Every two years we ceramic artists get the opportunity to enter what is arguably the biggest ceramic exhibition held in our state. This year’s iteration was “From the Ground Up XXIX.” This show is held in Las Cruces at the Museum of Art in conjunction with the Las Cruces Potter’s Guild. While this show is held in New Mexico, it’s a regional show and is open to all ceramic artists that reside in the Mountain Time Zone. The fact that it’s held every other year also adds to its status.
The juror for the “From the Ground Up” shows are also recognized artists. This year’s juror was Naomi Clement. She is a young Canadian artist and educator who explores ideas of home and belonging through functional ceramics. She received her MFA from Louisiana State University in 2017, and her B.F.A from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design University in 2003. Naomi has participated in residencies, given lectures and workshops, and exhibited her work across Canada and the United States. She recently served as a board member for the National Council on the Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) and was named a 2017 Emerging Artist by Ceramics Monthly magazine.
The exhibition opened Friday, August 2, and will run through Saturday, October 19. This show featured over 60 pieces by 38 regional artists, including 5 members of the NMPCA: Jan Archey, Jacquita Beddo, Sara D’Alessandra, Hebe Garcia, Judy Nelson-Moore, and Margarita Paz-Pedro.
As a tribute to a long time member of the Las Cruces Potter’s Guild that passed away recently, the “Best in Show” award was changed to the “Cindy Waddell Excellence in Ceramics” award and was taken by a piece called “Desert Dance” by Suzanne Kane of Las Cruces, NM. First place went to “Akin” by Stephanie Seguin of Carbondale, CO. Second place was awarded to “Certain Knowledge” by Vincent Burke of El Paso, Texas. Third Place went to “Conversationes en Silencio IV” by Hebe Garcia, one of our own. Honorable Mention went to “Rabbit Ruminations” by Jacquita Beddo, also a member of the NMPCA. Honorable Mentions also went to “Genevra” by Caroline Brooke of Roswell, and “Expectations, Desires and Responsibilities” by Dina Edens-Perlaxca of El Paso, TX. The Functional award went to “3 Sided Jar” by Adam LeFebvre of Ogden, UT. The “Aaron Gara” award was taken by “Blue & Red Mug with Yellow Liner” by Sarah DeBerry of Austin, TX.
Once again the NMPCA made a good showing and I think it speaks to the quality of the artists involved with this organization that out of the 38 artists that got through the jury process 5 of them were members of the NMPCA. Then out of 60 or so pieces in the show 2 of the awards went to NMPCA members. I was intrigued further by the fact that both of those artists were from the tiny little village of Abiquiu.