Main Gallery
Curated by David East

As we approach the national election of 2020, there is no more pressing work than the work of civic engagement. VOTE!, a word that is a directive, an action, and an object, seeks to throw open the doors of Northern Clay Center and to rethink the role that a gallery traditionally serves. This exhibition will showcase artists who engage with questions of politics, citizenry, and activism through multiple lenses. We will also serve as a real and physical site for local organizations to host voter registration drives, voter information meetings, and (now virtual) town halls. This exhibition will unite the engaged act of looking with that of our public life, and will stretch the boundaries of the gallery with posters, buttons, and voters in motion. Part gallery, part voter registration and information center, this exhibition will not just explore but will also actualize the role of art and crafts in empowering participants in democracy.

Guest artists include Ann Agee, Amber Ginsburg, Kris Grey, and Ryan W. Kelly.

About the Artists

Ann Agee
In Art and America, Lilly Wei frames Agee’s work by saying, “Toying with once-ingrained notions of ceramics as a minor art, Agee’s porcelain creations are mischievous, wonderfully misbegotten offspring of sculpture, painting, objets d’art and kitschy souvenirs, throwing in some economic, sociopolitical and gender commentary for good measure.” Agee’s work addresses and inhabits multiple media, riffs on Delftware, domestic interiors, and feminism with elegance, style, and humor. Agee’s work is widely exhibited, with recent exhibits at the Brooklyn Museum of Art; Locks Gallery, Philadelphia; Lux Art, California; and PPOW, New York. She has won numerous awards for her works including a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her work is featured in prestigious museum collections nationally.

Amber Ginsburg
Amber Ginsburg creates site-generated projects that insert historical scenarios into present-day situations and engages present-day histories to imagine alternative futures. Her background in craft orients her projects towards the continuities and ruptures in material, social, and utopic histories. While always interested in history, more recently Ginsburg is drawn to imagined futures. Looking to feminist strategies, including collective action and equity politics, she works with long-term and ongoing collaborators to engage multiple communities, creating large-scale sculptural forms that allow audiences a role in thinking through the work. Following specific material lineages—be it a tree species, porcelain, or wool—she maps our varied and porous relationships. Working in concert with objects, she is interested in how materials can extend and reframe our thinking to include the politics of complexity. Ginsburg teaches in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago and shows extensively locally, nationally, and internationally.

Kris Grey
Kris Grey is a New York City-based gender-queer artist whose cultural work includes curatorial projects, performance, writing, and studio production. Grey earned a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, and an MFA from Ohio University, Athens. They perform, teach, and exhibit work internationally. Grey was a Fire Island Artist Residency recipient; a resident artist for the ANTI Festival for Contemporary Art in Kupoio, Finland; and a teaching artist at The International Centre for Training in the Performing Arts in Brussels, Belgium. In addition to their individual practice, Grey collaborates with Maya Ciarrocchi under the moniker Gender/Power. Gender/Power has been awarded a Baryshnikov Art Center residency, a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council residency, a Franklin Furnace grant, and a MAP Fund Grant. Recent curatorial projects include Queer Objectivity at the University of Maryland, MIX NYC Experimental Film and Performance Festival, and the Queer Culture Performance and Lecture Series at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Grey’s writing has been published in print and on the web for Huffington Post and Original Plumbing. Their latest writing, “Trans*feminism: fragmenting and re-reading the history of art through a trans* perspective,” written in collaboration with Jennie Klein, was published in Otherwise: Imagining Queer Feminist Art Histories.

Ryan W. Kelly
Ryan W. Kelly holds a BFA in Ceramics from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from The Ohio State University. His work ranges from performance and video, to object-based installations. He draws inspiration from American mythology, historical inaccuracies, and the curious storytelling that finds its way into our material culture and decorative arts. He celebrates the myopic strangeness often preserved in our souvenirs, monuments and commemorations. Kelly was hired in fall 2016 by Western Washington University, Bellingham to head their ceramics program. Previously he was a visiting professor at The Ohio State University in Ceramics and Foundations. Prior to that he lived and worked in Philadelphia, where he was a resident artist at The Clay Studio, a recipient of an Independence Foundation Fellowship, and a co-curator at Practice Gallery. His collaborations in dance and theater include credits in the Green Porno series by Isabella Rossellini.

Virtual Tour

Related Events

These events are free and open to the public.

Amber Ginsburg — In Favor of a Future: a workshop on the Declaration of Sentiments 1848 – 2020
Hosting this presentation remotely, artist and educator Amber Ginsburg will lead a workshop surrounding themes of sentiment and voting politics from the successes and failures of Seneca Falls to our current Zoom rooms.

X11: Thursday, September 24, 6 pm CT

Citizenry & Art in Today’s Society Panel Discussion
Join us remotely to observe a panel discussion moderated by VOTE! curator David East as he raises questions surrounding art in our changing environment and the role of civic engagement. The aim of the panel is to further explore the context in which these works operate, within the artist’s life, within the exhibition, and how they work together. Participating in this discussion will be exhibition artists Amber Ginsburg, Kris Grey, Ann Agee, and Ryan W. Kelly. The panel will take your questions to create the opportunity for dialogue and exchange.

X12: Thursday, October 8, 6 pm CT

Gender/Power Workshop with Maya Ciarrocchi & Kris Grey
Spots are limited, and participants will be chosen on a first come, first served basis.

Exploring the myriad ways that authority reinforces gender injustice, this two-day interactive and conversation-based workshop will meet remotely with artists Maya Ciarrocchi and Kris Grey. Drawing from shared stories centered around experiences of privilege or discrimination based on people’s perceptions of our bodies, the experiential workshop will map recurring themes to translate into gestures and a composition of movement.

X15: Thursday and Friday, October 29 & 30, 5:30 – 8:30 pm CT

Voter Registration
NCC partners with the Minneapolis League of Women Voters to host several voter registration events throughout the fall, both at NCC and throughout the community. The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in all levels of government. LWV has a 100-year history of striving to make democracy work for all citizens. Its roots are in the suffragist movement, but it quickly moved toward taking on the issues of the day—always in a non-partisan framework supported by volunteers.

Located outside of NCC, stop by to speak with the Minneapolis League of Women Voters on:

  • Saturday, September 19, 10 am – 6pm
  • Sunday, September 20, 12 – 4 pm
  • Friday, October 9, 4 – 8 pm
  • Saturday, October 10, 12 – 4 pm
  • Tuesday, October 13, 10 am – 6 pm