Director’s Report

As we near the end of another calendar year, we are provided with the opportunity to pause and reflect on both successes and areas for growth from the past year. I am excited for all we have in store at NCC in 2023. Whether it be new endeavors and experiences for the Center, or the continuation of efforts to expand programs and accessibility—there is a great deal for all of us at Northern Clay Center to plan for in the year to come.

In the exhibition galleries, we have an exciting roster of 12 exhibitions, beginning with Emerging Artist Grant Recipients, opening the second week in January. In the spring, we’ll have a pairing of exhibitions curated by Courtney M. Leonard. These exhibitions will include works that will be created during workshops lead by Leonard at local youth program sites. Continuing through the year, NCC will produce familiar exhibitions such as Seven McKnight Artists and our 25th Annual American Pottery Festival with new artists in each. In the Sales Gallery, we will continue to represent over 80 local, national, and international makers of functional, sculptural, and wearable works. More artists will join our roster through our biennial sales gallery jury process that will take place in summer.

We are excited to continue the great success of the Peter Leach Scholarship Fund, and hope to provide ever-increasing access to classes in the Adult Education program for BIPOC individuals and individuals experiencing financial hardship. In 2022, nearly 60 individuals took advantage of this program. In the year ahead, we plan to expand this program to build on our efforts. Beyond the scholarship program, we will further expand our studio monitor program to include a more robust mentorship program and to provide more opportunities for our community to be involved with the space within which they work. Our outreach programs will continue to bring clay experiences to those that can’t travel by facilitating onsite opportunities with youth, aging adults, and school programs.

In the Studio Program, we are excited to bring new voices, techniques, and backgrounds to the space to build and strengthen our community. The Activity Measures requirements for studio artists will expand further to encourage action and an attitude of rigor, curiosity, and dialogue. NCC is proud to offer equipment and facilities at accessible costs to artists ranging from early career to experienced and long-term studio holders to resident and visiting artists.

There are numerous familiar names and faces working at NCC to facilitate programming and continue the advancement of the Center’s mission. Alongside those that have been at NCC for a while, we are excited to introduce a number of new additions to the team that will propel us forward through the year ahead. During the latter portion of 2022, we welcomed the following individuals to the team in their new roles:

  • Abigail Cooper, Building Maintenance Technician
  • Sean Lofton, Artist Services Coordinator
  • Claire Miller, Education Manager
  • Sarah Millfelt, Community Engagement Manager
  • Katie Reeves, Outreach Technician
  • Iris Smith, Digital Content, Communication, and Registration Specialist

Throughout the entire year ahead, we will continue to provide the best programming and experiences possible while continuing the our mission to advance the ceramic arts for artists, learners, and the community, through education, exhibitions, and artist services. We thank you for being a part of the community at NCC, and for being a driving force behind all that we do for everyone in the field.

Kyle Rudy-Kohlhepp
Executive Director