Conversations in Clay Jurors

The 2015 NMPCA Celebration of Clay all-member exhibition has merited several posts on this newsletter. The theme is Conversations in Clay and the exhibit will be located at the Fuller Lodge Art Center (FLAC) in Los Alamos, New Mexico.  The dates of the exhibit are from August 14 to September 19, 2015.  See the Celebration of Clay website.

With this post we announce the award jurors for the show.  These three outstanding individuals will decide which of the pieces that members submit to the show will merit special recognition with an award.   The awards to be given are Best of Show, $250, 3 Awards of Merit, $50 each, and the UNM Arita Porcelain Department award for Beauty, Quality and Functionality, $100.  Award winners will be announced at the opening reception on August 14.

The three jurors are:

  • Ken Nebel, Director, Fuller Lodge Art Center
  • Monika Kaden, Sculptor, Santa Fe
  • Debra Fritts, Sculptor, Abiquiu

Here is an introduction to the jurors.

Ken Nebel

Ken Ken Nebel PortraitNebel is a long time Los Alamos resident who has the great good fortune at the age of 31 to say that he has been working at the Fuller Lodge Art Center for over half his life. Ken holds a BFA with an emphasis in Illustration and a Minor in Art History, and continues to pursue his craft through ongoing studies in a variety of media and an active creative life. Ken’s life long passion for sharing art with his community makes owning Village Arts, the local framing and art supply store, directing the Fuller Lodge Art Center, and facilitating the Los Alamos Life Drawing Group a natural fit.

Monika Kaden

MonikaKaden_PortraitwWorkMonika grew up in the former East Germany, where she trained with a strict classical Eastern European arts education. In 1988, before the Berlin Wall came down, she escaped with her two sons to Holland and found her way to the U.S. She studied first at The Gerrit Rietfeld Academy in Amsterdam/Holland and at Alfred University in Alfred, New York, where she received her Master of Fine Arts degree.

When Monika was selected as Artist in Residence in 2000 by The Santa Fe Art Institute, she had no idea how it would impact her life.
Once she was immersed in the rich culture, history, and landscape of New Mexico, she realized she had found her own sense of place.

Her unique, classic contemporary style is a mirror of her diverse experiences and was further developed in New Mexico with inspiration from the round, earth-connected forms of Native American Culture and the festive, colorful Hispanic Culture.

Kaden’s art exhibit the freedom and joy that Monika felt while creating artwork in the open environment of New Mexico. Here,
integrated into the multicultural communities of Northern New Mexico, she is filled with joy as she creates art with no limitations, no
boundaries, and no barriers.

Debra Fritts

DebraFrittsPortrait2wWorkDebra Fritts is a studio artist working in Abiquiu, New Mexico.  She received her undergraduate degree in Art Education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and continued graduate studies in ceramic sculpture, painting and printmaking.  Debra  conducts master classes and workshops nationally.

Debra enjoys national recognition for her work in ceramic sculpture through invitational exhibitions and awards, museum exhibitions, gallery representation, private collections and publications.  Her sculptures were included in “Form and Imagination”, honoring women ceramic sculptors at the American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, California and in the permanent collection at the Fuller Museum in Massachusetts and in the Georgia Artist Collection at Georgia Southern University.  Debra’s sculptures have been displayed at SOFA Chicago, SOFA New York, and Palm Beach 3 along with gallery presentation throughout the U.S. Her one of a kind sculptures are hand-built and multiple fired with a painterly glazed surface.  The work is a continuous story of awareness and the celebration of daily living.

The NMPCA is particularly fortunate with these three people who are not only jurors but are participants in the NMPCA community.  Ken has been a long-time friend of our members, inviting us to participate in shows at FLAC.  The FLAC has an excellent ceramic art studio with classes.

Monika has taught classes at the FLAC that members have enjoyed and she will be joining us at the Spring 2015 V-Camp at Ghost Ranch to help maintain Pot Hollow.  We look forward to getting to know her better.

Debra has been a member of the NMPCA shortly after she moved to Abiquiu from North Carolina and will be the presenter at our annual 2015 Ghost Ranch workshop in September.   Members enjoyed her short presentation at a past NMPCA New Mexico Connections workshop.

Members:  Don’t forget the deadline to submit your entry to the Celebration of Clay is July 14, 2015.  Find out all the details and register your entry at

One additional award, the People’s Choice Award, will be announced at the end of the show and is awarded to the piece that receives the most votes from the public through the internet and in-person voting.


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