Clay Art Center Presents TRISTATE OF MIND A Regional Juried Exhibition as part of Clay Art Center’s year-long focus IN OUR BACKYARD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE through March 19, 2016

Media Contact:  Dominique Mason, Communications Manager                                                                                                 

[email protected]   914-937-2047 x 226

November 19, 2015 Port Chester, NY:  Clay Art Center is pleased to announce the selection of 17 artists for its upcoming regional juried exhibition TRISTATE OF MIND, juried by internationally recognized curator and gallerist Leslie Ferrin.  The exhibition, opening on January 30th from 6-8pm and running through March 19, 2016, will showcase a breadth of sculptural, installation and functional work and will feature a contemporary cross-section of emerging ceramic artists working within a 75 mile radius of Port Chester, NY.  TRISTATE OF MIND kicks off IN OUR BACKYARD, Clay Art Center’s year-long focus on artists who are working in the New York metropolitan area, are using clay as their mode of expression, and are making an impact in the field of contemporary art.  IN OUR BACKYARD will feature five exhibitions, lectures, workshops, a symposium and a catalog.


There has been a seismic shift in ceramics in New York.  Our backyard has never been more welcoming to clay than it is right now. Clay is in its heyday because of a resurgence of interest in materiality and the loosening boundaries between craft and art.  At a time when ceramics are being more broadly recognized as integral to the wider field of contemporary fine art, CAC is investigating who is expressing their vision through clay in our region and why their work is significant.  Exploring relevant contemporary art themes through a guided lens of clay, TRISTATE OF MIND will embody the culture, trends and theories surrounding contemporary art practice in our region. Juror Leslie Ferrin states, “In 2015 we increasingly see the disintegration of categories used in institutions and commercial galleries that were historically based on material or process; those artificial ways of dividing artists have been a divisive game of vocabulary where the terms studio, decorative, art, craft and design have been used according to each decade’s fashion and has limited previous generations of artists in both their creativity and career success through market placement.  Graduating seniors are finding welcoming acceptance to exhibiting clay sculpture and objects alongside their works in painting and various other mediums. This exhibition will highlight emerging artists whose work in clay conveys individual expression, without being derivative or technique dominated.” 


Participating Artists include: Jocelyn Armstrong (Westport, CT), Ryan Blackwell (Brooklyn, NY), Joel Brown (Hartsdale, NY), Brooke Evans (Monroe, NY), Elena Perez Guembe (Brooklyn, NY), Roxanne Jackson (Ridgewood,  NY), Adam Knoche (New York, NY), Tom Lent (Wappingers Falls, NY), Kaitlyn Meeks (Stamford,  CT), Zachary Robinson (New York, NY), Lauren Sandler (Rock Hill, NY), Max Seinfeld (Danbury, CT), Steven Sitrin (Martinsville, NJ), Lauren Eve Skelly (East Meadow, NY), Tamar Sobol (Scarsdale, NY), Helena Starcevic (New York, NY) and Joan Zagrobelny (Newtown, CT).


In the jury process, applicants were asked to answer what trends, aesthetics, or discussions they see this region creating.

Here are some excerpts from 3 of the artists who were selected to be in the exhibit: 


I see a trend of a revisitation of modernism but in a new mode of conceptualism. There is a handling of materials and juxtaposition of objects and collections of objects that show the human curiosity and research in what it is to be human in the 21st century.”  – Adam Knoche – NY, NY: 


“With an increased concern about the environmental impact of what we purchase, people within this region care about the source and material used in order to create. In efforts to take part in this dialogue a lot of artists and local businesses create or purchase work that speaks to material and community.” Max Seinfeld – Danbury, CT


…we must acknowledge the work of several American potters, whose pieces, while functional in origin, achieve a scale and surface treatment that clearly place them in the fine art camp. Here in New York, several galleries present Japanese work that achieves this status. While the discussion is not unique to the City, it is perhaps richer here because of our wonderful cultural diversity…” Joel Brown – Hartsdale, NY


Finalists will have the opportunity to be juried by a renowned sub-committee for the grand prize, a solo exhibition at CAC in the summer of 2016.  The winner will be publically announced at the opening reception for TRISTATE OF MIND on January 30th. The sub-committee includes esteemed members of contemporary art and craft  in NY:  Glenn Adamson, Director of the MAD Museum; Barry Harwood, Curator of Decorative Arts at the Brooklyn Museum; David McFadden, Emeritus Chief Curator at the MAD Museum and Jennifer Scanlan, Independent Curator.


Our juror, Leslie Ferrin, is the director of Ferrin Contemporary, which specializes in ceramic art produced circa 1950 to the present, with a growing emphasis international ceramic artists. For over thirty years, Ferrin Contemporary has been the preferred source for artwork by established and emerging artists and designers whose primary medium is clay, for private collectors, institutions and the media. Based in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, Ferrin Contemporary maintains exhibition space at Independent Art Projects on the MASS MoCA campus in North Adams, Mass and a business office, library and art warehouse at Project Art, an artist residence in a renovated, 19th-century mill building in Cummington, Mass.  Visit to lean more.


Clay Art Center is a not-for-profit ceramic art organization offering exhibitions, clay classes for adults and children, studio spaces for clay artists and outreach programs in the community.  It is located in the heart of Port Chester at 40 Beech Street, Port Chester, NY 10573.   Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10am-6pm and Saturday 10am – 4pm or by appointment.  For more information or images, please contact Dominique Mason at [email protected] or 914-937-2047x 226   


Images shown:  Lauren Eve Skelley – Stacked & Cracked, Ceramic 


***Additional high resolution digital images available upon request.