The New Bedford Whaling Museum celebrates ceramic arts in March with two exhibitions and a NCECA Pre-conference Symposium

Ceramics programming features acclaimed artists from across New England

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — This March, the New Bedford Whaling Museum will open two new exhibitions and host a symposium celebrating the region’s heritage and contemporary talent in the ceramic arts.  On Thursday, March 12, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., the public is invited to attend “Of Earth and Sea: Contemporary Artists Respond to the Whaling Museum Collection” and “Vessels”.

Of Earth and Sea is a landmark exhibition that features some of the nation’s leading ceramic artists tasked with creating contemporary works in response to the Whaling Museum’s collection. It showcases original work inspired by the material culture of region’s storied history. The exhibition highlights commissioned works from eight acclaimed artists including Chris Archer, Mary Barringer, Cynthia Consentino, Molly Hatch, Sergei Isupov, Kathy King, Jim Lawton, and Seth Rainville. All professional artists working locally, they were selected to express their vision through the ceramic arts. Residents of New England, the artists were invited to visit the Whaling Museum frequently to study its vast collection. Works created will be on display in the Braitmayer Family Gallery from March 12 through August 12, 2015.

The second exhibition, Vessels, curated by Constance Bacon is opening as a complement to Of Earth and Sea. Vessels will highlight favorite pieces from the Whaling Museum’s ceramics collection. The word “vessel” is interpreted with a double meaning, referring both to the containers themselves and to ships that plied the seas in whaling and war. The show will include works representing various techniques, ranging from the functional to spiritual to the fine and decorative arts. 

The exhibition openings coincide with March AHA! and are free to attend.

In conjunction with the two ceramic exhibitions, the Whaling Museum is excited to host Of Earth, Sea and Fire: A Symposium of Makers on Saturday, March 21 & Sunday, March 22, from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. This National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Pre-conference Symposium at the Whaling Museum will be led by artists from the exhibition Of Earth and Sea as well as other noted local ceramists. Presentations will provide insight into the artists’ technical and conceptual processes.

The two-day conference will feature presentations by ceramists Seth Rainville, Jim Lawton, Sergei Isupov, Kathy King, Dan Anderson, Elenor Wilson and John Balistreri, and demonstrations by Matt Long, Molly Hatch, Cynthia Consentino, Jan McKeachie Johnston, Sergei Isupov, Randy Johnston, and Doug Casebeer.

Registration for Symposium is $65 for Whaling Museum members and students and $75 for Nonmembers. Price includes light breakfast. An optional lunch pass can be purchased for $15 per person per day. For the full schedule and to register, call 508-997-0046 ext. 100 or visit

The ceramic programming at the Whaling Museum will coincide with the upcoming annual conference of The National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). NCECA’s 49th annual conference will take place in Providence, RI, March 25-28, organized around the theme ‘Lively Experiments.’ As NCECA explains, “Lively Experiments will join ceramic arts historic engagement with empirical research and discovery into today’s evolving creative commons…Extending throughout greater Providence and into Southern New England, Lively Experiments will be a unique opportunity to discover, experience, learn about, and collect ceramics.” Each year, thousands of NCECA members, including ceramic artists, collectors, and students from around the U.S. and abroad, attend the conference along with its hundreds of sessions and sponsored exhibitions.

MEDIA CONTACT: Stephanie Poyant Moran
Senior Director of Marketing & Public Relations
New Bedford Whaling Museum
Office: 508-717-6839
Cell: 508-965-9861


About the New Bedford Whaling Museum

The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of whales and the history and culture of the South Coast region. The cornerstone of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city's historic downtown. Museum hours April through December: Daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Museum hours January through March: Tuesday – Saturday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Open on Holiday Mondays. The Museum is open until 8 p.m. every second Thursday of the month and is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.  For more information, visit