Annual Ceramic Competition Launches Online, Physical Exhibits Will Open When State, City Allow


SAN ANGELO, TX — The San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts (SAMFA) is pleased to announce the online opening of the 23rd San Angelo National Ceramic Competition on Friday. For the first time in 35 years, the full exhibit will be available on the SAMFA website for anyone, anywhere in the world, to view. While the museum itself is closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SAMFA is finding alternative ways to present its collections, exhibits, and programs until it is safe to reopen.

See the online exhibits here.

The National Ceramic Competition is a juried exhibit that features work from leading ceramic artists as well as undiscovered new talent from across North America.

Beginning April 17 at 10 a.m., 116 works by 102 artists, selected from a pool of nearly 800 outstanding submissions, will be visible on the museum’s website (go to Viewers will be able to look at images of each artwork, along with information about the artist and the artist’s statement about the artwork.

Once it is safe for the museum to reopen, the works will be installed in the galleries and the show will be open to the public through September 6.

The artworks in the exhibition were chosen by this year’s Competition juror, Jo Lauria of Los Angeles, California. Lauria is a curator, writer, and educator who received her curatorial training at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She is a specialist in the fields of design, craft, and decorative arts, with particular emphasis on modern and contemporary studio ceramics. She received the American Ceramic Circle Book Award for Ralph Bacerra: Exquisite Beauty. Currently she is a contributing writer to Ornament Magazine, Mentor Faculty of Otis College of Art and Design, and Adjunct Curator of the American Museum of Ceramic Art.

On April 24, the museum will post a digital presentation by Lauria on its website and social media channels. Lauria will discuss her process of selecting the works in the show, and also discuss the chosen works themselves in the broader context of the history and traditions of ceramic art.

Another special aspect of the Ceramic Competition is that for each competition show, a noted ceramic artist is asked to display a small focus exhibit, which highlights the artist’s work. This year’s Invited Artist is Ginger Geyer of Austin. Though Geyer’s work cannot currently be seen in person, the museum be posting several video presentations of Geyer at work in her studio.

Geyer earned BFA in painting and MFA in museum education at Southern Methodist University and she later received a lay degree in pastoral ministry at the Seminary of the Southwest. Making art with homeless people and especially with her own two children have deeply informed her avid studio practice. For thirty years, porcelain sculpture has been the primary medium for combining her quests into art history, spirituality and culture. A large body of “not quite trompe l’oeil” works is accompanied by ever-changing narratives. In a retrospective in Austin’s historic Neill-Cochran House, her collaborative project with a performer called, If These Walls Could Talk, has been engaging a diverse audience over issues of privilege and racial equity.

The video presentations of Geyer working in her studio and talking about her process will be available on SAMFA’s website and Facebook page, beginning today (Monday, April 12). The videos, presented in installments, show Geyer at work on some of the eerily realistic ceramic pie slices currently at the Neill-Cochran House. The week of April 20, more videos of Ginger working will be available, including a time-lapse of her making a new work, entitled Stockpiling for the Apocalypse, depicting a barn filled with rolls of toilet paper.

The Ceramic Competition is sponsored by the San Angelo Museum Endowment for Ceramic Events, Darlene and John Williams, and the San Angelo Cultural Affairs Council. The Ceramic Competition has been held in San Angelo since 1986, taking place annually until 1996 and then every two years after that. It is a cooperative event carried out by the Art Museum, the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Angelo State University and the Old Chicken Farm Art Center. Every year until now, the opening weekend has been packed with ceramic art events held at all 3 locations, including a symposium at Angelo State University and a day-long workshop at the Old Chicken Farm Art Center. All events this year have been canceled or postponed until a large public opening can be held. The postponed public events will be announced at a later date. In the meantime, anyone can go to to view the exhibit and watch special presentations by the invited artist and the juror.

SAMFA is a non-profit organization supported by generous contributions from both individuals and businesses. This project is also partially supported by funds from the Texas Commission on the Arts, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

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