53rd Annual conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts
Minneapolis, Minnesota March 27-30, 2019

Deadline May 16, 2018 (11:59PM EDT)

NCECA recommends using Google Chrome or Firefox when using forms on this site. Some forms do not respond well to Internet Explorer or Safari.   If you encounter problems and require technical assistance with submission contact candice@nceca.net or kate@nceca.net. Any questions pertaining to the call should be directed via email to NCECA Projects Manager Kate Vorhaus kate@nceca.net.

Full Prospectus

NCECA seeks Projects Space proposals that have conceptual resonance with the theme of its 53rd Annual Conference, Claytopia, which takes place in Minneapolis, Minnesota March 27-30, 2019. The great Irish poet, playwright, and author Oscar Wilde wrote, “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias.”

Claytopia is an invented word that builds on Wilde’s concept of the human imagination as a vehicle of restless yearning for a more livable, just, and meaningful world. Since the 1960s, the Twin Cities region has played a pivotal role in shaping a renaissance in studio pottery and craft as cultural forces. Adaptation of Mingei-inspired ideals within the American heartland drove a vision of artfulness in daily life. Claytopia, will engage regional, national and international artists, thinkers, curators, educators, and students in sharing knowledge, practices, and programs through which the power of the imagination strives to realize and expand human potential.

The array of programming, exhibitions, and experiences for NCECA’s 2019 conference will build on the field’s interpretations of Claytopia. NCECA’s board and advisors may also reach beyond the fields of ceramic art and education to curate additional thought provoking perspectives that encourage us to imagine the future of our field in new ways. Through its programming, NCECA hopes to welcome the experiences of artists of under-represented backgrounds, while celebrating, and challenging accepted understandings of ceramic art’s impact as aesthetic experience, self-realization, and social transformation.

Projects Space is a platform for ceramic artists to create and present works during the annual conference that incorporate clay as medium in time-based, performative, relational, or site responsive work. Project Space proposals will be considered in three different durations: ½ day, full day, and multi-day projects. Programming will begin with a preview reception on Tuesday evening of conference, and conclude on Friday afternoon. In 2019, all selected projects will take place in spaces created in a publicly accessible area of the Minneapolis Convention Center where artists will create their works on-site interacting with visitors. Successful proposals will be those that engage with the concept of Claytopia using the medium of clay as a central focus, and also with materials, processes, and audience in unique and unconventional ways. Artists should keep in mind that Projects Space is staged at the heart of the NCECA Conference, that works are meant to occur, grow and change throughout the duration of the event, and that materials and construction will have to be limited to those permissible in such an environment.

NCECA reviews and selects programming from proposals submitted from the field as an important component of conference planning. Additionally, NCECA reserves the right to curate and develop programming that strengthens the quality and range of experiences related to the conference theme, sense of place, and other strategic objectives.

NCECA’s annual conference has earned a reputation worldwide as a premier event for ceramic art drawing thousands each year. Claytopia will join ceramic art’s historic engagement with empirical research and discovery to today’s evolving creative commons.

Criteria for the Application Process

Everyone is eligible to submit proposals for this strand of programming. Applications are welcomed from artists working with ceramic materials/processes as a significant component of their work.
Invited artists will work within an assigned space (approximately 10’ x 20’) to create their works. The first artists to be programmed will have from 9am to 4:30pm Tuesday, March 26th to install their materials and begin their piece during a reception on Tuesday evening. Artists will continue to interact with their work and the public during their scheduled time slots throughout the conference Wednesday through Friday, March 27-29, 2019. Projects scheduled for half-day or one-day duration must be capable of being disassembled immediately following their presentations so that other artists can occupy the same space. Final de-installation and cleaning of spaces will be completed from 4:30-9pm Friday evening.

All proposals must be submitted using NCECA’s Online Submittal process (a link to the form is provided below). Proposals related to the Conference theme of Claytopia will receive preference. Your ONLINE submittal form must include the following or it will not be considered. (Only .doc, .docx, .JPEG or .PDF files will be accepted):

  • Proposer Contact information
  • Short Bio (Limit 300 characters with spacing)
  • Headshot (upload as jpg, 100dpi 2”x3”)
    If your proposal is accepted the abstract, short bio/s, and headshot/s will be used for website and print publications.
  • Project duration – select ½ day, full day, or multi-day.
  • Project Title
  • Artist statement/project description – explaining the artistic vision as it relates to the proposed work for Project Space (Limit 3,000 characters with spacing)
  • List of Supplies – Artists will need to provide their own. (Limit 1000 characters with spacing)
  • Installation Process – A detailed account of the installation process that identifies the artist(s)’ abilities to professionally and successfully ship, install, and create the work in the allotted amount of time, follow appropriate, logical and practical building and safety codes (Limit 1000 characters with spacing)
  • Program Guide Abstract – An abstract of the intended project that if selected will be included in the 2019 NCECA Program Guide (Limit 300 characters with spacing)

IMAGES – Six images required, 10 maximum (Only images that directly reference the actual proposal) (.jpg ONLY. Each image no larger than 800 KB) (Image Submission Guidelines)

Required information for each image:

    • Title
    • Year
    • Relevance to project – (Limit 300 characters with spacing)
    • Brief Image description – to include clay type, firing method, date, dimensions
      (H, W, D), and photo credit if applicable. (Limit 300 characters with spacing)
The selection committee includes the NCECA Exhibitions Director Brett Binford and the Projects Space Coordinator, TBD.  Successful proposals will be those that engage with the concept of Claytopia using the medium of clay as a central focus, and also with materials, processes, and audience in unique and unconventional ways.
  • Selected artists will receive a 2019 conference registration, NCECA membership for the 2019 calendar year, and an honorarium. The amount of the honorarium will be in the range of $100- $700 based on project duration and to be determined through NCECA’s budgeting process in spring 2018. This fee will be all-inclusive and meant to aid in the purchasing of materials for the work, and in shipping work and materials to and from the conference site. No additional payments or reimbursements will be available through NCECA to support travel, lodging, food, or other expenses.
  • Artists will be responsible for providing their own tools and equipment required for the production of their works. NCECA will not be held responsible for any loss or damage of tools or equipment that artists bring into the space.
  • Artists will be responsible for all shipping costs and ensuring all their materials are available for the installation to begin at 9am on Tuesday, March 26th. Artists shipping directly to and from the Minneapolis Convention Center will make arrangements with NCECA staff, and may incur an additional fee in the event that conference center staff are required to sign for materials received prior to artists’ arrival.
  • Artists’ honoraria will be paid following the conference. Payment will be dependent on spaces being left in clean condition, without debris, or leftover materials of any kind.  There should be no evidence of the piece remaining in any form.  Plastic sheeting will be available for the floor, and the spaces will be clearly delineated.
  • All proposals should follow all rules and regulations set forth by the Minneapolis Convention Center included at the end of this call.
  • Electricity will be available for those who arrange for it with the NCECA Projects Space Coordinator beforehand at an additional cost to the artist.
  • A small team of volunteers (4-6) will be on hand to assist artists with install, de-install, and throughout the week; however, artists are responsible for arranging their own assistants to ensure the timely installation and de-installation of their own works.
  • All installation arrangements and protocols are subject to approval by Projects Space: Claytopia coordinators to insure no building or safety codes are in violation.  This is for everyone’s security and is to help everyone make sure nothing is being overlooked that might cause potential problems.  Please consider this a safety step and not content scrutiny as once your proposal is accepted, the content is supported as you have outlined and is not in question.
  • Projects Space will be open to the public Tuesday evening for the reception followed by regular hours of 9am-6pm Wednesday/Thursday and Friday 8:30am-4:30pm.  All proposals should consider that the artists are asked to be in their spaces during these times, either working on the creation of their works, the changing of their works, or the performing of their works.


PARKING: Parking on the loading dock or inside the Center (except for loading or unloading) is prohibited; violators will be ticketed and/or towed at owner’s expense.

CHILDREN: No one under 16 is permitted in the hall or on the dock during the move-in/out.

SMOKING: There is no smoking inside the facility.

FIRE MARSHAL: All exits, hallways and aisles must be kept clear and unobstructed at all times. Materials used in exhibits must be flame-retardant and are subject to inspection by the Minneapolis Fire Marshal (The Fire Marshal may request that certification accompany items). All straw, hay or live evergreen trees are prohibited.

PROHIBITED: compressed flammable gases, flammable or combustible liquids, and hazardous chemicals and materials (acetylene, hydrogen, propane, butane, pesticides, herbicides, poisons, gasoline, kerosene, cleaning solvents, and other petroleum-based materials). Adhesive-backed decals and stickers are not allowed inside the building.

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

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