NMPCA President’s Letter 2019
This has been an exciting year. Here is a summary of what has taken place with the New Mexico Potters and Clay Artists in 2019 and some ideas for the coming year.
We had a few moments of doubt as far as our long-standing relationship with Ghost Ranch, but Barbara Campbell has led us through what we feared was going to be a crisis. We now have a mutual understanding that confirms a positive relationship. We signed an advantageous agreement with the Ghost Ranch that can be renewed each year.
Many Hands, Many Ways, the 2019 Celebration of Clay was held at the renown Santa Fe Clay. Not only did we have a stunning show, but we also had a record turnout at the opening reception. We set a record for Celebration of Clay and also for Santa Fe Clay; they said they had never had that kind of turn out for any show held there previously.
We’ve also never had a show fill up so quickly, once we opened registration the show was full within a few weeks. In the past most people signed up at the last minute which happens not only with Celebration of Clay but is a standard for most exhibitions. For Many Hands, Many Ways we launched our first Instagram campaign, which seemed to boost our attendance and recognition of both the show and the artists that were represented.
We were contacted by Fuller Lodge Art Center with a request to apply for them to host the 2020 Celebration of Clay and have secured that venue in Los Alamos. The exhibition is set for May 2nd – June 20th. No decisions yet on a theme or title yet but we know this group will put on another beautiful show.
The virtual studio tour, www.claystudiotour.com, is an ongoing success and roughly one third of our membership maintains a page on the site. If you have not taken advantage of this opportunity let me encourage you to do so. I’m personally NOT good at keeping my own artist’s website up to date but for only $15 a year above my basic membership allows me a second presence on the web that I don’t have to maintain. I highly recommend it!
May 17th through the 19th a lot was accomplished at V-Camp this year. We had a small but wonderful group of volunteers. A special thanks to those who helped this year: Barbara Campbell, Judy Nelson-Moore, Luisa Baldinger, Cirrelda Snyder-Bryan, JB Bryan, Daisy Kates, Michael Thornton, Joe Bova, Penne and Jack Roberts, David Canfield and his sister Diane Bywaters. A new name was chosen for the studio on the ranch; Piñon Pottery. Among the accomplishments was a final coat of plaster added to the fume kiln. You may hear more about that from Barbara Campbell, who is and has been for many years the liaison between us and Ghost Ranch.
Still to come in this calendar year we look forward to our fall workshop which will be held over Labor Day weekend which adds a bit more time than we are usually able to have at Ghost Ranch. The workshop title is Seng Beh, (which is Tewa for cooking pots) and we will be cooking up a lot of things about pots from Aug 30th – Sept 2nd. The presenters are three generations of Santa Clara potters: Jody Folwell, Susan Folwell, and Kaa Folwell. This should be a very special workshop with a rare opportunity to work alongside these wonderfully generous Santa Clara potters. Don’t miss it!
We also have continued our practice to offer a student scholarship to someone who would not be able to attend the workshop without financial assistance.
Opportunities going forward:
We have the possibility of 2 additional annual or biannual shows. The first is related to last year’s Celebration of Clay in Taos, where there was an art walk with 4 participating galleries. The galleries organized a show they called May Means Clay in Taos. They ran the show this year without our help but would like us to partner with them and keep this as an annual show. Santa Fe Clay has also approached us about partnering with them for an ongoing Many Hands, Many Ways exhibition. If we decide to take them up on this offer, we think this should be a biannual show occurring every two years.
These two new exhibition opportunities are only possible if we have more members volunteer to help. Unless people step up to serve on the show committees we will have to turn down these opportunities.
The Armstrong Grant needs some new champions. For several years, Penne Roberts and Daisy Kates have reviewed the applications, visited the applicants, submitted the recommendations to the board and facilitated the disbursements. They even forwarded the thanks and reminded the recipients to acknowledge the NMPCA in their interactions with us and their clients. While they have relayed that this was a labor of love, their time as guardians of the grant needs to come to an end. We need at least two people to form a team that will take on this task.
We continue to be open to new ideas from the entire membership and solicit feedback on what activities we are doing now.
June 6, 2019