I am running for Student Director-At-Large this year for NCECA! I've attached my formal video below (where you get to see my well decorated at not at all college-student level of aesthetic) and I hope you'll consider voting for me for the position of Student Director-At-Large.
To put it simply: I am invested in NCECA's future. I see rising students and "unestablished" ceramicists as necessary to the continuation and development of NCECA as an inclusive organization. This year's theme, Cross Currents, is especially relevant. Regardless of personal affiliation, it should be important to every member of NCECA to make the organization more diverse, more inclusive, and accessible to all peoples; to uplift marginalized identities so that NCECA as a whole can become better for it.
I am a member of the queer community, and I make a point to consider my community as well as other marginalized identities (race, gender, sexuality, ability, etc) in the future of NCECA. I want a future where everyone works together in an inclusive NCECA.
Thank you for your consideration!
Black Art History & Contemporary Makers
As I do my own due diligence for researching and identifying black ceramicists, I'm struggling to find information. It's almost embarrassing how I google "black ceramics" or "african american ceramics" and every iteration of ceramics, pottery, clay -- only to come up with a short list of names, relegated to a small image or a short statement. For an aspect of identity that bears importance on personal identity as well as social identity, the lack of representation of black ceramicists is disheartening.
I won't pretend that I'm doing any sort of savior work by highlighting black individuals. This should be the status quo in art history and contemporary art, not a special thing. But, I can't fight for intersectional feminism of all peoples - races, genders, sexualities, etc - and ignore the struggles of black artists.
What I am doing is trying to make the information available and educating my own audience.
In the process, I need to examine my own privileges and biases. I am a white individual. I use a number of identifiers for my gender and sexuality, but to keep it simple - I am agender, I use they/them pronouns, and I use the labels queer and trans. I am under thirty. I am able bodied. I am neurodivergent.
I am privileged to have a formal arts education, and the means to continue into a masters program for art history. I go to a university where there are classes taught on African art - I'm currently enrolled in Contemporary African art and African Photography courses, and I was able to take Female Identity in African Art last semester. I have access to classes on high versus low art, Feminist art, craft and fine art, and various intersections of identity.
In my search this month to highlight black ceramicists, I also need to be aware of how labels affect individuals. I was too eager to use a specific artist's work today - his pieces are about how using one individual label (i.e. American, black, latino) reduces a person to a single stereotyped identity. Without analyzing his work, I wanted to use his work which overtly resists labels in my research about black ceramicists.
My published work has many intersections of identity. How would I like to be labeled "the trans writer"? I wouldn't want my work to be reduced to a single identifier, for fear of being typecast. I can't do that to others.
I am continuing to search for black ceramicists for this blog, but I need to find individuals who overtly identify as black (or identify as part of a black diaspora). A significant part of educating others involves educating yourself, finding your own issues and bases and making the changes necessary to move forward without disrespecting others.
Almost Art History
A little over a week into February 2018, and I've decided to finally start working on my blog. The title of the blog is Almost Art History. It exists to highlight topics of marginalization and representation within the art history community, as well as noting contemporary issues that will affect art canon in the future. For those who know me, the big topics I'm interested in are: traditionally domestic mediums (aka craft mediums), marginalized sexualities and genders, and intersectional feminism.
Since it's February, I've decided to start off on a light-hearted theme --
Black Art History & Contemporary Makers
As someone who regularly researches representation in the arts of marginalized communities, it is absolutely appalling to see how little people of color are represented in ceramics, let alone black individuals.
For black history month, I'm providing information on black ceramicists - in America and internationally. I don't intend to limit black makers to a single month, however. In the future, I'll be sure to point out black ceramicists as much as possible!
Let's get started with --
Waiting, 2017, image from Mtimkulu's Instagram (@duma.mtkl)
Duma Mtimkulu is a black ceramicist working in South Africa. Design Indaba lists him as a student of Tshwane University of Technology, and provides the following description for his work: