Ceramic art will be celebrated next week during an Art Crawl in Northfield.
The event is from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Carleton College, St. Olaf College and Northfield Arts Guild as part of #ClayNorthfield. All are free.
Thirteen exhibitions of contemporary ceramic work celebrating creativity, diversity and the role art plays in life will be displayed. That includes sculpture, traditional bowls and teapots. Clay bodies, earthenware, porcelain and stoneware will also be on display.
Curators will make presentations throughout the evening, including at 5:30 p.m. at St. Olaf’s Flaten Art Museum, 6:15 p.m. at Carleton’s Perlman Teaching Museum and 7 p.m. at Northfield Arts Guild.
“We wanted to give people a path if they wanted to follow a path, but people can drop in at any time,” said Perlman Teaching Museum Director and Curator Jeff Rathermel.
Carleton has six clay exhibits connected to #ClayNorthfield:
• Around Us: What Ceramic Makers Collect, until April 4 at the Perlman Teaching Museum Kaemmer Gallery
• Sin: Seven Deadlines in Clay, until April 21 at Perlman Teaching Museum Braucher Gallery
• Ceramics from the Carleton Art Collection, until April 5 at the Weitz Center for Creativity Mar G Commons
• Celebrating 15 Years of Empty Bowls, which ends April 1 at Boliou Hall
• From the Beginning: Carleton Alumni Ceramic Exhibition, until April 10 at the Hamlin Creative Space in the Weitz Center for Creativity
• Carleton Clay Today, until May 3 at the Laurence McKinley Gould Library Athenaeum.
The event is reportedly inspired by the National Council on Education Conference this week in Minneapolis.
Rathermel noted organizers want the event to be for the greater Northfield community and local students and artists.
“That was always important for us,” he said.
Rathermel predicted Art Crawl viewers will be surprised by how artists use common materials to communicate beauty and complex ideas.
“It’s probably the largest display of ceramics materials,” he said. “Having something like that in your own backyard is pretty interesting.”
To Rathermel, the event also gives Northfield artists the chance to work together, noting the important role community engagement plays at Carleton and St. Olaf.
He spoke highly of the local arts community, calling it “real strong.”
Heather Lawrenz, visual arts manager at Northfield Arts Guild, said the Art Crawl is taking place after nearly two years of local collaboration between the two colleges, Northfield Arts Guild and local clay artist community.
She said there has been a resurgence of studio pottery since the 1960s in the Midwest, noting although the exhibits are available currently, national, regional and local artists will be on hand to discuss their direction and technique during the show.
“In Northfield, we have a really vibrant community of ceramic artists,” Lawrenz said.
“We have all of this right here in Northfield. It’s such a draw.”