Tour de Clay

The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) is bringing its annual conference to Baltimore this year, and Baltimore Clayworks, a non-profit ceramic arts center, has organized a coordinating event: Tour de Clay.

Tour de Clay brings 878 artists and 160 exhibitions in 123 venues to Baltimore and surrounding areas, including Annapolis, showcasing all varieties of artistic expression in clay. The Kick-Off Reception will be held February 19 at Baltimore Clayworks, where Gov. and Mrs. Ehrlich will declare March 3-5 Clay Days for Maryland. During those days, various venues throughout the state will have "clay stations" where the public can view clay demonstrations and make their own art out of clay. On March 6, participating galleries in Annapolis, including McBride Gallery, Annapolis Pottery, and Maryland Hall will hold receptions for their events.

In addition to the Annapolis locations, another nearby site to view Tour de Clay exhibits is at the two Anne Arundel Community College art galleries at 101 College Parkway in Arnold. AACC's two Tour de Clay exhibits, "Norwegian Clay" and "Ceramic Currents: Program in Artisanry 1975-2003," are free and are open at special exhibit times, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays and noon-4 p.m. weekends. "Norwegian Clay" is in the Cade Center for Fine Arts Gallery March 1-18, 28-31. "Ceramic Currents" is in the Pascal Center for Performing Arts Gallery March 1-19.

"Norwegian Clay" showcases 10 young, new-generation artists from Norway. The exhibit, originally shown as part of the Oslo International Ceramics Symposium 2003, is curated by Ronald Andrew Kuchta, editor of American Ceramics magazine. Ole Lislerud, artist and professor of art at the National Academy of Art and Design in Oslo, Norway, will give a gallery talk about the exhibit at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, at the Cade Center for Fine Arts Gallery. A President's Reception honoring the artists is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, at the gallery.

"Ceramic Currents" features a survey of work from 22 faculty and alumni at University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. Sponsored by the National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts in conjunction with its annual convention, March 16-19 in Baltimore, the show is curated by James Lawton, professor of art at the university. He will give a gallery talk at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, at the Pascal Center for Performing Arts Gallery. A reception for the artists is from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 17, at that gallery.

The NSECA Conference will run March 16-19 at the Baltimore Convention Center, and will feature demonstrations, panel discussions, slide lectures, commercial and non-profit exhibitors and bus tours of the top exhibitions. The grand finale will be the Tour de Clay Challenge, where interested participants can sign up to bike to as many venues as possible.

About eighty percent of all exhibitions will open February 19, and the 300-400 pedestals which will show off each piece are being constructed by students in The Living Classrooms Foundations' Fresh Start program in Baltimore and Cedar Ridge School in Hagerstown.

Attendees of the NCECA Conference can purchase a 4-day Light Rail Pass for $5, and bus tours will be available, including one to Annapolis. At the NCECA website,, tickets for various events can be purchased, including the Collector's Weekend: a one-price ticket that includes full conference registration, bus tours with brunches and lunches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, dinner with famous artists at Harbour Court on Friday night and a ticket to Fete '05, the NCECA fundraising auction.

For more information, visit Baltimore Clayworks on the web at, or call 410-578-1919.

The college sites are also stops on the NCECA bus tours of regional exhibits.

For information about the AACC exhibits, call 410-777-7495. Call disability support services, 410-777-2307 or Maryland Relay 711, at least 72 hours in advance if you or someone in your group needs special accommodations.


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