2020 Special Jurors Exhibit
In Memory of Bill Gossman (1953-2020)
Vessel – Soda Glazed Stoneware
Bill Gossmann

2019 FIRST PLACE
HARLOW PURCHASE AWARD
“Nathanial” Lidded Beast with Spoon
Molly Uravitch

2018 FIRST PLACE
HARLOW PURCHASE AWARD
Large Bottle with Bird & Fence
David Swenson

2015 FIRST PLACE
Badlands
Brad Bachmeier

2014 FIRST PLACE
Rabbit Casserole
Sean Scott

*No exhibit 2021, 2017 & 2016

"It's Only Clay" Explained

2022 IOC opens Friday November 4 with reception from 5 to 7pm. Awards & presentations at 6pm.

 17th Annual It’s Only Clay 2022 →

The It’s Only Clay (IOC) exhibit is a juried ceramics competition focusing on, and dedicated to, functional clay vessels. Each submission for IOC is judged in four areas: function, form/aesthetic, craftsmanship, and surface design. Selected works are a part of the IOC exhibit at Watermark held during the fall months.

The event is a collaboration sponsored by Watermark Art Center and Bemidji State University Department of Technology Art and Design. IOC features a lecture and workshop on the campus of BSU, a guest artist, and a juried exhibition of functional ceramics at Watermark Art Center.

Jurors for IOC include some of the most familiar names in the Ceramic Arts. Previous jurors have been: Marion Angelica, Matthew Krousey, Butch Holden, Karin Kraemer, Andrea Leila Denecke, Guillermo Cuellar, Simon Levin, Richard Bresnahan, Linda Christianson, Jeff Oestreich, Robert Briscoe, Bill Gossman, and Bob and Cheryl Husby. The 2020 exhibit was comprised of work by several of these past jurors. There was no competition component for 2020.

Prize money is awarded for first, second and third places. Additional purchase awards are made and the chosen pieces are added to the Margaret H. Harlow Collection at BSU.

Awards Explained

2019 Awards | 2018 Awards | 2015 Awards | 2014 Awards | 2013 Awards | 2012 Awards | 2011 Awards | 2010 Awards

Juried by a select guest artist each year, every submission for It’s Only Clay (IOC) is judged in four areas: function, form/aesthetic, craftsmanship, and surface design. Watermark Art Center awards cash prizes for first, second and third places. There are also additional ‘purchase awards’ for the Margaret H. Harlow Collection.

The Margaret H. Harlow Ceramics Collection is an exclusive teaching exhibit and collection occasionally displayed in Bemidji State University’s Talley Gallery. Through an agreement between BSU and Watermark, Watermark’s BSU Harlow | Kleven Gallery is dedicated to displaying items from this teaching collection in rotating themed exhibits year round.

What is a purchase award? A purchase award is when the university’s committee chooses to buy an IOC submission to include in this prestigious collection. All Harlow Purchase Award pieces have become a part of their permanent teaching and exhibit collection dedicated to functional ceramics at Bemidji State University.

About MARGARET H. HARLOW – Margaret Harlow graduated from Bemidji State Teachers’ College in 1936. After graduation, she left to pursue a career in the Women’s Army Corps, traveling throughout the world and retiring with 20 years of military service. She developed an interest in pottery while in London during the 1950s.

While living in California, Harlow was active in arts organizations. In 1973, she established the Margaret H. Harlow Ceramics Collection at Bemidji State University with the donation of  funding and a collection of original ceramic works of art. Annually, Ms. Harlow donated additional funds and original ceramic works of art for this teaching collection. She died in California on July 7, 2007.