With my feet re-planted on east coast soil, I bring you the introductory entry for the Emerging Artist report.

I'd like to introduce myself to begin with- My name is Kala Stein; I live in western NY state and split my time between Alfred, where I teach ceramic art at the New York State College of Ceramics and keep my winter studio, and Canadice, where I live an even more rural lifestyle and keep a summer studio. You can check out my work here and see two current bodies of work called Gold Rush and Form and Plenty: online at the Gandee Gallery. Opening next week is a show I curated, COLORSCAPES, at the Shein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art.

NCECA this year was an urban delight to say the least!

I began "my" NCECA with a mission: an hour long face-to-face conversation with each emerging artist. I had a list of prepared questions, some of which are listed here:

  • What have been particular high points or pivotal moments in your career?
  • How do you identify and gauge success for yourself as an artist? As an educator?
  • What, if any, social responsibilities do you think an artist has?
  • How does entrepreneurship play into your success as an artist?
  • Is critical discourse important to you? How do you participate?
  • What advice would you like to offer other the crafthaus/NCECA blog readers?

Looking back, I have to say that the opportunity to conduct and curate an official conversation with the emerging artists, Dylan BeckNick BivinsChandra DeBuseDarien JohnsonPeter Johnson, and Mathew McConnell, was a great excuse to sit down and cover a lot of ground in a little time. Because I was recording the audio, and everyone was so busy, we stayed on task and dug right in. I will distill the conversations so they are appropriate for a blog posting then post them one at a time over the course of six months- so stay tuned! 

"How does one get to be an emerging artist?" a questions that I, and Sam Chung I'm sure, heard many times during the conference. According to the NCECA website, "The NCECA Emerging Artist program is intended to give early career artists, who show exceptional promise, the opportunity to present their work to an international audience at the NCECA Annual Conference...." The application includes a resume, two letters of recommendation from professionals in the field of ceramics, and 10 images. Once the jury selects the 6 emerging artists, the artists step up to the plate.

"The selected as Emerging Artists will attend the NCECA conference where they will deliver a 10-minute digital image presentation of their work. Emerging Artists are required to submit a written summary of their presentation for the NCECA Annual Conference for publication in the NCECA Journal. This summary must be accompanied by five 300 dpi images appropriate for print publication. Submission of this information is necessary to be included in the NCECA Program Guide....."

This year there was special attention for the Emerging Artist programming at NCECA because of a Windgate Charitable Foundation grant. This grant allowed each artist a full color post card that was put in all the membership bags and an Expo space gallery show in the conference center, special meetings with collectors and more. This group of Emerging Artists was especially impressive- many of them freshly in tenure track teaching positions and all of them making a good impact on the field.

Next up: Brian R. Jones and about his podcast "Brian R. Jonescast...listen for free here.

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