Announcing the 2022 Emerging Artist Award Recipients

Each year, early-career ceramic artists apply for Emerging Artist Awards at Northern Clay Center with a drive to continue the momentum they have gained through formal and informal education and experiences. Each of them hopes to challenge themselves and their work and to forge their way in the world as an artist. 

Northern Clay Center remains proud to offer, and continue developing, these Emerging Artist Awards to continue the advancement of the field by providing opportunities for early-career makers. NCC’s programming is immeasurably enriched by the annual contributions of new and creative energy entering the community. The spring 2021 award recipients include artists from the full spectrum of contemporary ceramic arts. NCC is proud to support and highlight these six recipients as part of our drive to support artists at all stages of their careers. 

Emerging Artist Residency Awards

Emerging Artist Residency (EAR) Awards provide a furnished studio space for one year with 24/7 access, a materials and firing stipend, a group exhibition in January/February 2024, employment opportunities, features in our Sales Gallery, and other opportunities. Announced for its first grant season at NCC in 2022, the BIPOC Studio Fellowship provides additional support to build and attend networking opportunities in the field, to arrange mentorship and development opportunities, and to buttress the cost of living. This year, the panel of three jurors awarded the Anonymous Artist Studio Fellowships to both Johannah Cairns (Olathe, KS) and Sean Lofton (Jacksonville, FL), the BIPOC Studio Fellowship to Evelyn Rose Mtika (Philadelphia, PA), and the Fogelberg Studio Fellowship to Katie Reeves (Albertville, MN).

We are grateful to a variety of institutional and individual donors, including the secondary market sales through NCC’s Sales Gallery, for their support of these particular grant programs. These residents will join us at NCC in the fall of 2022 to being their year-long program with us in Minneapolis, MN. We are excited to see the exchange of ideas in the studios with the residency program crossing boundaries of generation, material, technique, and approach. 

About the Awardees:

Sean Lofton

NCC Staff Studio Program Anonymous Artist Fellow 2022

Pottery Museum of Red Wing Award

This award is made possible by the Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation, and is presented by Northern Clay Center to a deserving individual pursuing a career in pottery, or studying or researching the historical aspects of the pottery industry. The Foundation endeavors to broaden the appreciation of pottery, past and present, for the general public and maintains the Pottery Museum of Red Wing (@potterymuseumrw) in Red Wing, Minnesota. Work samples by past award recipients can be found on display within the collection of the museum which has no admission fee.

About the Awardee:

Andrew Rivera

Andrew Rivera

Pottery Museum of Red Wing Award 2022 MN NICE Alum 2018

Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award

Launched in 2014, the Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award honors the educational legacy of Warren MacKenzie. Recipients of the award can research new techniques or processes, study with a mentor or in an apprentice setting, visit other ceramic art centers or institutions for classes and workshops, collaborate with artists or other media, or travel. The grant period is 12 consecutive months, from June 2022 to May 2023. Through this years’ selection process, Eleanor Foy (Kansas City, MO) was selected to have her proposal funded for the year ahead.

About the Awardee:

This year’s selection panel was overwhelmed by the number and quality of applications which demonstrated a sense of imagination extending beyond the traditional paths of research. They were interested in supporting emerging voices that would amplify overlooked perspectives in the field and applications which demonstrated a thirst for growth and expansion within the community of makers at NCC. Even with these guideposts, they found their decision incredibly difficult to finalize with so many strongly qualified applicants in the pool.

The 2022 jurors for the Emerging Artist Residencies and the Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award were Eliza Au, Tom Hubbard, and Leandra Urrutia.

About the Jurors:

Congratulations to all of this year’s award recipients! Please watch our website and our winter 2023 newsletter for these and other application deadlines. If you would like to host a presentation on our grant programs at your school or institution, of if you have individual question about the programs, please reach out to Kyle Rudy-Kohlhepp at to schedule a conversation.

And a special thank you to all of the 2022 applicants – your interest in the grant programs and your applications help to keep our arts economy strong by demonstrating the great talent, need, and diversity within the work that is present in the field of ceramics.