NCECA Conference inspires Galleries, Artists
Providence began preparing for the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Conference two years ago, winning the coveted role of host with the proposed title “Lively Experiments.” Over 5,000 people will be visiting Providence from March 25-28 for the NCECA Conference, based at the Rhode Island Convention Center.
Myriad exhibitions are scheduled throughout the city — and beyond — during March and April to coordinate with this dynamic event, offering collectors and art enthusiasts a view of innovation that explores clay works by masters and emerging talents, large and small, fine art and functional. Participating venues have crystallized efforts into a massively tiered set of exhibitions that includes those directly sponsored by NCECA, like the Pop-up “2015 NCECA Biennial” at Bell Gallery at Brown University (through March 29).
A string of exhibitions with NCECA affiliation will highlight locally sourced talent for added dimension, including free-floating options like “Pow! Pots on Wheels,” which will roll up to the Providence Convention Center like a food truck — only selling ceramics. Some shows will have global inflection, and the overall angle of “Lively Experiments” is about emphasizing conceptual and process frontiers while showcasing integrative methods and reasoning. The conference will be a smorgasbord of layered information centered on material experimentation and enriching content.
The gritty Zeitgeist of Providence includes a printmaking culture. “Providence Prints,” at AS220’s 115 Empire Street location from March 7–28, is a group show that in addition to 2-D works incorporates transfer printing on ceramics by David Allyn and Nidal Fakhouri, while Ashwani Bhat’s clay vocabulary is paired with Sharbani Das Gupta at its 95 Empire Street Psychic Annex/Aborn Gallery from March 24–28. AS220’s Project Space and Reading Room on Mathewson Street has installations with ceramics involved in both galleries with the “Potters for Peace Silent Auction” in the Reading Room from March 24-28.
Within walking distance from the Convention Center, the URI Providence Campus Arts and Culture Program (which you enter from the corner of Westminster and Union Streets) presents “Honoring Harriet Brisson: Ceramicist, Mentor and Friend,” curated by Steven Pennell, from March 2–28. Pennell said Brisson’s renowned 60-year career in fine arts — in ceramics and a variety of innovative media — featured work firmly rooted in mathematics, geometry and science, especially chemistry.