The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded a significant grant to the consortium of Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and West Virginia University. The project, entitled Clay Connections, will take place over the course of 2011 and 2012 with the stated goal of bridging high school and higher education through regional and global art.
Clay Connections will also incorporate a strong multicultural education aspect as the project focuses on the ceramic art and culture of East Asia. In studying the ceramic traditions of countries such as China, it becomes evident that the ancient art of ceramics has had a continuous influence on society. And even in this modern age artistry and craftsmanship are universally appreciated.
The grant will facilitate year-round exhibitions, residencies, workshops and experiential learning opportunities. One of the project’s highlights will be a 10-week residency at MCG featuring Yoko Sekino-Bové. Yoko is an award-winning ceramic artist whose work has been featured in countless national and international exhibitions. She currently teaches at Waynesburg University, and looks forward to sharing her vast knowledge with the staff and students at MCG.
Clay Connections will be celebrated by two high-profile events. WVU’s symposium, Shared Visions II, will focus on Chinese approaches to ceramic art. It will include both regional presenters and Asian artists visiting from China. MCG’s own Bill Strickland will be a featured lecturer. (Click here for photos from the event.)
The project will culminate at MCG with the 2012 Table of Elements exhibition. Slated for early spring, the exhibition will feature ceramic works from regional and national artists.