It’s Only Clay

2014 - 2nd Place Award

“Teapot” by Anthony Millette, 2014 2nd Place Award

Breakaway Bottles by Cyrus Swann - 2014 Harlow Purchase Award

“Breakaway Bottles” by Cyrus Swann – 2014 Harlow Purchase Award

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 will be a part of the exhibit at Watermark for six weeks during the months of  November and December.

This annual event is a collaboration sponsored by Watermark 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 by Watermark Art Center.

Jurors for It’s Only Clay include some of the most familiar names in the Ceramic Arts. Previous jurors have been: 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.

2015 Application Information:

  • Guidelines: submissions guidelines are outlined in the IOC 2015 Prospectus and Application
  • Deadline: all applications must be complete and postmarked September 14, 2015.
  • Application fee: $30 for 3 entries.
  • Exhibition Dates: November 6 through December 19, 2015.
  • Opening Reception and Awards: November 6 from 5 to 7 pm, awards announced at 6 pm.

Awards: There will be prize money for 1st place ($800), 2nd place ($500) and 3rd place ($300), plus additional purchase awards will be made, with chosen pieces going towards the Margaret H. Harlow Collection at BSU.


Sponsors of It’s Only Clay are the BSU Department of Technology, Art and Design, BSU Foundation, and First National Bank Bemidji.

It’s Only Clay is also made possible, in part, by a grant from the Region 2 Arts Council, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature, and Cultural Heritage Fund passed by the Minnesota voters on November 4th, 2008.

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