Sydney Sorrells, A&E Reporter
The 34th Annual Alabama Clay Conference Presenters’ Exhibition and National Invitational had its opening reception Thursday, February 7, 2018 in the Hammond Art Gallery. At this reception, the public was allowed to view work from the main conference presenters which include artists: Richard Burkett, Julia Galloway, Liz Ziot-Summerfield and Lisa Clague. The show is titled “Atmospheric”. It features soda-fired work from presenters and artists all over the country. Soda firing is a kiln firing technique where baking soda or soda ash is introduced into the kiln at top temperature.
This exhibition is one of the concurrent exhibitions to the Alabama Clay Conference, which will be hosted at Jacksonville State University by ceramics professor, John Oles, from Thursday, February 21 through Sunday, February 24, 2019. The conference itself is closed to the public, but there are other opportunities for outsiders to get a look at what Alabama artists are creating.
The Alabama Clay Market is an open-to-the-public event during the conference. The Clay Market has been going on for 10 years and it is an invitational for 16-20 artists and presenters who are known in Alabama and in-the-field to sell their work to an audience they may not normally be able to reach. This work is normally functional work for the home and office, but also includes some sculptural pieces. The Clay Market will be open on Friday, February 22 and Saturday, February 23, 2019 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Many of the selling artists are professors and hobby potters who make their living through selling works.
Another public event is the closing reception for the Presenters’ Exhibition and National Invitational on Thursday, February 21, 2019 from 5-7 p.m. This opportunity includes the vendor area and participants’ show.
The Alabama Clay Conference has been hosted in different cities and at different universities across the state of Alabama during its course of 34 years. This will be Jacksonville State University’s third time hosting the conference.