Two Nebraska ceramics alumni selected as 2019 NCECA Emerging Artists

Qwist Joseph, “Dowsing for Before” (exhibition view), site-specific installation in a swimming pool, Riverside, California, 2018.
Qwist Joseph, “Dowsing for Before” (exhibition view), site-specific installation in a swimming pool, Riverside, California, 2018.

Two Nebraska ceramics alumni selected as 2019 NCECA Emerging Artists

calendar icon11 Feb 2019    

A teapot by Sean Scott.
A teapot by Sean Scott.

Lincoln, Neb.--Two ceramics alumni from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s School of Art, Art History & Design were selected as 2019 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Emerging Artists.

Qwist Joseph (M.F.A. 2016) and Sean Scott (MF.A. 2005) were among six artists nationally selected for the honor. NCECA’s Emerging Artists program recognizes exceptional early career artists highlighting them to an international audience during NCECA’s annual conference.  The intent of the award is to recognize, cultivate and amplify vital, new voices of creative endeavor in ceramics.

They each receive a monetary award, complimentary registration for the NCECA Annual Conference in Minneapolis this March and an additional year’s membership to NCECA.

Jurors for this year’s competition were School of Art, Art History & Design Professor of Art Eddie Dominguez, along with Linda Sikora, of Alfred University (New York), and Julia Galloway, of the University of Montana in Missoula.

“What’s interesting is that Sean was here 14 years ago, and Qwist was a recent grad, so it’s exciting to see our students doing so well,” Dominguez said. “Sean represents the functional pottery realm, and Qwist was picked because he’s doing really innovative, sculptural mixed media art. It’s nice to know that within our program, we are supporting a real, traditional, utility, pottery makers and also moving toward more conceptually based, contemporary thinking. That’s a nice stretch to have, and we must be pretty good at it since two people got presented. But it’s not about us, it’s them. They’re the ones doing all the work. We’re just lucky to work with people who are that ambitious and that talented.”

Joseph received his BFA from Colorado State University, and his MFA from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. In 2016 he was selected as an emerging artist by Ceramics Monthly and awarded a summer residency at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana.

He has shown nationally and internationally, and last year, he was commissioned to create public works for the Davidson Sculpture Garden in Riverside, California, and the New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado.

He is currently a resident artist at the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program in New Mexico.

“I'm honored to be recognized by NCECA, and I am thrilled to have such a fantastic platform to present my work,” Joseph said.

Joseph is interested in using ancient processes in a contemporary context. By combining clay, bronze, wood and found objects, he makes mixed media sculptures that push against the limits of material hierarchies. Working intuitively, he creates order and meaning from the fluid nature of the creative thought process.
 
To see his work, visit https://www.qwistjosph.com.

Scott earned his BFA from Ohio University and an MFA from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Since then, he has operated Pomme de Terre Pottery near Battle Lake, Minnesota. He exhibits his work nationally and teaches workshops.

"The NCECA Emerging Artist award is humbling,” Scott said. “It has made me feel a deeper appreciation for NCECA and the community they foster around the ceramic arts. It has also validated my own creative process of being an artist and the commitment and trust it takes to persevere. I feel indebted to my family, teachers and supporters. This recognition may be in my name, but it is dependent on a larger network of people who care. I hope they feel that this is their award, too.”

The vessels Scott creates are meant to enrich the experience of storing, serving and consuming food and drink. The aesthetics reflect a personal sense of place where he lives in rural Minnesota. Scott intends for each piece to be an interactive component in a collaboration between maker, user and environment.

“Sean’s work appears, at first glance, to be traditional, but it is also unique,” said Professor of Art Pete Pinnell. “It doesn’t look like anyone else’s pottery. These objects are carefully and skillfully made, with precise joints, perfectly fitted lids and spouts that pour flawlessly. Sean brings a technical virtuosity to his work that, because of its quietness, is not apparent at first glance.”
 
To see his work, visit http://www.seanscottclay.com.

Dominguez said the Emerging Artist program is one of the most exciting parts of the NCECA Annual Conference.

“It’s very well attended, and people completely look forward to it,” he said. “They’re the stars of the new generation. It’s a good honor. Everyone is curious who is next.”