Claytopia 2019: Local ceramic artists prepare as NCECA arrives in the Twin Cities / by Altered Esthetics

NCECA (The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) is hosting it’s 53rd annual conference in Minneapolis from March 27 - 30. Check out these tips from local ceramic artists on where to find their work and other great exhibitions during Claytopia 2019.

Katayoun Amjadi

Web: Instagram: @katceramics
Online store:


Katayoun Amjadi is currently a Teaching Assistant and MFA candidate at the U of M. Previously, she was an Assistant to the Gallery Director at the Circa Gallery and Curatorial Intern for the Department of Contemporary Art in Minneapolis Institute of Art. Her work has been exhibited in several group and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally, including Minnesota Museum of American Arts, Rochester Art Center, Instinct Art Gallery, Weisman Art Museum, Soap Factory, Beijing Film Academy and 7Samar Gallery in Tehran. Amjadi received her BFA in Studio Arts from the University of Minnesota in 2013. She is also a 2015 recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. She was born in Tehran, Iran and resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota and maintains a studio in the Q.arma building in the NE Art District.

Is there anywhere we can see your work on display during NCECA?

My works are up at the Hair&Nails Gallery, Quarter Gallery at the University of Minnesota, and some decorative works are at Gallery 360.

Any additional exhibitions you’d like people to know about?

I also organized a show at the Q.arma Building with mostly ceramics installation artists.

Jason Kittle



Jason Kittel is an artist who lives and works in Northeast Minneapolis.  His primary focus is on the current social situation and one's experience within. These questions and ideas are addressed through sculpture and performance. Jason Kittel is also a co-founder of Truckstop Gallery located on Niccolet Island near downtown Minneapolis. 

What are you looking forward to seeing during Claytopia this year?

Randy Johnston and Variations of Shino at Gallery 1639

Anything you’d like to promote?

Truckstop is hosting two Canadian artists; Magdolene Dykstra and Janet Macpherson.  This collaborative installation explores an environment pushed too far; hybrid animals scattered within an uncompromising landscape.  The unfired installation is sure to stand out among the gallery shows and this year’s NCECA.  More details and information can be found at

Ernest Miller

Web:   Instagram: @ernestmillerceramcis
Facebook: ernestmillerceramicsdesign

Ernest Miller is a ceramic artist working in Minneapolis, MN. He can be found at local art centers sharing ceramic techniques and experience through teaching classes at Fired Up Studios in Golden Valley, MN and the Minnetonka Center for the Arts in Wayzata, MN. His ceramics career has been mostly built through showing work in various regional and national art fairs including the Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis and the Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, DC. You can find a selection of his work at The Grand Hand Gallery in St. Paul, MN and Schaller Gallery in Saint Joseph, MI. Miller credits a formal education as foundation for a successful outlook on ceramics and the arts. He received an associates degree from Olney Central College in Olney, IL and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL.

Where can we find your work during NCECA?

For NCECA my work can be found at "Pot Spot" and the Northern Clay Center pop up gallery at the convention center.

Are there any exhibitions you’d suggest to people visit while in town for the conference?

There's a few exhibits in particular I recommend seeing. An exhibition of Don Reitze, Chris Gusting, Warren Makenzie, and John Reeve at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts is amazing.

Liz Pechacek 

Web:   Instagram: @lizpechacek


Liz Pechacek is a Minneapolis based ceramics artist whose work is primarily concerned with the making of beautiful objects.

Where can we find your work during NCECA?

The Northern Clay Center sales gallery- 2424 East Franklin Ave
The Northern Clay Center Expo Hall Booth- Minneapolis Convention Center
The Pot Spot, St. Croix Potters Exhibition-  Silverhouse Studio 2519 27th Ave. S
Nucleus- Gallery 360, 3011 W 50th St
To the Top!- Northfield Arts Guild-  304 Division St. S, Northfield, MN

I am also sitting on a panel about ceramics business at the convention Center Thursday at 3:45 and giving a gallery talk at the Northern Clay Center expo hall booth Wednesday at 3.

What are you looking forward to seeing during Claytopia this year?

I am really looking forward to the show at Veronica Wantz and the Russian Art Museum.

Altered Esthetics News:

Our sixth annual Film Festival is open for submissions! Learn more and submit your entry on our Film Freeway page. We are also seeking donations to support this event. 100% of your tax-deductible gift to Ae goes directly to the festival’s operating costs and paying participating artists.

All images courtesy of the artists.

Interviews written by Donny Gettinger, edited by Sarah Kass.