About The Exhibition

The National K-12 Ceramic Exhibition is an annual juried ceramic competition for Kindergarten through Grade 12 (K-12) students in the United States. Designed to showcase the best K12 ceramic work made in the country, the exhibition takes place in a different city each year in conjunction with the annual conference of The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). The NCECA conference is the preeminent ceramic event in the US annually, gathering professionals from universities, colleges, museums, art galleries and the ceramic arts world to a host city to view exhibitions, demonstrations, talks and other ceramic events. For that week, the host city is the world capital of ceramics.

Jurors for The National K-12 Ceramic Exhibition are selected from the top rank of American ceramic artists and their decisions are final. Teachers from around the nation submit images of student ceramic work to the juror. Winning students are selected and have their work shipped to the host city for the exhibition. A beautiful poster, catalog, and CD are produced each year with the names and work of the winning students. All winning students and their teacher receive a poster and catalog. Scholarships and awards are also presented to many of the winners.

The exhibition attendance exceeded 6,000 in Baltimore in 2005. The best work in our exhibition is consistently judged to be better than undergraduate and much of the graduate work produced nationwide. What has been so surprising, and what draws such large crowds every year, is the simple showcase reality: that young people who have learned the basics of ceramics can express themselves as well, if not better, than people much older and more mature.

Each year since inception this national exhibition has improved in quality and the number of students involved. Created in 1998 by Leah Schlief, the exhibition has become one of the most attended venues at the annual conference. In 2001, Dr. Bob Feder organized a group of Founding Members and K-12 teachers, to permanently support the exhibition. In 2002 in Kansas City, they became The National K-12 Ceramic Exhibition Foundation, Inc. This Federally recognized 501 c(3) non-profit foundation now supports the exhibition, organizes scholarships and ceramic teacher education opportunities.

The exhibition is open to all students in the K-12 setting from all walks of life.