by Sarah Andert
This weekend the South Coast Clay All Stars, a local alliance of ceramic artists in New Orleans and the Gulf South region, will host NOLA Fired Up!! a three-day conference which will include lectures and demonstrations by nationally known ceramic artists, as well as educational and networking opportunities for professional artists and students. Guest artists include Margaret Bohls, Joe Bova, Cynthia Bringle, MaPo Kinnord Peyton and Lana Wilson. Discussion topics include sessions on the artist, the community and the environmental impact of artists in the studio, as well as more practical topics such as the how to obtain insurance, a discussion that will be led by the Craft Emergency Relief Fund.
The weekend will begin with Fire on the River, an outdoor event along the Mississippi featuring sculptural kiln construction and demonstrations:
As the alliance describes it, ""Fire on the River is a one-day interactive exhibit of fired-in-place sculptures and temporary fast-fire kilns. Ceramic artists from the region will install and fire temporary kilns on-site on the levee of the MIssissippi River. These kilns will illustrate some of the diversity and innovations within the field of contemporary ceramic art. They will include kiln structures firing to earthenware and stoneware temperatures, utilizing wood and propane gas as fuels. These kilns represent personal interpretations of kiln design, influenced by traditional forms and the demands of particular applications. Some kiln sculptures will be fired during the event and be dismantled and removed immediately afterward. Fire on the River will take place in the immediate vicinity of the river, in part to reflect the importance of the river to the life of the city and the region. The Mississippi has historically been the engine for commerce and technology in New Orleans, and the heart of its cultural life. The location of the event is the river levee of the now famous Lower Ninth Ward. Music in the evening will be provided by the Pinettes Brass Band, the only all-woman brass band in New Orleans, and there will be poetry provided by Chuck Perkins."
Additionally, there will be over 35 ceramic art exhibitions installed citywide in coordination with the gallery openings on the first of the month.
For more info see www.nolafiredup.org