500 Degrees

The Clay Studio Resident Artists at NCECA

Mar 15th - Mar 18th, 2023

The Clay Studio Resident Artists will present an exhibition embodying the suspense of an unopened kiln. They are reflecting that potential energy to manifest their vision of positive societal growth.

Location: NCECA - Cincinnati Art Academy - SITE 1212 - 1212 Jackson Street

All day and night you have been waiting, the kiln you’ve just fired is at 500 degrees. Holding your breath, you sneak a peek inside, gaining a first, unclear, and brief glimpse of what is to come.

This moment of charged potential is something we are all familiar with as artists. In our contemporary moment, it is unfolding in society around us on many levels at once. When we think of current, energy and motion come to mind, but a moment of pause between the continuity of past and future feels true to the times we are living in. We’re in a post-covid world at a juncture of societal reinvention. The currents are shifting. We are suspended between all of history and an expanse of many wildly different possible futures. Whatever happens downstream from here depends upon the influences and directions our society takes now, in this unique and powerful moment.

At the Clay Studio currently, we are feeling a moment like this on a community level. Our organization, after almost 50 years in Philadelphia’s Old City, has just moved into a brand new building, designed and built to allow for us to expand and serve the growing demand for a creative space where the community can come together. We are at the beginning of a new chapter and the twelve of us Resident Artists are primed to invigorate the culture of this new place. We are also reflecting on how this moment for our community mirrors the broader cultural changes that are happening.

We as the Clay Studio Resident Artists are navigating the complicated wave patterns rippling through society. We are investigating the meaning of community and a sense of belonging by researching deep histories: demonstrations, uprisings, injustices and civil wars, the rise and fall of civilizations. We are also digging into contemporary issues like environmental concerns/ climate change, political and social upheavals, technological influences, and monetary exchange as well as the inequity of systems of valuation. We look to the currents of internet culture that transform our sense of time and place from where our bodies are located, to a global perspective aimed at interacting with the rest of the world in real time. And we look to nature, the cyclical patterns in the flow of time, the way everything that lives returns to clay and rises again in a new form, over and over again bringing hope and renewal with each passing cycle. Each of us, in our own way is asking questions though our work, about how to navigate these changing tides and how a moment like this can become the shift in a current, a shift that can lead to growth and positive change, for what is to come. Through our varied art practices, we are using the energy of this moment to manifest our vision of positive societal growth.

ambardella, Akiko Jackson, Stephanie Kantor, Minah Kim , Josephine Mette Larsen, Liisa Nelson, Jeanne Blissett Robertson, Chris Rodgers ,Kevin Snipes, Nate Willever, Jinsik Yoo