The Bemidji Community Art Center and the Bemidji State University Visual Arts Dept announce the 8th annual, It’s Only Clay National Juried Ceramics Competition and Exhibition.

This annual National juried ceramics competition and exhibition is a collaboration sponsored by the BCAC and Bemidji State University. IOC features a workshop on the campus of Bemidji State University by artist and potter Simon Levin, a community lecture and a juried exhibition of functional ceramics by the Bemidji Community Art Center on exhibit in Nov. and Dec. 2010.   Previous jurors include Richard Bresnahan, Linda Christianson, Jeff Oestreich, Robert Briscoe, Bill Gossman and Bob and Cheryl Husby.

2010 IOC Juror – Simon Levin  Simon Levin makes his living as a studio potter.  He holds M.A. and M.F.A. degrees from the University of Iowa and now resides in Wisconsin where he works and plays with his wife, Susan, and their daughters.  Simon sure likes to make that pottery and work hard.  Simon has been wood firing for nigh on eighteen years.  His work explores function and clay treatment in dialogue with firing technique and surface.

Simon has taught throwing and firing workshops for the Archie Bray Foundation, the University of Missouri at Columbia, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Syracuse University and others.  He has built kilns for both public institutions and private individuals.  He shows his work most everywhere.  His work has been featured in the national juried exhibition Strictly Functional Pottery National for six years running.   But you don’t need to know that to see he makes some darn sweet crockery.

Lately Simon has tried his hand at writing about ceramics; he can turn a phrase just about as well as he can turn a pot.   His writings have been published in every major ceramic journal this country has to offer.   Not only that but Simon’s work is held in several private collections and museums including the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts and The University of Iowa Museum.   For more information about Simon go to


Juried Exhibit at the Bemidji Community Art Center
The IOC 2010 exhibit is a juried competition focusing on, and dedicated to, functional clay vessels. Selected works will be a part of the exhibit at the BCAC from November 5th to December 18th, 2010. Prize money for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners equaling $1,600.00 and additional purchase awards for work going towards the Margaret Harlow Vessel Collection at BSU.

  • Guidelines: for submissions are outlined in the It’sOnly Clay – 2010 Prospectus
  • Deadline for submissions: all IOC 2010 Exhibit Application must be complete and postmarked September 3, 2010.
  • Application fee: $30.00 for 3 entries.
  • Exhibition Dates: November 5 through December 18, 2010
  • Opening Reception and Awards: November 5 from5 to 7 pm.

Awards – In 2010 there will be prize money for 1st place $800.00, 2nd place $500.00 and 3rd place $300.00 plus additional purchase awards will be made with work going towards the Margaret Harlow Vessel Collection at BSU .

  • “Throwing With The End In Sight” a Workshop with Simon Levin   this years day-and-ahalf workshop will be on the campus of Bemidji State University with Simon Levin.   In this workshop Simon will create work with atmospheric firing in mind.  Forms, surface and clay treatment will be discussed in relation to wood firing, flame path and ash.  In Simon’s hands the wheel becomes a hand-building tool; thrown forms are altered, stretched and pushed into lively, voluminous asymmetry.  Simon’s playful, informative and empowering approach to clay is energizing.  Techniques that maximize and explore materials will be emphasized, looking to create an articulate result. Simon will be presenting a workshop for this years IOC event on November 4-5 at the Bemidji State University in the Visual Arts Department and Ceramics studio.  As a part of the workshop on  Nov 4th join the artists from 3 to 5pm  at Touche Gallery for a Exhibit Reception for “Teaching Tom” , an exhibit featuring work by Simon Levin, Butch Holden and Tom Jaszczak.  Workshop dates are Thurs Nov 4th  from 9am to 4pm and Friday, Nov 5th, from 9am to 12 noon.  Find  more information about the workshop and registration details, download the IOC 2010 Workshop Application.  Fee for the 2010 IOC workshop is $25.

Simon Levin Lecture – Wed Nov 3rd – 7PM

Clay as Language” – Art is the communication of ideas. In this lecture Simon parses the non-verbal language of wood-fired ceramics into its basic elements.  Drawing the analogy between these elements and words, Simon identifies parallels between statements in clay and verbal sentences, paragraphs, essays, voice and style.  Lush slides support the lecture with a visual feast and the narrow topic of wood-fired functional ceramics expands into a working theory of art.  Lecture will be presented at the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts, 519 Minnesota Ave, Downtown Bemidji.  The Lecture is free and open to the public.

Artists with work selected for 2010 It’s Only Clay Exhibit

  • Marion Angelica – Minneapolis MN
    Michael Arnold – Minneapolis MN
    Douglas Blechner – San Pedro CA
    Karen Brown – Minneapolis MN
    Bob Bruch – Cleveland OH
    Elizabeth Cohen – Wellesley MA
    Susan Curry – Winnetka IL
    Chad  Dykstra – Sioux Falls SD
    Jimmy Eddings – Atchison KS
    Laurie Erdman – Arlington VA
    Daniel Garretson – Hampton NH
    Vanessa Graham – Oxford OH
    Kristine Hites – Minneapolis MN
    Janice  Kostelny – Hoffman Estates IL
    Matthew Krousey – St. Paul MN
    Justin Lambert – Jupiter FL
    Alicia Mack – Spartanburg SC
    Anthony Millette – Tea SD
    Matt Mitros – Seattle WA
    Ted  Neal – Yorktown IN
    Debra Oliva – Okemos MI
    Matthew Patton – Seattle WA
    Douglas Peck – West Palm Beach FL
    Monica Ripley – Somerville MA
    Shana  Salaff – Fort Collins CO
    Luke Sheets – Ada OH
    John  Simmons – Johnson City TN
    Amy Smith – Lincoln NE
    Warren Smith – Florence MA
    Mike Stumbras – Northfield MN
    Julia Timm – Minneapolis MN
    Matty  Trueherz – Lake Oswego OR
    Mark  Zellers – Pascoag RI

2010 IOC Award Winners