The Sustaining Presence – Online Exhibition Celebrating Black History Month

This February marks the 47th annual Black History Month, a celebration of the achievements and advancements of Black Americans who have contributed to the history of the United States. We are excited to honor Black History Month by providing an online invitational exhibition “The Sustaining Presence: Stalwarts of African American Contemporary Clay”, Guest Curated by Syd Carpenter. This exhibition celebrates Black ceramic artists from across the US, throughout February, with two of the works in the exhibition by Sana Musasama available to view in person in our gallery from February 1st to March 1st, 2023.

Guest Curator Syd Carpenter States: “The African diaspora has influenced globally diverse expressions in music, dance, theatre, literature and the visual arts for more than a century. From the majestic and poetic works of Dave Drake in the 19th century to celebrated works of Simone Leigh in the 21st, Black clay artists have been a consistent community of innovative clay productivity. From pure abstraction to explicit representations of the experience of being Black in America, the presence of Black artists is here represented by notable stalwarts who have continued to creatively enhance the field. Many beginning their careers in the late 60’s and early 70’s, their work reflects the ongoing vibrancy, technical brilliance and creative insight of this group of artists.”

Participating Artists include: Earline Green, Winnie Owens-Hart, Malcolm Mobutu Smith, Sana Musasama, Bobby Scroggins, and Lydia Thompson

View the Exhibition Online:

A Virtual Artist Talk “In Conversation – The Sustaining Presence” will take place on Wednesday, February 8th at 7pm EST. This event will be moderated by Syd Carpenter, with guest participating artists from the exhibition. This event is free to the public. Register Here

All of the works available both online and in the gallery are available for purchase directly through our website, or by contacting the gallery.

Guest Curator Syd Carpenter lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, James A Michener Museum, Tang Museum of Skidmore College, and Fuller Craft Museum. She is a Professor of Studio Art, at Swarthmore College, PA.

About Clay Art Center

The Clay Art Center, founded in 1957 by Katherine Choy and Henry Okamoto and located in Port Chester, New York, is a nationally recognized non-profit center for the advancement of the ceramic arts. Its facilities are unique by providing artists with studio space, offering year-round clay classes and workshops in wheel throwing, pottery, sculpture and handbuilding for adults and children, thereby serving the Westchester and Connecticut communities. Its gallery is solely dedicated to exhibiting ceramics of emerging and established talents. Clay Art Center also offers outreach programs in the community to reach under served children and adults in Westchester County. Mon-Sat 10am – 4pm and by appt.