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Ohio Northern Faculty and Students Attend National Ceramic Conference

NCECA 2010 Conference
Ohio Northern University’s ceramic faculty and students joined teachers, professors, alumni, artists, professionals and other students March 31–April 3 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for “Independence,” the 2010 professional conference organized by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts.

NCECA 2010: Independence, celebrates the individual and the choices he/she makes. The conference explores a variety of independent spirits of traditionalists and groundbreakers. Theme sessions investigate the necessity to tear down existing walls, to explore new ideas and to create work that pushes conventional understanding of one medium. Other themes examine the necessity to maintain tradition, to be bound loosely by historical precedent and function.

The 44th annual conference is hosted and co-produced by The Clay Studio, Philadelphia’s premier ceramics organization. In addition to The Clay Studio, over 80 galleries, alternative spaces, and museums throughout Philadelphia and the nearby suburbs mount refined and meaningful ceramic art exhibitions to coincide with the conference. Participants have the opportunity to attend live demonstrations, international, graduate student and K-12 image forums, and video screening projects related to the ceramic arts. The ceramic exhibitions celebrate the incredible diversity of the material, focusing on functional objects and tableware, sculpture, installation and performance.

Most of the main staged lectures and other events are presented at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. This year, the conference is expected to draw a group of 5,000 + artists, educators, curators and collectors from across the United States and 50 countries. Sessions this year focus in six tracks dealing with the concept of independence:

• aesthetics and critical theory: concepts of beauty and value, art attitudes, theory, content, goals and standards.

• art history: traditional and non-traditional artists and movements, styles, and surveys of regional, national and international art in clay.

• education: traditional and non-traditional curricula, goals, standards, methods and ideologies.

• professionalism: working standards, goals, methods and attitudes, and/or the professional working relationships of guilds, co-ops and other ceramic centers.

• technology: traditional and non-traditional materials, processes, kilns, equipment, innovations and theory.

• new work: artist 30 years and older who have been working professionally for at least five years since completing their training present 15-minute visual lectures about their body of work from the last three years.

Also this year, ceramic professor Luke Sheets was selected to take part in “The Student Critique Room.” This event gives collegiate students an opportunity to discuss images of their work one on one with professional artists from around the country. It is also a great opportunity for students to network and gain a new perspective on their work.

Prof. Sheets is an assistant professor in ceramics and director of the 3D program at Ohio Northern University. He earned his BFA from Ohio Northern University and his MFA from Bowling Green State University. His work has been accepted into many national competitions including the Majestic Galleries’ National Juried Competition 2009, the “Drink: Functional Forms for Every Libation” international competition, the 8th Annual National Juried Cup Show and the 6th Annual “It’s Only Clay” National Exhibition. In 2005, he had work included in “500 Cups: Ceramic Explorations of Utility and Grace,” a book published by Lark Books. Prof. At ONU, Sheets is the adviser to the Kappa Pi art honorary and is responsible for the three-dimensional program in the department of art & design.

NCECA, a professional association for the ceramic arts, promotes and advances the field through education, community building, research and creative inspiration.  NCECA offers educational programs, exhibitions, events and publications to support its membership of artists, educators, students, individual and corporate patrons, gallery owners, museum curators and providers of ceramic arts.

Ohio Northern offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the second edition of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2009-10 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.