Announcing the 2023 Early Career Artist Award Recipients

Each year, artists from around the country apply for the Early Career Artist Residency (ECAR) Awards at Northern Clay Center. These awards allow a group of emerging professionals to maintain the momentum they have developed through their formal and informal education and artistic experiences, while challenging themselves to continue developing their work so they are able to forge their way in the world as artists.  

Northern Clay Center remains proud to offer, and continue developing, the ECAR Awards to contribute to the advancement of the field of ceramic art by providing formative opportunities for makers who are early in their careers. NCC’s programming is immeasurably enriched by the annual contributions of new and creative energy brought to our studio community by these early career artists. The 2023 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 mission to support artists at all stages of their careers.

Early Career Artist Residency Awards

ECAR Awards provide a furnished studio for one year with 24/7-hour access, a material and firing stipend, a group exhibition in January of 2025, employment and professional development opportunities, features in NCC’s sales gallery, and other opportunities. The BIPOC Studio Fellowship provides additional support to the awardee including the development of networking opportunities in the field, help arranging mentorship opportunities, and financial support to help offset the cost of living for the artist. This year, the panel of three jurors awarded the Anonymous Artist Studio Fellowships to both E.C. Comstock (Boise, Idaho) and Harry Malesovas (Woodfin, North Carolina), the BIPOC Studio Fellowship to Akshar Patel (Tallahassee, Florida), and the Fogelberg Studio Fellowship to Carley Holzem (Mosinee, Wisconsin).

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 2023 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:

Pottery Museum of Red Wing Award

This award is made possible by the Pottery Museum of Red Wing, and is presented by Northern Clay Center to a deserving individual pursuing a career in pottery, or studying the historical aspects of the pottery industry. The Museum 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 recipients can be found on display within the collection of the museum which has no admission fee.

About the Awardee:

Clarice Allgood

Teaching Artist; Studio Program; Pottery Museum of Red Wing Award 2023; Fogelberg Fellow 2020; MN NICE Alum 2019

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 program, 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 2023 to May 2024. Through this year’s selection process, one recipient was selected to have their proposal funded.

About the Awardee:

The panel was overwhelmed by the number and quality of the applications that were received. All of these portfolios demonstrated a sense of creativity that extends beyond the traditional paths of research. The panel was interested in supporting emerging voices that would amplify overlooked perspectives in the field and applications which demonstrated a thirst for growth in the community of artists at NCC. Even with these guideposts, they found their decisions incredibly difficult to make with so many strongly-qualified applicants.  

About the Jurors:

Please watch our website and our winter newsletter for future application deadlines. If you would like to host a presentation on our grant programs at your school or institution, or if you have individual questions about the programs, please contact Sean Lofton at  

Lastly, we would like to offer a special thank you to all of the 2023 applicants. Your interest in NCC’s grant programs and your applications help to keep our arts economy strong by demonstrating the exceptional talent and diversity present among early career ceramic artists entering this wonderful field.