April 25, 2014 – April 28, 2014 all-day
John Natsoulas Center for the Arts
521 1st Street
Davis, CA 95616
26th Annual California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Arts @ John Natsoulas Center for the Arts  | Davis | California | United States

26th Annual California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Arts

April 25-27, 2014 all day
John Natsoulas Center for the Arts
521 First Street, Davis, CA 95618
www.natsoulas.com, art@natsoulas.com

The California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art is the largest professional art function in the region, hosted by the John Natsoulas Center for the Arts. Now, on its 26th year, this event continues to bring the leading national and international ceramic artists to Northern California for a weekend of creative instruction and collaboration. The Conference will take place Friday April 25- April 27, 2014. It is a ceramics weekend of over 50 exhibitions, many hands-on clay demonstrations and interactive clay events.

In three days, visitors can see the biggest collection of student work from over 50 schools, as well as established artists. Featured artists will include; Esther Shimazu, Stephen Braun, Wesley Anderegg, Tom Arie Donch, Donna Billick, Jennifer Brazelton, Arthur Gonzalez, Kevin Snipes, John Toki and many more. 

This grassroots conference and festival will give everyone an opportunity to view work by students of every level of learning and well-known artists.

The John Natsoulas Center for the Arts will hold its annual gallery-wide 30 Ceramics Sculptors exhibition in concurrence with the conference. The work will be on display from April 16-May 24, 2014. This exhibition was first conceived in 1986, a collaboration between Robert Arneson and John Natsoulas, and continues the ceramic traditions made famous by instructors and students of the University of California, Davis Art Department and the University of California, Davis and local ceramic artists.

Follow our Facebook page for updates on the both student and professional work, updates on artists and demos, and so much more https://www.facebook.com/pages/California-Conference-for-the-Advancement-of-Ceramic-Art/360220972069

Wesley Anderegg

Wesley Anderegg: “Walking on Water”,2013

“Diminutive in scale, Wesley Anderegg’s portraits, fashioned from the shoulders up, are activated by facial expressions and hand gestures embellished with accouterments, revealing their occupational trade: waiters, magicians, acrobats, pirates and more. Rather then being fashioned in a classical or heroic manner, the works are more in keeping with Bevis & Butthead; androgynous, quirky, agitated, angst-ridden, and down-right funny. The work also suggests influences of Modigliani’s elongated faces and the monumental heads of Easter Island. Forgoing romance, they pay homage to our anxious society, fraught with political conflict and social upheaval.”-Peter Held

Anderegg received his BS in Geography from Arizona State University, Tempe, and has been a Resident Artist at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT, and at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, CO.

Tom Arie Donch


Tom Arie Donch has been designing and creating sculptural play environments for thirty-two years. He got his start in 1978 when he worked with young Fort Logan residential mental health patients in Denver Colorado to create an outdoor lion sculpture. Years of public meetings, community built projects, and over 3.000 workshops and design sessions with children have inspired a design process “that work for both children and adults”.

He has worked in twenty-one different states on hundreds of installations across the U.S.A. Public parks, playgrounds, public art, monuments, skate parks, nature trails, children’s’ hospitals and interactive museum exhibits have all been the focus of his work. Tom is a founding member and served eighteen years on the board of directors for the Community Built Association. His work has won a number of awards and helped set new standards for play spaces. Having received certification as a NPSI playground safety inspector, he creates custom sculptural play spaces that are unique as well as meet ASTM, CPSC and ADA standards. He brings many diverse design and building skills to his work. Tom attended the University of Minnesota for undergraduate work in visual arts and community organizing and went to graduate school in community development at the University of California at Davis. He grew up in Saint Paul, Minnesota and has lived in Northern California for the past twenty four years.

Donna Billick


Donna Billick is co-founder of the Art/Science Fusion Program at the University of California Davis, a new paradigm for teaching and learning, with a hands on, experiencial base. There are monolithic ceramic, mosaic, painted murals that have been created, in addition to photo exhibits and musical performances by undergraduates all over campus. In addition Donna Billick is owner and director of Billick Rock Art, with 43 years of creating large scale public artworks all over the world. Billick is founder and director of Todos Artes, a creative workspace in Baja California. The Heaven on Earth workshop is held there along with her production of films and a music festival held in Todos Santos.

Stephen Braun


I attended the University of Montana and enrolled in ceramics where I studied under Ken Little. After my freshman year I was invited to attend a six week graduate seminar taught by Rudy Autio, Peter Voulcos, Ken Ferguson, Bob Brady and Karen Breschi. This opportunity greatly enlarged my perception of clay and some of its many possibilities.

As a visiting artist at Eastern Montana College, I started doing Raku, a low fire primitive Japanese firing technique. I was attracted to the patina that Raku glaze firing applied to the surface. It added a layer of history upon the surfaces of my work so that one could look at present icons and see it as one looks at historical artifacts.

My sculptures are based on environmental, social and political themes. I feel that it is important to follow the tradition of artists observing the condition of humanity and the forces that we apply to our environment and others and comment on these actions. My present work is concerned with effects of chemicals that we are releasing into the environment, religion, oil consumption and the legacy that we are leaving future generations.

Jennifer Brazelton

Jennifer Brazelton: “Fukushima Blue”

Sculptor Jennifer Brazelton began her career by winning first prize in her first grade art show. The now infamous sculpture, an unfired clay work, needless to say, is no longer in her collection; however the memory of that early inspiration continues to motivate her artistic work.

Jennifer was born and raised in the Arizona desert, by Midwestern parents, who kept their family grounded with a mixture of hard work and ingenuity. Jennifer’s father, a construction worker with a passion for building custom cars and airplanes, taught Jennifer that creativity could lead to sustaining life choices. Jennifer’s mother, an art therapist and stay at home mom filled their days with the popular art media of the 1970’s and an endless a cycle of new and imaginative methods of expression.

These early influences, using visual art as a way of channeling feelings, remain an important part of Jennifer’s art practice. The beauty and excitement of the flow of ideas from the unconscious mind to the conscious is an important catalyst for her present work. She endeavors to embrace the uncomfortable and the unknown. The contradictions of the world around her are expressed in the interconnectedness of her sculptural gestures.

Arthur Gonzalez

Three distinct phases have influenced the direction of González’s artistic career and expression. First, as a graduate student at the University of California, Davis under Robert Arneson, he entered the MFA program as a figurative sculptor during the late 1970’s after completing an MA in painting at the California State University, Sacramento. His second phase was as Artist-in-Residence at the University of Georgia, Athens, from 1981-82. González’s attitudes towards art changed through his exposure to a creative lifestyle that blended music and visual art. The third phase of González’s career came through his involvement in the early 1980’s East Village Art Scene, which accelerated public recognition of his work.

Arthur González is an internationally exhibited artist with over thirty-five one-person shows in the last twenty-five years, including seven in New York City. He has received many awards including the Virginia Groot Foundation twice and is an unprecedented four-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts grant within a ten-year period. He is a Professor of Art at the California College of the Arts (formerly CCAC) where he has been Chair of Ceramics since 1995. González recently completed a five-week residency at the Tainan National University of the Arts in Taiwan, and an exhibition of that work in Taichung.

Paolo Porelli


Paolo Porelli received his degree in painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome. In 1990, he opened his own ceramics studio. Since that time, he has produced sculpture and functional pottery. He has exhibited widely in Europe and the US. Recently, he was a summer resident artist at The Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, Guest Artist in Residence at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia, and artist in residency at the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. In 2012, he co-founded c.r.e.t.a. rome, an international center for ceramic arts.​

Esther Shimazu


Esther Shimazu is the granddaughter of Japanese immigrant laborers and was born and raised in suburban Honolulu, Hawaii in a large, close-knit family. She attended public schools and the University of Hawaii/Manoa near her home before transferring to the University of Massachusetts/Amherst to obtain her Bachelor of Fine Art in 1980 and a Master of Fine Art in 1982. Over the years, she has established herself as one of Hawaii’s best-known artists. Clay and a figurative approach have been present in her life from very early on into college, where her current style first came together. In her work, she strives to bring together her lifelong love of clay and the figure, using traditional vessel-making techniques to make what amount to animated pots. Each stoneware sculpture is constructed body part by body part and assembled from individual toenails and teeth on to form a continuously hollow, lightweight but sturdy one-of-a-kind piece. Each is obsessively worked over, smoothed, accented with slips and oxides, bisque-fired, hand-sanded, colored further with rubbed-in oxides and more touches of color and a final airbrushing of oxides. Firing is to cone 5-6 oxidation and there is one last sanding, the better to touch. Most of the imagery is of bald, nude chunky Asian women, unconcerned about clothing and hairdo, comfortable in their own skins. There is the occasional male figure or companion animal. All invite the viewer to play, but underneath, there’s a hint that they might bite.

Kevin Snipes


Kevin Snipes was born in Philadelphia, but grew up mostly in Cleveland, Ohio. He received a B.F.A. in ceramics and drawing from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1994. After leaving grad school at the University of Florida in 2003 Kevin has led a seemingly nomadic artistic life, constantly making making no matter where he is.

Kevin has participated in several artist residency programs, including the Clay Studio, in Philadelphia and Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, in New Castle, Maine and received a Taunt Fellowship from the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana 2008. Exhibiting both nationally and internationally, including a recent solo exhibition at the Society of Arts and Craft, Boston; Akar, Iowa City and Duane Reed Gallery in St. Louis. Kevin has exhibited as far away as Jingdezhen, China. Kevin combines his love of constructing unconventional pottery with an obsessive need to draw on everything that he produces, creating a uniquely dynamic body of work. He currently resides in Chicago, IL.

John Toki


John Toki has maintained a sculpture studio in Richmond, California, since 1974. He has completed public commissions in Berkeley, Oakland, and Sacramento, and has exhibited his work at the Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, Carnegie Museum, Oxnard, and the Oakland Museum. His work is represented by the Udinotti Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, and Sculpturesite Gallery, San Francisco.

A former faculty member at the California College of the Arts, Toki has lectured in Taiwan, Turkey, and Holland, where he was a member of the staff at the European Ceramic Works Center. He has co-authored three books on ceramics: Fired by Ideals: Arequipa Pottery and the Arts and Crafts Movement; Hands In Clay, 5th edition; and Make It In Clay, 2nd edition.

In addition to his art practice, Toki is the owner of Leslie Ceramic Supply Company. He contributes to the community arts as a trustee for the Richmond Art Center, Richmond, California, and is the Associate Director, to Bryan Vansell at the Mission Clay Products Industry and Arts Program, Corona, California.