Get Ready for 4 Degrees of Separation

In 2016 Clay Art Center started programming things a little differently.   In order to integrate our programming areas, broaden our audience, and delve into concepts a little deeper we decided to adopt year-long themes for our exhibitions and related programs.  Our first year-long focus was In Our Backyard, which highlighted artists who work within our New York metropolitan area, are using clay as their mode of expression, and are making an impact in the field of contemporary art. 2017's year long theme was a celebration of our 60th anniversary where we explored Clay Art Center's past present and future through exhibitions, workshops, events and symposia.

For our 2018 year-long focus, Clay Art Center has chosen to explore social connection. Everyday, we construct relationships on the job, within a community, among our friends, with diverse groups and even with ourselves.  All around us are people we have yet to meet and learn about. Titled 4 Degrees of Separation, Clay Art Center will feature four core exhibitions that examine how linked we are within our communities and across borders. The exhibits will focus on relationships from different vantage points on the intricacies of individualism, racial biases, national identity, our environment and how all of it is communicated and understood.

Committed to exhibiting emerging, mid-career, and established artists; Clay Art Center’s 2018 programming will be a platform for the field to express ideas towards these potent topics. Concurrent educational programming will include poignant symposia, lectures and workshops for adults and youth.

Here's a sneak peak at what's to come!  Hope you will join us as we explore these timely topics. With special thanks to our 2018 exhibition sponsors: TD Bank, Skutt, Ceramic Supply, Inc, Standard Ceramics, Ron and Francene Langford, Debbie and Alan Simon, Karl & Florence Suerig, Steven Carlson, Larry Hawk and Barbara Rocco. 

To learn more about sponsorship, please contact

Exhibition: ME, MYSELF, AND I
January 27 – March 24, 2018

Cindy Leung

Cindy Leung

Me, Myself, and I is a national juried exhibition featuring vessel based work that explores issues surrounding identity and how we see ourselves within the context of society, family, relationships, and most importantly within our own skin.  Kathy King, a renowned artist and educator whose own work reflects the very core themes of the show, curated and juried the exhibition, and invited three kindred artists whose work reflects identity and self-awareness to exhibit alongside the juried artists: Cheyenne Rudolph, Beth Lo and Matt Nolen.  

Community Arts:  Who Am I?: Youth Symposium
March 6, 2018

Clay Art Center invites youth groups from 3 local high schools to view the exhibit Me, Myself, and I and participate in a gallery talk using Visual Thinking Strategies. Students will then gather together for a panel discussion focusing on the exploration of Identity through the arts as it relates to current topics such as race, gender, orientation and how the arts can be used as platform for marginalized peoples to speak out and connect with others. Our esteemed panelists who will be sharing their stories about identity and guiding discussions include Kris Grey, Sana Musasama and Zeltzin Sanchez.

Exhibition: THEY
March 31 – May 26, Opening Reception on April 7

Roberto Lugo,  Basquiat 'n Celia

Roberto Lugo, Basquiat 'n Celia

THEY will exhibit artists whose work highlights voices marginalized and historically underrepresented in institutional spaces. THEY engages in discourse about exploitation, exclusion, and erasure by addressing issues of race, gender, class, religion, nationality, legal status, sexuality and disability. Through a focus on equity and access within the field of ceramics, Clay Art Center has asked Roberto Lugo to invite seven artists to create a vision of ceramics that employs empathy, exchange, accountability, and support while bringing awareness to bias and oppression. Invited Artists:  Jennifer Ling-Datchuk, Christina Erives, Kahlil Irving, Lauren Sandler, Malcolm Mobutu-Smith, Courtney Leonard, Roberto Lugo, and Nathan Murray

Symposium: Who are They?
April 29, 2018

With art as a catalyst for conversation, we will tackle contemporary issues that affect our community on a daily basis, asking questions like, how do you see the role of empathy within the conversation of equal rights? Moderated by Roberto Lugo, our panelists come from a wide net of professions to create a clearer picture that involves all facets of life and community, from hyperlocal, national and global perspectives: Joan Grangenois-Thomas, Lauren Sandler, and Sana Musasama.

Community Arts: Defacing Adversity
Roberto Lugo at Port Chester High School

Roberto Lugo visits Port Chester High School to make a presentation on how art can change lives.  Roberto will be reaching 1200 students in two 45 minute assemblies. Roberto Lugo will present his work as a visual artist, spoken word poet and activist. Coming from humble beginnings Lugo's work engages with notion of racial inequality, challenges of indigence by telling his story of overcoming these obstacles. 

Exhibition: US
July 21- September 15
Opening Reception, Saturday, July 21

Jessica Putnam Phillips

Jessica Putnam Phillips

US is a national invitational exhibition of ceramic works exploring the idea of what it is to be an American. Ceramic artists in an array of expressions will touch upon social and political issues. Artists such as Ehren Tool, a US military veteran, will activate the community by creating ceramic cups with imagery of war to start a discussion with other veterans. Other invited artists include Jessica Putnam Phillips, Russel Biles, Natalia Arbelaez, and Howard Kotler.

“Occupation” and Open House with Ehren Tool
Date TBA

Ehren Tool, a US military veteran, will activate the community by creating ceramic cups with imagery of war to start a discussion with other veterans.  Local military groups from our area will be engaged to come meet Ehren and share their stories.

Community Arts Workshop: Who are We?
Date TBA
Clay Art Center partners with Carver Center, Port Chester High School Newcomers and Port Chester Cares  to reach immigrant families of Port Chester, and provide an opportunity to share their story, through clay. This bi-lingual intergenerational workshop can allow for the expression of several experiences to be shared safely amongst family and neighbors.

Exhibition: ALL: Trisha Coates and Novie Trump
September 22 – November 10

Trisha Coates, detail

Trisha Coates, detail

ALL explores our collective impact on the natural environment and how this connects us as humans across borders. Novie Trump will create an installation of ceramic insect specimens, an implication of migration, evolution, and extinction.  Trisha Coates creates objects and installations of ceramic detritus, looking at the human impact on our environment by including themes of collection, decomposition, and natural ecosystems.

Event: Dinner for ALL
September 20

We invite you to sit down with us in our gallery to have a intimate vegan meal. This globally inspired and locally sourced catered dinner will be served on ceramic ware thoughtfully crafted made from Clay Art Center's own reclaimed clay and glaze. Our guest artists Trisha Coates and Novie Trump will talk about their work in the gallery. Guests will leave with these dishes as a token of an experience that is as educational as it is magical. Seats limited to 20. 

Workshop: Novie Trump and Trisha Coates
September 21-22

Novie and Trisha share their processes for this immersive workshop that explores the incorporation of nature into ceramic art.