Louis Katz on thu 5 apr 01
Yes, the ages at NCECA seem to be going down. At least, there are more student
members. THere has been a steady increase in the past several years.
Terry Sullivan on fri 6 apr 01
As Louis says there seems to be a higher percentage of the younger clay folks
at NCECA. That is a very good thing for sure. Means Clayart, NCECA, and the
whole ceramics scene will be bigger and healthier in the future.
Now here's the part where I'll most likely catch some flack but please
understand my thoughts are meant to be constructive and for the betterment of
all us ceramists and the public perception of our art / craft.
Though the usual mode of dress for many ceramists is jeans and a clean shirt:
many of the younger crowd shows up at the conference looking like they just
finished a day in the studio. Along with that, many of them think sitting on
the floor of the hotel lobby, in the walkways outside the bar, or wherever
and drinking a beer is acceptable. In some cases they would even bring their
own booze, even into the hotel bar. This was a major bone of contention at
the Las Vegas convention and was also quite visible at the Adams Mark in
Charlotte. I'm a fairly loose fellow but never thought this sort of
appearance and behavior was acceptable in the public areas of a good hotel.
It does "piss off" the hotel staff and certainly makes a bad impression that
reflects on us all.
My suggestion would be that instructors, and others, who encourage their
students to attend the conference, as well they should, also give a little
instruction on the minimum ediquet (both dress and behavior) when at such a
function. Without any strict dress "code" or such; it might be that the
NCECA registration and conference instructions might gently mention this
As a group, we clay folks are a very friendly and considerate bunch. Once the
hotel staff realizes that, they generally like us more than the "suit" types
who attend business conferences. Nonetheless; folks often remember the -1
% who abused what is considered the most basic common behavior and dress in
such a venue.
I know that to be a fact from interviewing many of the bar/restaurant staff
at Las Vegas after the conference. They don't ever want to see us again.
Charlotte seems to have a higher dress code than most cities we've been in.
The local culture. It might account for the amazingly bad service at the
Adams Mark and not much better at the Omni or , for that mater, the Hilton.
Either that or Charlotte Hotel bar/restaurant staffs have a rather uniformly
lousy attitude about service. The difference between service at private bars
and restaurants and at any of the three hotels I mentioned was striking.
Anyhow; just some thoughts backed by my own observations and quietly talking
to the hotel staff after the conferences.
Offered without meaning to step on toes or sound like the "dress police".
Yours, Terry Sullivan
L. P. Skeen on sat 7 apr 01
> As Louis says there seems to be a higher percentage of the younger clay
> at NCECA. That is a very good thing for sure. Means Clayart, NCECA, and
> whole ceramics scene will be bigger and healthier in the future.
> Though the usual mode of dress for many ceramists is jeans and a
> many of the younger crowd shows up at the conference looking like they
> finished a day in the studio. Along with that, many of them think sitting
> the floor of the hotel lobby, in the walkways outside the bar, or wherever
> and drinking a beer is acceptable. In some cases they would even bring
> own booze, even into the hotel bar
How weird is this, that I was just thinking about the same thing this
afternoon. It was actually a topic of conversation during the conference
between myself and another person or two.
I agree that professors should advise their students about proper dress and
behavior at such events; the students are not only representing themselves,
but also their schools. In addition, the title "National Council on
Education in the Ceramic Arts" implies, at least to me, that the conference
would be about Education in the Ceramic Arts, and here's a newsflash for the
government idiots in charge of determining teacher pay: Education is a
professional occupation. While I would not expect most folks to go to the
tie and jacket wearing extreme at such a conference, I would expect them to
leave the ripped jeans at home.
The issue of BYOB into the hotel bar is just plain bad manners, and I'm
surprised the hotels dinna throw 'em out.
L. P. Skeen www.living-tree.net
Living Tree Pottery & Handmade Soaps, Summerfield, NC
Info about the SESoapers conference:
"Just because nobody understands you does NOT mean that you are an artist."