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In 2016, Clay Art Center will present IN OUR BACKYARD, a year-long focus on the integral role clay has had on New York art, architecture and design.

IN OUR BACKYARD features a series of 5 innovative exhibitions running January 30th – November 12th, 2016, several workshops and lectures, two collector’s tours and a culminating symposium - all of which reveal the dynamic co-mingling of the rich cultural playground in which ceramics thrives in NY and its surrounding areas. These events will be encapsulated and documented in a catalog celebrating this year-long celebration.

SPECIAL THANKS to our generous sponsors: Robert Lehman Foundation, Alan & Debbie Simon, The Marks Project, Ceramic Supply, Inc., Port Chester Village, Merrill & Dalia Berman, Antonia & Scott Davis, Mike & Rose Foley, Larry Hawk, Pradeep & Reena Kashyap, Ron & Francene Langford, Janice Rabinowitz, Ted Rowland, Peter Russo, Priscilla Young, and to ongoing support from Arts Westchester and New York State Arts Council.

Get Directions From The Train


January 30 - March 19, 2016

Opening Reception: Saturday, January 30, 6-8pm
Juror Talk by Leslie Ferrin of Ferrin Contemporary at 7pm

Clay Art Center is gathering a contemporary cross-section of emerging artists within a 75 mile radius of its facility in Port Chester, NY. The focus of this show is to visually represent the culture, trends, and theories surrounding clay practice in the region. This inclusive culmination will have a breadth of work ranging from academic, alternative, traditional, and post-industrial objects; functional, installation, and sculptural work will be represented. The 2016 exhibition cycle has an overarching theme focusing on New York ceramics. Artists will be prompted a short survey as to why they work in the New York area and where they see the field going.

Artists Include:
Jocelyn Armstrong, Ryan Blackwell, Joel Brown, Brooke Evans, Roxanne Jackson, Adam Knoche, Tom Lent, Kaitlyn Meeks, Elena Perez Guembe, Zachary Robinson, Lauren Sandler, Max Seinfeld, Steven Sitrin, Lauren Eve Skelly, Tamar Sobol, Helena Starcevic, and Joan Zagrobelny

Clockwise from top left: Max Seinfeld, Adam Knoche, Roxanne Jackson, Jocelyn Armstrong


April 3 - May 25, 2016

Opening Reception Sunday, April 3 - 4-6 pm

As the second exhibition to a year-long focus into the development of ceramics within the New York metropolitan area, Clay Art Center will be presenting an exhibition curated by Judith Schwartz, PhD. entitled NY, NY: CLAY. Sculptors that have shaped the fine art scene in New York will come together to explore the aesthetics, boundaries, and methodology of ceramic practice in one of the most diverse cities in the world. Concurrent to the exhibition will be Clay at the Core: NY Art, Architecture, and Design; a symposium moderated by Schwartz that will cover the exhibition as well as clay’s multi-channel presence in New York.

"This exhibition will be an eclectic representation of young and mid-career artists and can be viewed as a sampling of the work of those who live, work, and build their careers in this quintessential urban environment. New York never had ceramic gurus to whom students flocked, nor did it boast a dominant way of working with clay - such as Bay Area figurative or Funk, Pacific Northwest functional, or Los Angeles slick. New York has had no single conformity, no established way of doing things. The mixture of culture, food, music, theater, dance, street life, museums, galleries, architecture, and energy, commingles to add to the revitalization and regeneration of the city's dynamism and it is reflected in the cross cultural expression of the work on view. New York is money, power, people - and with that, fortunately, taste, culture, and in the ceramic arts, some of the most dynamic individual expressions in clay today." - Judith Schwartz PhD.

Invited Artists include:

Claudia Alvarez
Ron Baron
Toby Buonagurio
Linda Casbon
Elisa D'Arrigo
Judy Fox
Kenjiro Kitade
Julia Kunin
Shida Kuo
Steven Montgomery
Michele Oka Doner
Adams Puryear
Elise Siegel
Robert Silverman
Melissa Stern
Jessica Stoller
Derek Weisberg

Space & Time: Chris Pickett & Max Seinfeld

Duo Artist-in-Residence Exhibition
June 4 - July 15

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 4 - 6-8pm
Featuring the talents of 2 artists who have been selected for our year-long Artist-in-Residency program. The works will exhibit the culmination of their focus and studio practice at CAC, and as part of IN OUR BACKYARD, we will investigate how their immersion in this urban, eclectic community environment shaped their paths as artists/makers. A recent MFA graduate from University of Florida, Gainesville, Barbara Rittenberg Fellow Chris Pickett’s hand built porcelain combines form, color and design to create utilitarian work that is culturally relevant and aesthetically poignant. His forms and imagery are often suggestive of physical intimacy, personal domestic spaces and childhood experience. Artist in Residence Max Seinfeld’s experimental sculpture is transformed from fiber into ceramics as well as glaze phenomena. A recent post-baccalaurate from SUNY New Paltz, Seinfeld has developed a body of work through a process-oriented practice, creating non-referential sculptures that address material and process. His artistic methods explore the possibilities and limitations a material presents through alternative modes of making.

Freshly Funk: Lauren Skelly

July 23 - September 15

Opening reception: Saturday, July 23 - 6-8pm

Skelly forges new rules by combining, collaging, and conglomerating abstract forms that allude to landscape, decorative arts, and a mixed sense of place. Seeing the New York landscape as an organized chaos, she pulls inspiration from both rural and urban environments – from The MET’s china exhibition to the beach on Long Island. Skelly uses diverse materials from traditional ceramic glaze to neon flocking and metallic luster, an assemblage of color and surface to create a coral reef of modular forms. Her large-scale installation, Awkward Beauty, will be featured where modular (but individually unique) sculptures will fill the gallery for an array of texture, color, and form that spreads amorphously across the space.

Skelly has exhibited her work nationally, including the Rhode Island School of Design, Adelphi University, Chico Gallery, and Blue Line Gallery. In 2015 she organized “Of Earth”, a fifteen person exhibit in Rhode Island that was concurrent to the annual National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts conference. She holds an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and maintains a studio in Long Island, NY.

Hot Pots

September 24 - November 10
Opening reception September 24 - 6-8pm

Clay Art Center is pleased to present HOT POTS, featuring 50 vessel-based artists that work within a 75 mile radius of Port Chester, NY running September 24 – November 10, 2016 with an opening reception on September 24 from 6-8pm. As the culminating exhibit of a year-long focus, titled IN OUR BACKYARD, Clay Art Center will be coming out with its catalog of all 5 exhibits from January to November 2016 that will be available at the opening reception on September 24, 6-8pm. Admission is free and open to the public.

What was once thought of as a simple vessel with historical roots and centuries of tradition has today developed into vessels with lots to say; the pot has turned HOT. Co-curators, Judith Schwartz and Adam Chau present last installment of a year of programs, symposia, workshops and exhibitions that highlight the ceramic art of those artists who live in the New York metropolitan area. From sculptural vessels to functional pottery, fifty artists have been invited to share their current expression. They live and work within our region building careers and adding to the craft/clay community. Some focus on the vessel format, while others use the vessel as a stepping stone toward more sculptural concerns. Some choose humor, gesture, movement, color, form or pattern as motifs, but what ever the style they share a passion for the clay pot as a core principle of understanding and aesthetic involvement with ceramics.

Participating Artists include:

David Alban, Jocelyn Armstrong, Posey Bacopoulos, Barry Bartlett, Hayne Bayless, Eve Behar, Jenny Blumenfield, Beth Bolgia, Bob Clyatt, William Coggin, Bryan Czibesz, Gary Dipasquale, Kathy Erteman, Suzy Goodelman, Lynn Goodman, Chris Gustin, Louise Harter, Susan Bleckner Heller, Sin-Ying Ho, Judith Eloise Hooper, Waldo Jones, Lana Kova, Shida Kuo, Haakon Lenzi, Kate Missett, Puneeta Mittal, Tony Moore, Anne Mulford, Sana Musasama, Nicholas Newcomb/Graham Keegan, Matt Nolen, Janice Patrignani, Frances Palmer, Doug Peltzman, Brenda Quinn, Barbara Rocco, Tim Rowan, Lindsey Schneider, Bruce Sherman, Anat Shiftan, Phillis Kudder Sullivan, Julie Tesser, Kevin Thomas, Joan Walton, Dustin Yager, Arnie Zimmerman

2016 Exhibitions.

In 2016, Clay Art Center presents IN OUR BACKYARD, a year-long focus on the integral role clay has had on New York art, architecture and design.

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