50 Women: A Celebration of Women’s Contributions to Ceramics coming to Kansas City Spring 2016
The daughter of a Presbyterian missionary doctor and teacher, Francis Senska, was born on March 9, 1914 in Cameroon. Later in her life she mentored two of America’s most famous ceramic artists: Peter Voulkos and Rudio Adio. Since its earliest conception—women have played a prominent role in the development of contemporary Ceramic Art. There is an equally long tradition of these contributions being overlooked.
This is reflected in the fact that for 49 years ceramic artists, instructors and students from across the country have participated in a national conference: NCECA, the National Council of Educators for the Ceramic Arts. There has never been a large scale exhibition highlighting the accomplishments of women in ceramics. This deficit will be addressed next year through 50 Women: A Celebration of Women’s Contribution to Ceramics, American Jazz Museum, KANSAS CITY, MO, opening March 15th, 2016.
This exhibition is a collaborate effort began when co-curator Ms. Alex Kraft bumped into Mr. Anthony Merino outside of a gallery during the 2013 NCECA in Houston, Texas. A dedicated instructor and talented artist, Ms. Kraft has participated in residencies throughout the country. This, combined with her charisma, puts Ms. Kraft at the center of an expansive network of ceramic artists. Equally irreverent and erudite, Mr. Merino has few equals as a ceramic critic. He has published over 100 articles and given lectures on ceramic arts internationally. While both had curated a few exhibitions in the past, they decided to collaborate on this project. Artists of all ages, level of recognition and disciplines will be contributing to 50 Women.
Since starting work on the exhibition, Alex and Anthony have generated a small (5,000) but highly dedicated following with over 2K post clicks a day on their Facebook page. They have also given lectures on the project at a conference in Denmark. Through the exhibition, the social media presence and their in person promotion– Alex and Anthony hope the exhibit will embolden women and artists locally, nationally and internationally.
To realize this vision, they have initiated a Kickstarter campaign to help offset insurance, installation and publicity costs. The goal of $3,500.00 covers only a small portion of the total exhibition cost. Over 75% of the exhibition costs (all managerial and editing costs and shipping costs) are being provided in-kind. We hope you will consider supporting the efforts to realize this landmark exhibition. Thank you from 50 Women team.
Alex Kraft and Anthony Merino are curating “50 Women – A Celebration of Women’s Contribution to Ceramics” at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, 2016.