About the Celebration of Clay
The NMPCA has conducted an annual all-member exhibition of member ceramic art since 2000 called the Celebration of Clay.
In 2018, we also conducted a juried show called Resonations in Clay, Life on the Bosque at the Open Space Visitors Center in Albuquerque.
Awards are select from each show to recognize work of exceeding excellence. Award jurors are selected for each show from the community of gallery owners, artists, teachers, and art critics. Each set of jurors for the NMPCA Celebration of Clay agree to their own criteria for evaluating the work to select award winning pieces. Criteria for the awards in the past have used such considerations as quality of the construction and finishing, aesthetic appeal, suitability to function, originality, innovation in use of materials, excellence of vision. All different media and methods are judged equally.
The following is a brief description of the awards:
Best of Show, $150
Using criteria agreed upon among the jurors, this is the individual piece that best exemplifies these criteria among all the works in the show.
3 Awards of Merit, $50 each
3 pieces that the jurors feel deserve special recognition.
Beauty – Quality – Functionality award Sponsored by the Porcelain Vessels course at UNM, $100
While any of the other awards can certainly be function pieces, this award is reserved for the functional piece that the jurors feel is the best (exclusive of the other awards).
People’s Choice Award
The piece receiving the most votes through opening night paper ballots or through on-line voting is given the People’s Choice award. While no monetary value is associated with this award, the piece is featured on the homepage of the NMPCA websites at and www.celebrationofclay.com. The People’s Choice award is a popular way for everyone to enjoy the exhibit.
Harnack/Lancaster Award for Innovation and Excellence in the Ceramic Arts, $200 (reward retired in 2013)
Established in 2007 with contributions from Barbara Harnack and Michael Lancaster, this award was selected by each show’s jurors. When Michael Lancaster was asked what guidelines he would like to give to the jurors, he said the jurors should interpret the words “innovation and excellence” in the ceramic arts according to their own experience and give the award to the person whose work in this show best exemplified that interpretation.