Minnesota New Institute for Ceramic Education

Minnesota New Institute for Ceramic Education

Minnesota New Institute for Ceramic Education

Now entering its seventh year, MN NICE is a rigorous program developed in collaboration with Program Head Ursula Hargens. MN NICE provides personalized professional development for artists who are serious about taking the next step in their ceramic evolution. The program is designed to respond to the changing needs of emerging makers with high-level training and mentorship in ceramic materials, history and theory, and professional practice. Through innovative instruction and individual mentorship, artists build skills, knowledge, and insight.

MN NICE includes weekly intensives as well as artist lectures, gallery tours, and studio visits with established artists to take advantage of the rich ceramic resources throughout the Twin Cities. The program strives to support emerging artists both artistically and professionally.

MN NICE participants meet with Affiliated Artists for individual studio visits. Affiliated Artists are also involved in various capacities throughout the year, serving as guest critics, providing studio tours, lecturing on material science, and demonstrating. Participating Affiliate Artists include: Linda Christianson, Joel Froehle, Mike Helke, Kate Maury, Emily Murphy Bicking, Heather Nameth Bren, S.C. Rolf, and Todd Shanafelt

Participants have contact with many visiting artists through NCC’s McKnight Ceramic Artist Residency and exhibitions programs. Visiting artists are often available to meet individually or can present to the larger group. Past visitors have included: Claudia Alvarez, Derek Au, Jessica BrandlJoan BruneauPattie ChalmersKathryn FinnertyRebecca HutchinsonEva Kwong, Forrest Lesch-Middelton, Rory MacDonaldPeter MorganAmy SantoferraroAndy Shaw, and Bobby Silverman. 


The program consists of three 8-week blocks, beginning in September and ending in May. During each block, the group meets for weekly seminars and visits to museums, galleries, artist studios, and lectures. Throughout the year, participants have individual coaching sessions with leading professionals in the field, helping them to focus their research and development of work. The program culminates with the submission of a portfolio and a group exhibition in NCC’s Emily Galusha Gallery.

MN NICE Alumni

Clarice Allgood

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

Andrew Rivera

Pottery Museum of Red Wing Award 2022 MN NICE Alum 2018