Making a Difference: Social and Political Activism in Clay

Sep 29th - Nov 18th, 2018

Making a Difference: Social and Political Activism in Clay brings together a wide range of artists working in clay who directly address current events through their projects. At this moment of political uncertainty and a seeming turn of popular opinion toward negativity, fear, and isolation, we want The Clay Studio to counter these notions using our curatorial platform by amplifying the voices of diverse artists. The documenting publication for this exhibition will be especially powerful at this moment. CraftNOW’s Programming Committee, consisting of curators and makers representing over a dozen other exhibiting institutions, has adopted Making a Difference as the theme for the city-wide initiative in Fall 2018.  Through collective marketing and exposure, The Clay Studio will have the opportunity to share the Making a Difference narrative beyond our familiar audience.

Participating artists are Ann Agee, Sharif Bey, Russell Biles, Mark Burns, Syd Carpenter, Ayumi Horie, Roberto Lugo, Myersberg Studios (Tim Berg & Rebekah Myers), Richard Notkin, Kukuli Velarde, and Paula Winokur.

The highly regarded ceramic artist Robert Turner (1913-2013) was famous for his belief that the decision to make art is inherently a political act. Taking the time to materialize your creative voice can make a difference. The artists  in Making a Difference use their art making practices to express their ideas about our culture in quite literal ways. Richard Notkin’s War Teapots, Ayumi Horie’s Democratic Cup Project, and Syd Carpenter’s recreations of her ancestors’ sharecropper farms, all make strong statements about the artists’ perception of our culture.

With support from the Center for American Art at The Philadelphia Museum of Art, a catalogue for the exhibition has been produced and is available for sale. Click on the images below for a taste of the essays written by each artist in the exhibition.

Please contact Curator Jennifer Zwilling with any questions about purchasing the artwork at or 215-925-3453 x18

A symposium addressing the same theme, sponsored by CraftNOW Philadelphia will be held at The University of the Arts on November 2, 2018. Click here for more information and to register.