Traditionally the NMPCA annual Celebration of Clay exhibit is "self juried" where members select their best work. For special recognition of excellence, the NMPCA asks a jury panel to award special awards.
Awards recognize exceptional works. Award jurors, selected for each show from the community of gallery owners, artists, teachers, and art critics. 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.
Awards for the 2021 Exhibition:
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 program at UNM, $100: Reserved for the functional piece that the jurors feel is the best (exclusive of the other awards).
Frank Willett Memorial Award, $100: For this show, the Celebration of Clay committee has added a special award to honor Frank Willett's memory and his efforts to encourage creative expression in clay.
People’s Choice Award: Selected by people viewing the show on the website or in person. The People’s Choice award is a popular way for everyone to participate in the exhibit.
I have always been drawn to objects whose history is written upon their surface: The river rock worn smooth from centuries of tumult; the bleached, chewed bone found on the desert floor; the bare-bones landscape of the American southwest. These things speak to me of timelessness and mystery. It is all that I don’t know, that deepens my viewing experience. The influence of such objects and landscapes seep into every piece I make.
Sharon is also the presenter at our 2021 Ghost Ranch Workshop.
My concern with clay work, hand-built or wheel-thrown, functional or sculpture, is not just with the concept presented, but that it has an innate spirit, that of the maker.
I have always been a maker of vessels. In a life-time with clay, I have made a lot of hand-built pots, played around with sculpture, and glazed and fired hundreds of my husband Frank Willett’s wheel-thrown pots. Over forty years, together we engaged in a number of ceramic adventures.
Animal imagery is the enduring subject of my art, and it is often intertwined with social and political commentary, eroticism, and humor. While I am interested in form and the vitality of expression, decoration, for its own sake, has never interested me. I look to the masterworks of the past for inspiration, particularly the Moche of Peru, Han Chinese, African Art, early Mediterranean ceramics, and lately, the powerful artistry of the Native Americans of the Southwest.
For an exciting view of Joe's approach, see jos video below