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nceca, why?

updated fri 24 oct 97


Mel Jacobson on wed 15 oct 97

as a group of craftspeople we could probably not find an instance that
nceca has
made us better potters or teachers. we could bump along by ourselves, not
belong, and we would be fine. BUT:

to belong to an organization that promotes ceramics, teaching of quality, and
the development of the ceramic arts is vital in a time of negative, back
bitching, and the general destruction of the arts, and art education.

i belong to the NEA, NRA, and NCECA....(note all of the initials) and am
proud of each.

if for no other reason, i go to the convention, in different cities, meet
people that share my interests, and see what is going on in my profession.

i pay my own way. pay my own dues. and am very happy to do so.

i feel that being a part of something, just like clayart, gives me a focus
carry on. it forces me to explore deeper, and share what i have with others.

it really is `us`...not them. and one thing for sure, nceca is opening
up for
a broader spectrum of clay people.....not `just` college profs anymore.
it is for
us, by us. and that is a good thing.

do you realize that as a high school pottery teacher, 15 years ago, i did not
feel very welcome at nceca. now i feel that i am a part of a great
that is a change.

and last ,but not least, where else can you meet the `sigilata sisters`.

mel in minnesota. almost winter last night.....snow in central minnesota.
wow, didn't we just get done with that.?

Vince Pitelka on thu 16 oct 97

Has NCECA made me a better teacher?? Of course it has. I cannot imagine an
educator (or artist) attending NCECA and not coming away inspired and
energized. The concentrated intake of technical and aesthetic information,
the exchange of ideas and approaches with other teachers from all over the
country and the world, the relationships formed which facilitate cooperation
between teachers and schools throughout the year, the opportunity to view a
great deal of ceramic work displayed in a variety of venues, etc. etc. etc.
- all of these things are invaluable for teachers and artists at all levels,
and there is no other forum like NCECA where such a melting pot of ceramic
artists and educators comes together. I have been to the last three NCECAs,
and to a scattering of them before that time. I hope not to miss a single
one in the future.

As you can tell, there are MANY people on this list who are not university
educators who regularly attend NCECA conferences. They get a great deal out
of it, and the gathering is more vital and productive for their
participation. Mel is right. The organization has changed considerably
over the years, and is now receptive to anyone who is seriously interested
in the teaching and learning of high quality ceramics. Hope to see LOTS of
you there.
- Vince

Vince Pitelka -
Home 615/597-5376, work 615/597-6801, fax 615/597-6803
Appalachian Center for Crafts
Tennessee Technological University
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166

VICTOR JOHNSTON on thu 16 oct 97

I have no idea how to go about joining any of these groups or
what it costs. could someone send me some info?

I agree with Mel on the importance of joining together. I also see
it as a way to learn and share. If we lift each other, we all
become better.

Matthew Benacquista on sat 18 oct 97

Hi, Clayarters. My computer is in the shop so I am using my husband's
NCECA has been a treasured experience yearly since 1973. I have missed two
since then because I was out of the country. I rely on seeing what's new in
clay, what new materials and techniques are out there.
I love seeing my friends in the field and enjoy chatting over beers
or "ditches" (Montana Ditches= whiskey and water).
There is no other art media that I know of which offers the type of comraderie
I feel when I am with all those clay people. NCECA also offers the type of
network which we enjoy here on Clayart except it is
more directly "pressing the flesh" especially at those Saturday night dances
(I am too old for those anyway).
Any College/University teacher who has gone to CAA can attest there is a
vastly different atmosphere.
There will always be "in crowds" which I suspect are merely people more
closely connected and not even aware of excluding others. But NCECA is well
worth the experience. I always try to bring students whenever possible. They
also are amazed at the numbers of clay people who attend.
Keep in mind we live in the largest city in Montana. . roughly 100,000
in a huge state with less than 1,000,000. I think if you are a clay person and
especially if you work alone in a studio, NCECA offers
a great opportunity to meet people and exchange valuable information, get free
advise or give it or meet people who have experienced similar technical
problems etc.. And it is really great to see all those exhibitons of ideas by
so many.
See you in Texas (never been to Texas, but I went to Tempe 1991)
Marcia in Montana

Matt Benacquista