VisArts Richmond is a key host for “Coalescence,” the 58th annual conference of The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA)

March 16, 2024 News

“Coalescence,” The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts’ (NCECA) annual conference, is coming to Richmond March 20-23 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. The Visual Arts Center of Richmond (VisArts) is a key host of the event, with NCECA board members Jeff Vick, Director of Facilities and Studios at VisArts and Angelique Scott, a former VisArts teacher, serving as onsite liaisons.

VisArts is thrilled to be a host for these exhibitions and to have played an important part in this conference,” says Executive Director Jordan Brown. “Clay is an important part of VisArts history; clay artists were among the first to set up studio spaces in our original space when we were founded in 1963, and clay is our largest program and our busiest studio. Richmond is a clay town and we’re excited to show it off to visitors and celebrate the amazing makers in this community.”

NCECA is an organization of 4,000 members engaging and sustaining the ceramic arts community by supporting art and education. Each year, their annual conference is held in a different city, attracting up to 6,000 attendees. As a key host this year, VisArts will showcase one of the three major exhibitions organized by NCECA, “The 2024 NCECA Juried Student Exhibition,” in our True F. Luck Gallery. The other two major exhibitions are the “The 2024 NCECA Annual: Rendered Fusion: Clay, Connection, Attention” at the University of Richmond and the “The 2024 NCECA Multicultural Fellowship Exhibition” at The Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia.

The keynote address will be delivered at 6 p.m. on March 20 at the convention center by Dr. Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, an art and cultural historian and founder of the Vision & Justice Initiative. Her research focuses on the intersection of visual representation, racial justice, and democracy in the United States from the nineteenth century through the present.


Other events for the conference include panel discussions, exhibitions and programs.

“I, along with Angelique and an amazing team of volunteers, have been pouring our hearts into the planning of the conference, the exhibitions and community building so that when our conference attendees arrive they will be met with an abundance of outstanding ceramic exhibitions and opportunities to explore the depth of the clay community and the history that is here in Richmond,” Vick says. “After all . . .Virginia is for clay lovers!”

VisArts is showing two other exhibitions onsite, an additional exhibition offsite, and hosting “The Shop”, a retail space of works made by ceramicists from the VisArts community, during the conference. At the convention center, VisArts staff will present a panel about residencies, host an interactive presentation sharing our beloved “Clay Olympics,” and participate in the NCECA resource hall.

While there are events at the convention center that require a conference pass, throughout the city, over 70 ceramic-focused exhibitions will be free and open to the public at local galleries and businesses.

For more information or to register for the conference, visit