More is happening in May at the American Museum of Ceramic Art! We’re kicking off our month with First Fridays, when you can choose your own ticket prices and enjoy our current exhibitions, thanks to generous support from our Board of Directors. We’ve been hard at work behind the scenes, and May brings new art to AMOCA with Making in Between: Queer Clay, on view May 6–December 30, 2023. Queer Clay is the second major exhibition in our “Making in Between” series, which brings together works by artists doing intersectional work and exploring common themes of identity, culture, and community. Queer Clay shifts the lens of the series to explore broader influences on identity, centering queerness as an unapologetic presence. You won’t want to miss this exhibition, and you’re invited to our opening reception on Saturday, May 6!
May also means the opening of the 2023 High School Virtual Exhibition, which features works by 109 students from 13 states, plus Washington, DC – a vibrant sample of the next generation of ceramic talent in the United States. The Awards Ceremony and Exhibition premiered in late April on AMOCA’s YouTube channel, and more images and information about the included pieces will be available soon online.
AMOCA’s Artist in Residence Program – made possible with support from the Windgate Foundation, Julianne and David Armstrong, and the Laguna Clay and Glaze Company – is going strong, and we’ve announced our 2023–2024 residents. Join us in congratulating (in order of arrival) Natalia Arbelaez of Brewster, NY; Claudia V. Solórzano of Los Angeles, CA; Paige O’Toole of Garrison, NY; Jolie Ngo of Philadelphia, PA; and Luke Shalan of Sugarloaf, CA. Our residency space provides artists an opportunity to produce or develop a new body of work while also participating in AMOCA’s programs. The shorter residency opportunities for artists commuting from Southern California locales are designed to encourage artistic exchange with artists visiting from other parts of the world. Be sure to say hello to these artists you see them in the studio or at the museum!
For your own hands-on clay experience, join our 90-minute introductory class on Friday, May 12. You’ll learn the basics of handpainting with underglaze on premade forms created by our studio members. For more intensive learning, the AMOCA studio will be offering weekend skill building workshops in soda firing and figurative sculpture in June. Be sure to register early to reserve your spot! Our studio classes and workshops frequently sell out.
While our studio classes are for adults only, aspiring artists of all ages are invited to join us for May Flowers, a family-friendly clay workshop, on Saturday, May 21. In this Family Day workshop, we will explore flowers as a theme in clay. Create your own hand-sculpted flower from air dry clay, or use flowers as inspiration in a clay project!
If you’re an AMOCA member, you can enjoy the museum without the crowds on Wednesdays and Thursdays during Member Bonus Days. Don’t forget that AMOCA members also get great perks, including 10% off in-stock items at the museum store and free registration for Family Day workshops as space allows. And, we’re currently partnering with the Laguna Art Museum (LAM) to offer a reciprocal membership program; show your AMOCA membership card at the LAM entrance for complimentary admission. Not yet an AMOCA member or need to renew? You can always visit our membership page to renew or purchase a membership online.
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 to 4 PM. Museum tickets may be purchased at the door or reserved online.
See you soon,
Associate Director of Communications & Stewardship
Upcoming Programs & Events
First Fridays at AMOCA
Friday, May 5 • 11:00 AM–4:00 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!
Opening Reception • Making in Between: Queer Clay
Saturday, May 6, 2023 • 4:00–5:00 PM • In person
Join us for an opening reception for Making in Between: Queer Clay, on view in Gallery B. Opening remarks will occur at 4:30 PM, and light refreshments will be served. Admission to the event and Museum galleries is complimentary with advance registration.
Introductory Clay Class • Surface Decoration
Friday, May 12 • 6:00–7:30 PM • In Person • $50
Learn the basics of hand painting with underglaze on a premade form. Our studio members have already created various cup shapes out of clay that you’ll decorate with the new techniques you’ll learn tonight! Your finished cups will be fired after the class is completed–all included in the price.
May Flowers • a Family Workshop
Sunday, May 21• 12:00–1:00 PM • In Person • $15
Celebrate Springtime with our May Flowers family workshop! In this all ages family workshop, we will explore flowers as a theme in clay. Create your own hand-sculpted flower from air dry clay, or use flowers as inspiration in a clay project.
Wednesday, June 7, 2023 • 12:00-1:00 PM • In Person
Join us for a special members tour of the exhibitions From a Gift to a Collection: Igal & Diane Silber, Waiting in silence (through the long years), and Making in Between: Queer Clay with Executive Director Beth Ann Gerstein. This in-person event is complimentary for members.
Skill Building Workshop: Soda Firing
Saturday & Sunday, June 10, 11, & 17, 2023 • times vary • In person • $300
This 3-day workshop with artist Sam Lopez will introduce students to the soda firing process and will include demonstrations for glazing, loading, firing, and spraying the sodium solution into the kiln.
Skill Building Workshop: Figurative Sculpture
Saturday & Sunday June 24 & 25, 2023 • 10:00 AM–4:00 PM • In person • $250
Join Biliana Popova for a two-day ceramic sculpture workshop that will be full of helpful information on solid sculpting a human figure. The focus will be on interpretation from 2D sketch to 3D format, giving special attention to the anatomy and balance of the sculpture.
In Case You Missed It
2023 High School Exhibition Virtual Premiere & Awards Ceremony
The 2023 Annual High School Ceramics Exhibition features works by 109 students from 13 states, plus Washington, DC – a vibrant sample of the next generation of ceramic talent in the United States. On Saturday April 22, 2023 at 10am, AMOCA premiered a pre-recorded awards ceremony that includes a presentation of the entire virtual exhibition.
Exhibitions on View
Visit Friday–Sunday, 11 AM–4 PM by purchasing tickets online.
Making in Between: Queer Clay
On view May 6-December 30, 2023, Making in Between: Queer Clay shifts the lens of the Making in Between series from national heritage to explore broader influences on identity, centering queerness as an unapologetic presence. Queer Clay features works by historical artists, whose identities have remained largely unseen until recently, alongside contemporary makers.
From a Gift to a Collection: Igal & Diane Silber
On view April 1-September 17, 2023, From a Gift to a Collection: Igal & Diane Silber celebrates AMOCA’s recent acquisition of more than 300 ceramic pieces collected by Igal and Diane Silber. The exhibition presents a selection of 100 works from this unparalleled collection, representing artists from Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific Rim, and North America.
Waiting in silence (through the long years)
The exhibition Waiting in silence (through the long years) features new work by Southern California artist William Catling. It will be on view in the Vault Gallery April 1–August 20, 2023.
The Artists of Mettlach
This ongoing 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 these historic works.