The Familiar and the Indefinable in Clay: The 71st Ceramic Annual

Woodman full

The Scripps College Ceramic Annual, the longest continuous exhibition of contemporary ceramics in the United States, opened for its 71st year on Jan. 24, 2015, and continued through April 5. A selection of hybrid works, this exhibition represents both emerging and well-established artists and  features an illustrated catalog with an essay by art writer Leah Ollman. The Jan. 24 opening began with a special lecture from 4 to 5 pm at the Scripps College Humanities Auditorium, followed by an opening reception at the Williamson Gallery from 7 to 9 pm, which included live music and light refreshments.

Traditionally an “artist’s choice” exhibition, a leading ceramic artist is invited to choose the participating artists each year. This year’s guest curator is Julia Haft-Candell, a Lincoln visiting professor at Scripps College and Claremont Graduate University. Haft-Candell has consistently shown her work across Southern California as well as New York and Houston. Her own work melds the ceramic with a wide array of other materials and her selection of artists for the Ceramic Annual reflects her free and eclectic approach. The exhibition features Nicole Cherubini, Jessica Hans, Jun Kaneko, Linda Lopez, Anton Reijnders, Brie Ruais, Kathleen Ryan, and Betty Woodman – artists whose individual works first appear dissonant, yet resonate in an underlying harmony when shown together. Haft-Candell says the pieces in the show “hint at the familiar and steer towards the indefinable.”

Sincere thanks go to the supporters of the Ceramic Annual, principally the Pasadena Art Alliance, which made this and many other Ceramic Annual catalogs possible. The Gallery would also like to thank its private donors, including Bill and Francine Baker, Kirk Delman, David Furman, Brent and Susan Maire, Diane and Igal Silber, and Skutt Ceramic Products, Inc. The Gallery also receives generous assistance from Scripps College in support of the Ceramic Annual exhibition and catalog, through the Jean and Arthur Ames Fund, the Joan and David Lincoln Ceramic Annual Fund, the Lincoln Ceramic Study Center Fund, and the Paul Soldner Endowment.

For more information on the exhibition, please call (909) 607-4690 or visit “Upcoming Exhibitions” on the Gallery website at

The gallery is open from noon to 5 Wednesday through Sunday during exhibitions. Admission is free.

Image: Betty Woodman, Balustrade Vase 95-13, 1995, Ceramic, 26 x 26 x 3, Courtesy of Jeffrey Spahn Gallery, San Francisco, CA