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The 20th San Angelo National Ceramic Competition 2014
April 9, 2014  | 

The San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to announce the Opening Reception of the Twentieth San Angelo National Ceramic Competition on Friday, April 11, 2014 from 6 to 9 pm at the museum. The National Ceramic Competition is a juried exhibit that features work from leading ceramic artists as well as undiscovered new talent from across the nation, Canada and Mexico. The San Angelo Museum Endowment for Ceramic Events sponsors the event with additional support provided by Darlene and John Williams of Dallas, Trinity Ceramic Supply, Inc., Angelo State University and The Old Chicken Farm Art Center. In addition to the opening at the Art Museum a series of other events will take place in nearby locations, with a shuttle bus available to transport visitors to the different venues.

The National Ceramic Competition has been held in San Angelo since 1986. It is a cooperative event carried out by the Art Museum, the Art & Music Department at Angelo State University and the Old Chicken Farm Art Center. April 10 - 14 are packed with ceramic art events held at all 3 locations, including two ceramic symposiums at Angelo State University and a day-long workshop at the Old Chicken Farm Art Center.

SAMFA is honored and delighted to have as juror for the 2014 Competition Léopold Foulem of Montréal, Canada, an internationally-recognized ceramic artist, instructor, and scholar. Foulem’s distinguished career extends over more than 30 years, with over 50 solo exhibitions and more than 200 group shows. He has won multiple prestigious awards, and Foulem's work is represented in numerous private and public collections, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among many others. In 2010, he was invited to present a one-person exhibition at the XXIe Biennale Internationale de Vallauris in France. Foulem has taught ceramics and fine arts for over 30 years, and in addition to his distinguished career as an artist and instructor, he is also a world authority on Picasso's ceramics, and has lectured and published extensively on ceramics as an autonomous art form.

For each San Angelo National Ceramic Competition, a noted ceramic artist is asked to display a small focus exhibit, which highlights the artist’s work, within the larger competition. This year SAMFA is pleased to have Jason Walker of Bellingham, Washington, as our Invited Artist, who was featured on the cover of Ceramics Monthly in September 2013. Walker's art explores the complex relationship between nature and human culture and technology. He states, "In my ceramic sculpture, I have been exploring American ideas of nature and how technology has changed our perceptions of nature. Besides the obvious advantages technology may bring to our lives, there lie unintended consequences and underlying messages behind every creation that forever change our perceptions, our social interactions and our relationship to nature." His evocative sculptures are humorous and disturbing at the same time, beautifully crafted and thought-provoking.

San Angelo’s "Ceramics Weekend" begins Thursday afternoon, April 10, at 1 pm at the Old Chicken Farm Art Center, with a workshop by clay artist Randy Brodnax. Randy has been leading workshops at San Angelo’s ceramic weekend for many years and this year he will once again lead participants in a workshop of raku and alternative firing techniques and throwing thin on the wheel. Participants will build and fire the kilns. The workshop will begin on Thursday and continue on Friday with a kiln opening on Saturday. The fee for the workshop is $25.00 per person.

Also on Thursday, an art history lecture series will be held from 2 to 4 pm in Room 101 of the Carr Education-Fine Arts Building at Angelo State University. The series features lectures by Dr. Jean MacIntosh Turfa, Research Associate in the Mediterranean section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and Dr. Kimberly Busby, Assistant Professor of Art at Angelo State. The topic is Myth and the Ceramic Arts, and both speakers will discuss ancient Etruscan ceramics. The lectures, hosted by Angelo State University, are free and open to the public.

Friday morning, April 11, at 9 a.m., a ceramic workshop by Lydia Thompson will be held at the Angelo State University Ceramics Facility located at the Fine Arts Museum. Lydia Thompson is the Director of the School of Art at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. She has served on the board as director-at-large for NCECA (National Council of Education for the Ceramics) and currently serves on the board of the NCAA (National Council of Art Administrators). She received her BFA from Ohio State University and her MFA from the New York College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Among many other honors, Thompson received the prestigious Fulbright Hayes grant to research traditional architecture in Nigeria. There is no charge for the workshop, which will run until 11:30 a.m.

Friday’s activities continue with the Twenty-Eighth Annual Ceramic Symposium which is held from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Carr Education-Fine Arts building on the campus of Angelo State University. The Ceramic Symposium is co-sponsored by Angelo State University, the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, and The Old Chicken Farm Art Center. Serving as Symposium Coordinator is Esteban Apodaca, Associate Professor of Art in Ceramics at Angelo State University. Panelists for the Symposium will be Competition Juror Léopold Foulem and Invited Artist Jason Walker. Howard Taylor, Director of the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, will serve as moderator. The first part of the Symposium will focus on the Invited Artist speaking on his work and the Juror discussing his selections for the exhibit. After a break for refreshments, the final session will be an open forum with the audience.

Friday culminates with the Opening Reception of the 20th San Angelo National Ceramic Competition at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts (1 Love Street, San Angelo, TX 76903), from 6 to 9 p.m. The Competition Juror and the Invited Artist will be present at the Opening and the prizewinners will be announced. Numerous other artists who are participants in the exhibit will also be on hand to meet the public and converse about their work. Refreshments and music will be provided. There is no charge for the opening and the public is invited to attend. Works will be on sale the night of the opening and throughout the length of the exhibition. The exhibition will be on display through June 29, 2014.

Downtown San Angelo will be alive with activity on Friday evening, for in addition to the exhibit opening at SAMFA, many other venues will hold special exhibits, including the Black Swan Wine Bar at 118 S. Chadbourne and Art in Uncommon Places at The Studio, 701 South Irving Street. Furthermore, in the Coop Gallery, 427 S. Oakes Street, the Texas Clay Arts Association will hold their annual members’ show titled, The 6-Pack Show (where each work exhibited must be smaller than a 6-pack of beer or soda). On Friday evening a shuttle bus that stops at all venues will connect all of the opening events, which will enable those attending to leave their cars parked and be transported to and from all locations.

For more information on any of these events call the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts at 325-653-3333.

Ceramics Weekend continues on Saturday, April 12th, at the Old Chicken Farm Art Center located at 2505 Martin Luther King Boulevard. From 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. a demonstration ceramic workshop will be conducted by Invited Artist Jason Walker. The all-day workshop is $45 ($25 for full time students with valid ID).

On Saturday the artists’ studios at the Old Chicken Farm Art Center will also be open, featuring ceramic work by Roger Allen and new work by all other Chicken Farm artists. On Saturday evening guests, visitors and participants can all partake of the Texas Barbecue Dinner, a long-standing tradition of the Ceramics Weekend. The Barbecue Dinner starts at 7 p.m. and costs $17 per person. Musical entertainment will also be on hand.

The final event of the 20th San Angelo National Ceramic Competition takes place on Monday, April 14th at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts with Roger Allen, Director of the Old Chicken Farm Art Center. Roger will lead a Walk-Talk through the galleries, commenting on the different styles of work in the exhibit. This event is free and the public is invited. It begins at 12 noon. Again, the 20th San Angelo National Ceramics Competition will continue on display through June 29, 2014. Information on all events can be obtained by calling SAMFA at 325-653-3333 or visiting

The San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for senior citizens. Students are admitted free, as well as museum members, active military personnel, and families with children.

Sponsors for the National Ceramic Competition are: San Angelo Museum Endowment for Ceramic Events, Darlene and John Williams, Trinity Ceramic Supply, and the San Angelo Cultural Affairs Council. SAMFA is supported by generous contributions from both individuals and businesses. This project is also partially supported by funds from the San Angelo Cultural Affairs Council, the City of San Angelo, the Texas Commission on the Arts, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

For more information:
Howard J. Taylor or Laura Huckaby