NCECA Philadelphia was a great week for me. I was able to spend the whole day Wednesday talking to representatives of schools and exhibitors. I got much needed feeback on my work, talked about how one goes about deciding what kind of graduate school is best for them, how to negotiate being both a potter and an installation artist, and how to go about starting on one's first wood kiln.
Thursday and Friday I spent steeped in lectures, taking breaks only to eat at the Basic 4 Vegetarian at Reading Market across from the conference center. I learned about the sloppy mud movement and the machine-aided-design being used in contemporary ceramic art. This is a duality that exists in contemporary ceramics art practice and is being discussed by critics and practitioners.
I went to all the wood fire lectures and discussion sessions, and from these emerged the image of a strengthening community of wood firing artists. Every lecture and discussion was well attended. The last topical discussion late on Friday afternoon was a room packed with people sitting on the floor where there was space, and standing, leaning up against walls where they could.
This is a special moment in art history, ceramics and glass fine artists are collaborating on wood-firing their works in the same kiln. In addition, wood firing has proven to be one of the most green, sustainable systems available to artists who must heat their work to molten temperatures. This brings joy to the hearts of every artist and appreciator of art who realizes the true value in the "green" living fad.
Saturday I visited the Reading Market one last time, as a tourist with my camera, to capture the cheerful, colorful images there. The airport shuttle on a bright sunny day was a relaxing conclusion to my NCECA trip to Philadelphia; some impromptu sight-seeing aboard the shuttle van, including LOVE Park, completed our trip.