Scripps 73rd Ceramic Annual: A Sense of Place

Diego Romero, Death-of-Achilles, 2014

Diego Romero, Death-of-Achilles, 2014


“In the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti,” wrote Melville. It is an individual experience of a place, only to be reached by traveling inward. The master ceramicists featured in this year’s Scripps College Ceramic Annual use clay to communicate the landscapes that they carry within, usually by alluding to a specific part of the country, whether Appalachia, Upper New England, the rural farmland of Minnesota, or the urban landscape of California. And they do it with the expertise of virtuosos. More on the artists will be shared at a special lecture at the Scripps Humanities Auditorium on Saturday, January 21, from 4 to 5 pm, followed by the opening reception, with live music and light refreshments, from 7 to 9 pm at the Williamson Gallery. The events are free and open to the public. The Annual runs from Jan. 21 through Apr. 9, 2017.

The 9 artists selected for the Annual, Chris Antemann, Jeff Oestreich, Diego Romero, Red Weldon Sandlin, Porntip Sangvanich, Michael Sherrill, Anna Silver, Mara Superior, and Ehren Tool, are all brilliantly innovative. “I sought ceramic heroes and ‘sheroes’ from across the United States who are masters in their fields,” said Curator Joan Takayama-Ogawa. She added, “These artists and educators are making ceramic history.”

Takayama-Ogawa is professor of Ceramics and Product Design at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. Her art is in many museum collections, including the American Museum of Ceramic Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Oakland Museum of California, Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, and the de Young Museum, San Francisco.

The Scripps College Ceramic Annual is the longest continuous exhibition of contemporary ceramics in the United States. This exhibition, representing masters in the field of ceramics, features an illustrated catalog with an essay by art writer Jo Lauria. For more information on the exhibition, please visit or call (909) 607-4690. The gallery is open from 12 to 5 pm, Wed. through Sun. during exhibitions. Admission is free.

Sincere thanks go to the supporters of the Ceramic Annual, principally the Pasadena Art Alliance. Special thanks also go to private donors who supported the catalog, including Julianne and David Armstrong, Kirk and Dana Delman, David Furman, and Skutt Ceramic Products, Inc. At Scripps, thanks go to the Lincoln Ceramic Annual Fund, Lincoln Ceramic Study Center Fund, and the Paul Soldner Endowment.

Featured image: Diego Romero, Death-of-Achilles, 2014, cochiti red clay, black underglaze, and stone polished white and red slip, 12 x 12 x 5 in., courtesy of the Robert Nichols Gallery, Santa Fe, NM. Photo credit: Cheryl Crownover, courtesy of Robert Nichols Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
Chris Antemann,
An Occasional Craving, 2011; Porcelain, decals, and luster; 17 x 34 x 14 in.; Courtesy of Arlene and Harold Schnitzer; Portland, OR; Photo credit: Kendrick Moholt.