CrossCurrents: Clay and Culture
52nd Annual conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
March 14 – 17, 2018

EXTENDED DEADLINE – September 25, 2017
At this point the severe weather from Irma has affected the entire southeast and Houston; flooding in Texas, South Carolina and power outages in Georgia. The deadline has been extended to allow ample time for all to complete online submittals.

If you encounter problems and require technical assistance with submission contact candice@nceca.net or kate@nceca.net

CrossCurrents: Clay and Culture is the organizing theme of NCECA’s 2018 conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A city of rivers, bridges, complex immigrant history, gritty perseverance, and reinvention, Pittsburgh is a place in which clay people can gather to share knowledge, celebrate and critique our work in arts, culture, teaching and learning.

NCECA’s Emerging Artists program recognizes exceptional early career artists highlighting them to an international audience during NCECA’s Annual Conference and promoting them year round through blog.nceca.net. The awards include opportunities for increased exposure through exhibition and special events.

NCECA believes that those creating work offering new/exciting/thoughtful perspectives on the ceramic medium, expanding upon genres of creative production and inquiry are qualified as candidates for its Emerging Artist awards.  An Emerging Artist may be at the early stages of receiving recognition for his/her work but is currently underrepresented through exhibitions or publications that might otherwise bring the work to wide attention. The intent of the award is to recognize, cultivate and amplify vital, new voices of creative endeavor in ceramics. The award enables these artists to reach broader national and international audiences and impact discourse in the field.

Because the concept of emergence in the arts does not invariably correlate with a specific age, or other quantifiable terms, NCECA requires applicants to briefly describe why they perceive themselves to be at an emergent point in their careers and how they anticipate the award will impact the trajectory of their endeavors. The review committee, at their discretion, may eliminate candidates that are considered to be beyond “emerging.”  Applicants are also required to provide letters of support from two figures in the field who are familiar with their work and drive to create. Letters should provide the selection committee with a sense of confirmation of the candidates’ seriousness of commitment and potential for continued development.

Applications are welcomed from artists working with ceramic materials/processes as a significant component of their work.  A current NCECA Membership, at the time of application, is required to be eligible to apply for NCECA’s Emerging Artists. Applicants may not be students.

Membership in NCECA is paid on an annual basis and is not included in conference registration. NCECA membership runs 12 months from the date of joining or renewal. If you are unsure of your Membership status, please login to your Member Profile which contains your expiration date or contact kate@nceca.net.  To renew or become a member of NCECA, go to: www.nceca.net/membership/

All proposals must be submitted using NCECA’s Online Submittal process. A link to the form is provided below. Applicants are strongly advised to prepare the following BEFORE starting the online submission process. Your online submittal form must include the following or it will not be considered (Only .doc, .docx, .JPEG or .PDF files will be accepted):

• Resume (2 page limit, upload as .doc, .docx or .pdf, not to exceed 2MB) Emphasize pertinent professional experience; exhibitions; teaching, residencies, collection, publications.
• Short Bio (Limit of 300 characters including spaces.)
• Head shot (upload as jpg, 100dpi 2”x3”)
• Artist Statement – Describe your work, work process and artistic goals. (Limit of 1800 characters including spaces)
• Emerging Statement – Articulate why you believe you are at an “emerging” point in your career, and how this award will benefit your studio practice. (Limit of 1800 characters including spaces)
• Program Guide description – If your proposal is accepted, this will be printed in the Conference Program Guide (Limit of 300 characters including spaces)

Images – Exactly 10 images (Only images that directly reference the actual proposal)
(.jpg ONLY. Each image no larger than 800 KB – Image Submission Guidelines)

Image details to include:
• Image Title
• Image Date (Year)
• Relevance to presentation – Up to 300 characters
• Brief Image description – to include Artist name, type of clay, firing, date of piece, dimensions (H x W x D), photo credit if applicable. (Limit of 300 characters including spaces)

Recommenders’ information to include: Name, best phone, email and relation to applicant.
Two (2) Letters of Recommendation from professionals in the field of ceramic art.

******All Letters of Recommendation are to be submitted confidentially by the Recommenders using the Confidential Letter of Recommendation Upload form by September 13, 2017 (11:59pm MDT).  A link to the form will be provided once the applicant has successfully submitted their application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide the link to the Recommenders allowing enough time for Recommenders to complete and submit the Confidential Letter of Recommendation Upload form. Please alert the Recommenders there is a September 13, 2017 (11:59pm MDT) deadline.

NCECA’s 2018 Emerging Artists selection committee will consist of one of NCECA’s Directors at Large and two additional experts working in the field.  The committee will select six (6) Emerging Artists. Selected artists will receive a monetary award, complimentary registration for NCECA’s 52nd Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, PA (March 14-17, 2018), and an additional year’s NCECA membership.

Applications will be due September 13, 2017 (11:59pm MDT) and applicants will be notified as soon as selections have been made.

A formal agreement outlining terms and conditions associated with this honor will be sent to the selected artists soon after jurying is completed. Failure to fulfill any of the terms and/or requirements may result in the negation of the award.

The selected artists will be required to attend the 52nd Annual NCECA Conference, participate in special “meet and greet” events with collectors, present gallery talks, serve on a NCECA Topical Networking panel discussion, prepare remarks and make presentations (approximately 10 minutes in duration) during NCECA’s 52nd Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, PA (March 14-17, 2018) at the David L Lawrence Convention Center.

Artists selected as 2018 Emerging Artists are required to provide a written summary of their presentation for the NCECA Annual Conference for publication in the NCECA Journal by December 18, 2017. This summary must be accompanied by five (5) 300 dpi images appropriate for print publication. Also required by this date is a 50-word abstract of this submission to be included in the 2018 NCECA Conference Program Guide.

Selected artists’ images and application materials will be retained by NCECA and will be held in the NCECA archives. Images may be used to promote NCECA’s Emerging Artists program and may be posted on NCECA’s website and contributed to a new NCECA image community being developed in cooperation with AccessCeramics. Emerging Artists will be considered conference presenters and will therefore be ineligible for a presenter role or honorarium in the year following the award.

Emerging Artists will also be eligible for a shipping reimbursement to transport work for a featured exhibition at the conference center from March 14-17, 2018. Artists are required to help install/de-install their work, be present periodically during the course of the Emerging Artists Exhibition.  Emerging Artists will also be required to participate in individual interviews to be posted to blog.nceca.net and possibly be disseminated via other blogs/ websites.

NCECA requires each award recipient to provide a reflection on the impact of their award on the development of their work, life and career. This statement must be sent to josh@nceca.net by August 30, 2018 so that comments can be incorporated into an annual report.

NCECA invites awarded Emerging Artists to provide blog posts to NCECA throughout the year of the award. These posts may link to the artists’ own websites or blogs.


Online Submittal deadline:  September 13, 2017 11:59pm EDT
Acceptance notification:  October 2017
Journal copy and Program Guide copy due by: December 18, 2017
Exhibition Inventory sheet due by: February 1, 2018

Conference dates: March 14-17, 2018
Emerging Artists Exhibition dates: March 13-17, 2018
Shipping Reimbursement request deadline: May 1, 2018

Reflective statement due to josh@nceca.net : August 30, 2018

NCECA recommends using Google Chrome or Firefox when using forms on this site. Some forms do not respond well to Internet Explorer or Safari.


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 message will be generated through NCECA’s website to let you know that your application has been successfully transmitted and received. Please save this message.

If you do not receive this confirmation message within an hour after the time that you submitted your proposal, please email kate@nceca.net to alert NCECA of a possible problem with your submission.

Please contact Kate Vorhaus, NCECA Projects Manager kate@nceca.net for questions about the Emerging Artists program and exhibition.