Minnesota Women Ceramic Artists is a professional organization that supports women ceramic artists in Minnesota. MNWCA provides its members opportunities for exhibiting, networking and mentoring throughout their ceramic careers. MNWCA also furthers the creative and professional development of its members.

Member News • June 2019



Saturday September 28, 2019 1-3 PM St. Kate's Art Building

We are looking for new board members and new committee members – your involvement makes a difference in what we can accomplish together!


Newsletter Submissions 6-19.docx

send your newsletter information to denisetennen@centurylink.net


Board members Colleen Riley and Denise Tennen collaborated to streamline our newsletter and (hopefully) make it more easy to read across different platforms. Let us know whether this issue is easier for you to both read and scan, or any comments you have toward improvement of this member communication tool. Send any helpful feedback to denisetennen@centurylink.net



by Donna Ray

This spring has offered many educational experiences for members of Minnesota Women Ceramic Artists. The agenda in my opinion was to educate and become more familiar on the methodology of pottery and ceramics. Existence in situational environments; farm/ clay studio, 2D very public worldview Minneapolis airport window display cases. and last but not the least contemporary 3D glass case museum exhibit.  I decided to write about the networking and educational opportunities that I participated in: I wish I could have gone to all of them, but here is my experience of three. 

 As women artists, the struggle is always harder and therefore we must examine and explore all possible avenues to create and exhibit our arts. The questions are when, and where will it show?  Where will I work on the art? How is it to be completed?  Who is the audience?    What kind of art do you produce private, public, collaborative, or individual? 

The very last show I saw associated with the Minneapolis 2019 NCECA was called Surreal Promenade by ceramic artist Sergei Isupov. It was at the Museum of Russian Art, located in South Minneapolis. Why did I go to this show and what did I learn from this trip? I went for research; I am a ceramic artist who loves to build and write stories about my art. The most important piece of information was how to use the subjects to tell your stories or themes to the audience. This show was about his interpretation of relationships.  It was well curated by placement in display cabinets of different sizes, shapes, heights and width. Inside the cases were vignettes on the front, sides, and back of the artist pieces.  It was organized for the purpose of viewing the entire story.  Multiple themes and display cases were sectioned off. 33 pieces of art became 66 pieces of art in walk around the room viewing the display cases. 

I also went on the airport tour of display spaces at the Terminal 1 Airport. It got me thinking about why is it is also important to think about the art in the airport: the opportunity to show and exhibit your art in an airport display case on a busy concourse. We met up with Sam Fuentes exhibitions coordinator for the Mpls Airport. We walked and road the tram to various locations of display cases in Lindberg Terminal 1.  During our conversations it was noted that some of the display cases were available for just six months and that others were for an entire year.  It is very important to note the sizes of the cases and what month they may become available, as well as how to apply to exhibit inside of them. Some display cases are already booked through September 2020 and the one I am speaking about is the Northern Clay, Duck, Duck, Grey Duck Located in the Thomson Reuter Main Mall Gallery.  It is up until September 2019 however not available on the waiting list until September 2020.  The other six-month display case located on concourse C gate 12. This is the largest the display areas with 5 large window bays, with depth suitable for sculpture and can hold 300 pieces of art or more. It is where the employees of the airport presents their annual art show November to May.  It is great to network and submit as a group as well as learn about the booking schedule. There are more than 13 display cases at the airport and more being built as I write on concourse G.  There is conversation about permanent public art and performance art as well.   

Glynnis Lessing’s farm is where I took my first field trip this year with MNWCA, I am always asking the question of what type of studio practice I want and need and if I will be doing public art or just plain old gallery art. in collaborations or individually... It is always the question of how long I intend to do art and where am I going to show it or even do with that art.   I do not know the answers to many of these questions because I am still exploring and still networking and learning my own path. I love the farm location. I like to be alone to create. The best part of her farm is that she is apart of a community of potters and artist. (Farmington & Northfield Cannon River Pottery Tour) She has an old Milk Cow barn she converted into a 3-season work studio. She showed us how she stores her in progress clay work, brushes, and tools.

Her choice of clay is porcelain just as the Russian artist Sergei Isupov.  The kiln she now owns was built and set up by her neighbor.  Donovan Palmquist.  The kiln a beautiful large front loader electric kiln. Housed in its own barn.    These are very valuable educational experiences that I am proud to share with other aspiring women makers.



Monika Rudquist and Jimmy Reagan

The Grand Hand Gallery

619 Grand Ave. St Paul, MN 55102

June 3- July 6, 2019


BISQUE stands for Believe, Include, Sustain, Question, Understand, and Evolve. BISQUE is also a metaphor for makers in the early stages of development. NCC is proud to announce the creation of an experimental residency program inspired by our desire to cultivate new voices in community-based ceramic art center, NCC is in a unique position to have access to pre-emergent talent. The BISQUE Residency will offer time, professional development resources for one-year, plus participation in a group exhibition in January and February, 2021. The future of this program dependent on funding.

NCC issued an invitation to Donna Ray (Bloomington, MN) to be the first BISQUE Resident Artist. Ray has been exhibiting around the Twin Cities and taking classes at the Bloomington Art Center since 2001. A 2019 recipient of a POCI Scholarship to attend the NCECA Conference, Ray commented,

“Networking and meeting other emerging artists…at the NCECA conference helped me realize how much I would benefit from more education building practices.” Ray intends to use her residency to holistically and professionally concentrate on developing her ceramic skills to create social issues surrounding home.

Donna Ray

Rebel the Malabar Squirrel, 2018,

cone 6, 12” x 12” x 7”


MNWCA members Kelly Connole, Kate Fisher, Glynnis Lessing, Kip O’Krongly, Colleen Riley and Juliane Shibata are participating in the 4thAnnual Clay Tour, June 22-23. Visit ten host artists plus 11 guests at four stops in the Northfield area (just 40 minutes south of the Northern Clay Center).  www.cannonriverclaytour.com

Juliane Shibata Glynnis Lessing




Still looking for studio equipment: pottery wheels and slab roller, glaze supplies and kiln shelves: silicon carbide and for electric! For my new studio facility in Ottertail, Mn . Contact: Sandra Shaughnessy, 612-419-4883 Shaughnessypotter@gmail.com


Contact Anna Kats  regarding: Ahava Wood-fire Group


Any questions? Please include your name and the best way to reach you. Include your prefered email so we can add you to the AHAVA Woodfire-google group and keep you up to date with all the happenings.


To submit information for the newsletter:

  1. Send your info to denisetennen@centurylink.net
  2. For your event: Include your name and what/when/where.Contact info if you want people to be able to get in touch with you. A good visual is always nice to have.  Please use this template as your guide Newsletter Submissions 6-19.docx. Any submissions that do not follow these guidelines may not be included in the newsletter.
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  2. Send your submissions by latest the 10th of the month of publication