Sandhill Crane Plate, Matthew Krousey

Fish Platter, Matt Krousey

Dogwood Oval Vase, Matt Krousey

Don’t miss the 14th annual It’s Only Clay (IOC) national juried ceramics exhibit & competition, held November 2 – December 22, 2018 at Watermark Art Center. This exhibit focuses on functional ceramics, with each submission judged in the following areas: function, form/aesthetic, craftsmanship, and surface design. Each piece accepted into the exhibit is eligible for first ($1,000), second ($700) and third ($300) place awards, as well as purchase awards to be included in the Margaret Harlow Vessel Collection, a teaching collection at Bemidji State University. Learn about the winners for the 2018 It’s Only Clay here.

In addition to the exhibit, other events associated with It’s Only Clay include:

  • October 31, from 1-3 pm: Demo & Artist Talk by Matthew Krousey at Bemidji State University
  • November 1, from 4 – 6 pm: Youth Workshop with Matthew Krousey – “Great Outdoors Tile Class” at Watermark (description below)
  • November 2, from 5 – 7 pm, presentation at 6: Exhibit reception and awards ceremony at Watermark
  • November 3, from 9 am – 3 pm: Pop-Up Pottery Studio Tour in downtown Bemidji. (Download map here.)

Great Outdoors Tile Class

We’ve all had those moments in our great Minnesota Wilderness that leave a permanent mark on us. In this class participants will be encouraged to use that experience to create a nature themed tile project out of clay. You will be given a blank 8” x 8” tile upon which you will be able to add sculptural components and decorate with various materials. Matthew will demonstrate basic hand building and decorating techniques for you to use. Matt will take your finished pieces home to his studio and fire them in his salt kiln. Pieces will then be returned to Watermark for pickup.

Meet 2018 Juror

Matthew Krousey received his BFA in ceramics from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities in 2008. He served for 9 years in the military and is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Krousey’s ceramic vessels and sculptures have been exhibited locally and internationally, including an exhibition at Sanbao Ceramic Institute in Jingdezhen, China. He has received numerous awards including a 2018 Artist Initiative Grant, 2014 Jerome Project Grant and was a 2010 Folgelberg Fellowship artist. Growing up in a rural region of Minnesota he has a deep connection with the land and its native flora and fauna. Learn more about him on his website.


Artist Statement:

The preservation of a disappearing landscape through imagery on ceramics is the reason I create. Inspired conceptually by the regionalist painters of the early 20th century who sought to document the rural landscapes of America, I see myself as a modern regionalist working with clay. I make pottery, murals, and sculpture decorated with the landscapes, flora, and fauna of the Midwest. My hope is that the daily use and viewing of the work will be a gentle reminder to the public of the vanishing natural world around us.

IOC 2018 is co-sponsored by the Watermark Art Center and BSU Department of Technology Art & Design. Support is also provided by the BSU Foundation. IOC 2018 is also made possible, in part, by a grant from the Bemidji Area Arts Endowment, a component fund of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation.