National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts

Founded in 1966, the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) is an organization in the United States serving the interests of ceramics as an art form and in creative education. Most major American ceramic artists since the 1970s, such as Frances Senska, Paul Soldner, Peter Voulkos, and Rudy Autio have been among its members.

During the 1961 meeting of the American Ceramic Society held at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, Theodore (Ted) Randall gathered a group in attendance together to coalesce around the developing interest of ceramics as an art form. ACS had a Design Section and a Ceramic Education Council and Randall thought that artists teaching the medium as an expressive practice at the college level might have a place there. Randall crafted and presented the NCECA identity for the first time in 1961.

Tensions between the interests of art and industry soon became apparent, and NCECA withdrew its membership from ACS in 1966. Initiated that same year, NCECA's annual conference now registers from 3200-5000 attendees each year. NCECA's membership has evolved from almost entirely a group of teachers and professors to a more varied make up including practicing studio potters and artists, students, businesses, organizations, galleries and collectors. Notable 20th-century American ceramic artists including Robert Turner, Warren Mackenzie, Don Reitz and Val Cushing have served as NCECA's presidents. Marge Levy served as NCECA's first woman president from 1983-84. In 2004, Robert Harrison became the first full-time studio artist selected as president.

At the 2010 conference in Philadelphia, there were over 5000 attendees. That number was nearly attained again in 2012 when the conference was in Seattle, Washington. NCECA's 50th annual conference, "Makers, Mentors and Milestones" takes place in Kansas City, Missouri from March 16-19, 2016. The 51st annual conference will take place in Portland, Oregon in 2017.

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