the public beginning Tuesday morning, March 24, 2020 and must remain on view until at least 5pm on the closing day of the conference, Saturday, March 28, 2020. When and wherever possible, NCECA encourages exhibitions to be available to the public for longer runs throughout the conference region prior to and following the conference.

While NCECA does not provide direct financial support to individual Concurrent Exhibitions, utmost effort will me made to highlight them to conference attendees and the general public through NCECA’s website, print exhibition guide, conference app, and other communications.  Shuttle and excursion busses 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 a high number of high impact venues within route duration and geographical limits.

All proposals and accompanying support materials must be submitted online by 11:59 pm Wednesday, February 6, 2019 (EST). Link provided below.

You will provide the following in the online application:

  • Your role regarding this exhibition. You must select one of the two following options:
    • Curator (You are responsible for the project’s organizing principles, selection of artists and presentation work, and your artwork is NOT included in the exhibition.)
    • Organizer (You are responsible for the project’s organizing principles, selection of artists and presentation work, and you ARE PARTICIPATING AS AN ARTIST in the exhibition.)
  • Curator/Organizer Resume (PDF or Word document not to exceed 2MB)
  • Exhibition Title
  • 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, Multi(VA)lent: Clay, Mindfulness, Memory. (maximum of 3000 characters with spaces).
  • A concise description of the exhibition to be used in NCECA promotional materials (maximum of 180 characters with spaces).
  • List of no more than 10 committed artists; First name, Last name, email address and personal website (For any artist involved in the proposal that does not have a website, indicate NO WEBSITE AVAILABLE).
  • Indicate why each artist’s work was chosen and how each relates to the overall exhibition concept. (maximum of 2000 characters with spaces).
  • 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 and (maximum of 1000 characters with spaces).
  • Exhibition Requirements – Indicate the minimum and maximum square footage your exhibition requires. Indicate if the venue must be able to accommodate wall hanging/ suspended works? If yes, provide a range of weights for these works.
  • Indicate whether you (and participating artists) are able to be responsible for the installation.
  • Indicate whether you are able to provide your own pedestals.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • Include a range of weights and values of proposed work.

Proposals must include a minimum of 10 images/maximum 20 images.
(.jpg ONLY – Each image no larger than 800 KB.)
For video or audio files include a still image and link.
Image details required:

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

Review Process and Selection Criteria

A 2020 NCECA conference exhibitions committee including NCECA’s Exhibitions Director Brett Binford, Jason Hackett (artist and VCUArts staff member), Caroline Wright (curator, community arts activist, and founder of Current Art Fair), and Abigail Lucien (VCUArts sculpture and extended media faculty) will review all exhibition proposals.

Criteria for selection will include the following:

  • Quality of work samples and cohesiveness of the exhibition’s rationale will be the primary determining factors in the selection of proposals.
  • Proposals that address the conference theme in meaningful and innovative ways will be highly considered.
  • 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 place within potential venues.
  • 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.
Stage 1

The NCECA exhibitions review committee will make an initial selection of proposals from this pool. Successful proposals from this stage of the application process will be matched with host organizations. Notification of initial proposal results will be sent to all applicants in early March 2019.

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. NCECA cannot guarantee placement of every proposal approved in the review process.

NCECA will notify applicants of exhibition placement outcomes in summer through fall 2019.

All information on exhibitions to be promoted with the 2020 conference must be finalized and verified by mid-October 2019.

Artists and host venues are responsible to come to agreement on specific details and coordination of exhibitions. NCECA will no longer be directly involved in this process after host organizations begin to negotiate and plan individual shows. These details will be clearly explained in letters sent to the submitters of selected proposals.

On a limited basis, NCECA may be able to allocate space in the conference center or in a leased facility to selected Concurrent Exhibition proposals. In the event that such a space becomes available, participants will be required to waive any rights for claims or liability against NCECA. NCECA reserves the right to exercise a space fee and/or an agreement to a 20% commission on sales resulting from exhibitions in NCECA-provided spaces.

Basic Requirements for Artists and Venues

NCECA expects that all Concurrent Exhibitions 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 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 November 2019. 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 Concurrent Exhibitions. Exhibitions must be fully installed and open to the public beginning Tuesday morning, March 24, 2020 and must remain on view until 5pm on the closing day of the conference, Saturday, March 28, 2020. Please consider withdrawing your proposal if you are not prepared to meet these essential terms.

For questions regarding technical assistance contact kate@nceca.net or candice@nceca.net

Apply Now