June@AMOCA, 2022

Pictured: untitled work from the Blooop Series by Alina Hayes.


As usual, we are keeping busy here at AMOCA. Last month, the Vault Gallery reopened with an exhibition of work by artist Alina Hayes: Blooop by Alina Hayes, /blo͞op/ noun a clumsy mistake, and our May 14 reception for Blooop was a cheery, neon-infused success! Hayes is a Ukrainian-born Los Angeles-based artist with a BA and MA from California State University, Northridge; she is currently Adjunct Professor at Ventura Community College. The Blooop series is bright, biomorphic, and exploratory. You can join us for a virtual artist talk with Alina Hayes and learn more about her Blooop series later this month, on Thursday, June 23.

May also brought the launch of AMOCA’s podcast One Clay at a Time. Episode one featured cohosts Pam Aliaga, AMOCA’s exhibition manager, and ceramic artist Claudia V. Solórzano in conversation with local ceramic artist Jorge Alfredo Jimenez, Jr. Episode two, a conversation with Josh Cloud, is coming later this month. You can listen in on our podcast page, or subscribe to One Clay at a Time wherever you get your podcasts.

All our galleries are bursting with impressive ceramic art! In addition to Blooop by Alina Hayes, AMOCA is also currently featuring Peter Callas: An Enduring Legacy, a comprehensive career retrospective showcasing Callas’s mastery of anagama kiln wood-firing techniques, and 50 Bowls, 50 States, 50 Woodfires, Elaine Henry’s collaborative investigation into the nuances of woodfire. Drop by to see The Artists of Mettlach, featuring selected works from the Robert D. and Collette D. Wilson Villeroy and Boch Mettlach Collection, and Connected Spaces: Cheryl Ann Thomas + Michael F. Rohde, an assembly of ceramic sculptures and woven tapestries created through a year-long artistic exchange.

Our Artist in Residence (AIR) program in the Ceramic Studio continues to thrive, with local AIR Amy Santoferraro in residence through August. Kirstin Willders is finishing up her 12-month residency at the end of June. Willders’s studio practice encompasses wheel-thrown ceramics, glass and light, and mixed materials; you can learn more about—and see images of—what Kirstin has been working on when you join her virtual artist talk on Saturday, June 11.

Classes and workshops in the Ceramics Studio continue to sell out soon after they are posted. A number of summer session classes (starting the week of July 10) have already sold out. A few spaces remain in our June 18 Introductory class, a 90 minute hands-on class where you’ll learn the basics of throwing on the potters wheel. The next event in the Artist Workshop Series, Working with Paper Clay with artist Shiyuan Xu, has sold out, but there are still a few spots available for July’s Skill Building Workshop: Architectural Incense Holders with Eunbi Cho. If you’d like to participate in a studio clay experience this summer, be sure to reserve soon!

If you’re a current AMOCA member, you’re invited to join us for Members Clay Day, an exclusive—and free!—90 minute hands-on clay class led by Artist in Residence Colby Charpentier. You’ll get your hands dirty and learn the basics of throwing on the potters wheel. Space is limited, so reserve your spot now! Want to join or renew your membership? Visit our Membership page for details.

It is with gratitude for his almost four years of dedicated service that I share that my colleague Paul Roach has moved on to a new position with local nonprofit Shoes that Fit. As our Director of Advancement, Paul has been an integral, enthusiastic part of the museum team; we will certainly miss his presence here at AMOCA! Please join us in wishing him the best in his new position.

I’ll be handling the newsletter from here, so let me introduce myself: prior to joining AMOCA late last year, I coordinated the Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards program at Claremont Graduate University. My background is in literature and poetry, and I continue to write, publish, teach, and run a small literary press. I’ve already learned so many fascinating details about the ceramic arts in my time at AMOCA, and I’m looking forward to learning more and sharing my clay discoveries with you!

Members can now visit the Museum on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 AM to 4 PM for a quieter experience in the exhibition galleries. Visits can be booked online, by calling the Museum at (909) 865-3146 or by emailing membership@amoca.org.

We’re hiring, and if you or anyone you know has an advancement background and a passion for the ceramic arts, check out the current opportunities on AMOCA’s employment page. Feel free to reach out with any questions.

Thank you for being a partner in AMOCA’s mission to champion the ceramic arts! We look forward to welcoming you to the Museum Friday through Sunday, from 11 AM through 4 PM; you can make reservations online. Remember, it’s the start of a new month, and our First Fridays program allows you to pay-what-you-want.

Hope to see you soon,

Genevieve Kaplan
Associate Director of Communications & Stewardship

June Programs and Events

Foreground: Cheryl Ann Thomas, CARNIVAL, 2020. Porcelain, 28 x 20 x 20 inches. Background: Michael F. Rohde, re: CARNIVAL, 2021. Handwoven tapestry: wool, natural dyes. 45 x 32.5 inches.

First Fridays at AMOCA

Friday, June 3 • 11 AM–4 PM • In-person

Thanks to generous support from AMOCA’s Board of Directors, Museum admission for First Fridays at AMOCA is pay what you can (while tickets last). Each month, visit the Museum and choose your own ticket prices!

Book Your Visit

Pictured: Kirstin Willders, Hair Folly 2 (Santa Lucia with top knot), 2022. Ceramic, hair, plastic hands, doll eyes, acrylic paint, metal foil, adhesive, mounting hardware, 28 x 12 x 22 inches.

Virtual Artist Talk with Kirstin Willders

Saturday, June 11, 2022 • 11 AM –12 PM (PST) • Online

Join us for a virtual artist talk with Artist in Residence Kirstin Willders. This talk marks the closing event of her 2021-2022 residency in the AMOCA Studio.


Pictured: untitled work from the Blooop Series by Alina Hayes.

Blooop by Alina Hayes

On View May 14–August 28 in the Vault Gallery

Born in Ukraine, Alina Hayes grew up in New York City, New York. The daughter of a jeweler and a musician and the granddaughter of a potter and a surgeon, Hayes views hand-work as a part of her heritage. She began her studies at the School of Visual Arts before relocating to Los Angeles in 2005, where she completed both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts (emphasis in Ceramics) degrees at California State University, Northridge. Hayes currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at Ventura Community College.

Virtual Artist Talk

Thursday, June 23 • 11 AM–12 PM • Online

Join us for a virtual artist talk celebrating Blooop by Alina Hayes on view in the Vault Gallery at AMOCA. Artist Alina Hayes will discuss how the pressure put on artists to create “serious work” inspired her Blooop series; the presentation will be followed by a short Q &A.


Pictured: Wheel throwing class at the AMOCA Ceramics Studio.

June Introductory Ceramics Session

Saturday, June 18 • 5:30 –7 PM • In-person • $45

Learn the basics of throwing on the potters wheel! Complimentary access to the Museum galleries is included.

The perfect way to get your hands dirty, relax, and have fun! In this one-day introductory class, you’ll learn the basics of throwing on the potters wheel. If you successfully create a bowl, staff will glaze it with an oatmeal glaze and fire it after the class is completed – all included in the price. If you’d like to take the piece home with you, you can come back and pick it up.

Learn More

Summer Session Ceramics Classes Now Available

Six weeks, starting the week of July 10 • In-person • $295

If you’re looking to develop your skills further, consider taking a six-week course. Courses encourage development of ceramic skills and are limited to 10 participants. Courses meet once a week with an instructor for 2.5 hours (15 hours of total instructor time). Access to open studio hours are included for the duration of the class and the two weeks following.

Summer session classes are already selling out! Be sure to register early for Summer Session.

Learn More

Pictured: Peter Callas, coil jar (detail), 2004. Wood fired stoneware. Collection of the Artist.

Member Bonus Days

Wednesdays and Thursdays • 11 AM–4 PM • In-person

Members can now book tickets to visit Museum galleries on Wednesdays and Thursdays. A fun way to enjoy the galleries to yourself!

Book Your Visit

In Case You Missed It

Podcast Premiere: One Clay at Time

Tune in

Premiered Monday, May 9, 2022

In the first episode of One Clay at a Time, co-host Pam Aliaga and Claudia Solórzano are joined by Jorge Alfredo Jimenez, Jr., whose MFA thesis exhibition no te preocupes was presented at Claremont Graduate University last month. Episode 2 is coming soon!

Artist Talk: 50 Bowls, 50 States, 50 Woodfires with Elaine Olafson Henry

Watch on YouTube

Presented and Recorded on Saturday, April 30, 2022

A recording of the virtual artist talk with artist Elaine Olafson Henry and curator Jo Lauria to celebrate the exhibition 50 Bowls, 50 States, 50 Woodfires.

Virtual Exhibition & Awards Ceremony: 2022 Annual High School Ceramics Exhibition

View the Virtual Exhibition

Exhibitions on View

Visit Friday–Sunday, 11 AM–4 PM by purchasing tickets online.

Blooop by Alina Hayes

In my studio practice, the work moves between form and function as I think about fluidity of materials, process and time. Drawing on parallels between the unpredictability of the ceramic process and the shortcomings I often feel as an immigrant, woman, wife, mother and educator. Obsessed with succeeding, becoming something of value and the connectedness as I sit and shape intricate clay objects. . . . The Blooop series emerged as I regained control by making joyful objects full of childlike wonder. With feeling of play, without judgment, the work is loud, unapologetic; mine. 

-Alina Hayes

On view May 14 through August 28, 2022.

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Connected Spaces: Cheryl Ann Thomas + Michael F. Rohde

On view through August 21, 2022, Connected Spaces presents nearly 50 artworks by California-based artists Michael F. Rohde and Cheryl Ann Thomas. This assembly of ceramic sculptures and woven tapestries is focused on a recent series created by the artists through a year-long artistic exchange in 2020-2021. The exhibition also includes pieces by both artists beyond the series to provide context.

Connected Spaces: Cheryl Ann Thomas + Michael F. Rohde is curated by Jo Lauria, Adjunct Curator.

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The Artists of Mettlach

On view through July 31, 2022, this exhibition presents a selection of works from the Villeroy and Boch Mettlach Collection (donated by Robert D. And Colette D. Wilson). It features original research on notable artists involved in the production of this historic works.

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Peter Callas: An Enduring Legacy

Regarded as one of the preeminent ceramic artists in the American Studio Ceramics tradition to work with anagama kilns, Peter Callas (1951– ) influenced an entire generation of ceramic artists. Among the 50 works featured in An Enduring Legacy are Callas’s innovative expressionist sculptures and abstracted container forms that function as visual records of the transformative forces of fire. Other works on display include intimate tea bowls, selected works on paper, and the premier of an original film about the artist. On view through July 24, 2022.

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50 Bowls, 50 States, 50 Woodfires

A project of scholar and artist Elaine Olafson Henry, this exhibition presents 50 thrown porcelain bowls, each created by the artist using the same clay block, the same building and shaping process, and the same glaze coat. In order to explore how firing circumstances would inevitably influence the finished pieces, Henry then shipped each bowl to a different wood firing ceramist in each state. The end result is a snapshot in time of woodfire practices across the United States. On view through July 24, 2022.

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