Posted by Brian Malnassy on

NCECA 2018: Top 5 Favorites

What a whirlwind, but we made it back! Pittsburgh opened up its arms to us, and we hit the ground running. Outside of the hustle and bustle in our booth and the convention center, there were so many things to do, see and eat! For many of us, this was our first visit to Pittsburgh. And this great city proved itself to be a perfect choice for NCECA. We narrowed it down to a few favorites we wanted to share. 



Collectors Night NCECA Pittsburgh LillstreetAfter a crazy setup day, the NCECA Expo hall opened at 6pm for Collectors Night. In this opening, collectors get a private 30-minute preview of the show before the general public is permitted to view and purchase from the nine galleries in the Expo hall. Imagine, only hours before the spaces were completely empty! It's a special night and sets an exciting tone for the week.



Ceramicidal Tendancies Opening Reception

This year, NCECA was spread throughout the city. There were pop-up galleries and exhibitions all over town. A particularly memorable pop-up was Hot Mud: A 3-Way in Clay featuring works by Numpucsh Semachai, Ashley Bevington and Michael George. This pop-up was located in a house, the atmosphere was wild! Numpucsh has been an artist showing in Lillstreet Gallery for nearly a year, and it was great to see her larger sculptural work and prints. Another memorable pop-up show was Lillstreet ceramics teacher Chris Chaney’s Ceramicidal Tendancies: the Intersection of Punk and Clay. Located at the Mr. Roboto Project, Chris curated a group exhibition celebrating the parallels between the punk and clay communities.



Pittsburgh NCECA Top 5 Lillstreet Art CenterAnd drinks! In the midst of the busiest week of our year, were lucky enough to have a quiet night out with a few ceramic artists. Don't miss Driftwood Oven for sourdough pizza paired with freshly canned crowlers from Cinderlands Beer Co (located just a few doors away). During our stay, we also ventured into the Squirrel Hill neighborhood for some truly special Chinese cuisine at Everyday Noodles. From the dining room, we could watch as they made fresh noodles and soup dumplings. The food was fantastic and fun to share. 



(Image: Andy Warhol Bridge, copyright WBUR News Pittsburgh)

Did you know Pittsburgh has 446 bridges and is known as “The City of Bridges?" We didn't! Coming from Chicago, it was very refreshing to be driving daily over these beautiful constructions. We mainly drove over the Andy Warhol (Seventh Street) and Rachel Carson (Ninth Street) bridges to get to the convention center each day. At nighttime, these bridges are illuminated with cool light effects. 



NCECA Community Lillstreet Gallery BoothAside from the sites and sounds of Pittsburgh, NCECA is an important convergence point for the clay community. Our Founder and Owner, Bruce Robbins was on a panel discussion about multi-use spaces. Joe Kraft celebrated his birthday (showered him with doughnuts). We reconnected with former Lillstreet Artists-In-Residence, teachers, artists we have worked with throughout the years, vendors and studio members during the 4 short days in Pittsburgh. One of the biggest highlights each year is when we rekindle our existing relationships and form new ones.


Cheers NCECA, we'll see you in Minneapolis next year! 

NCECA 2018 Pittsburgh Lillstreet Gallery

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