Minnesota Women Ceramic Artists is a professional organization that supports women ceramic artists in Minnesota. MNWCA provides its members opportunities for exhibiting, networking and mentoring throughout their ceramic careers. MNWCA also furthers the creative and professional development of its members.

Member News • August 2019



Saturday September 28, 2019 1-3 PM St. Kate's Art Building

We are looking for new board members and new committee members – your involvement makes a difference in what we can accomplish together!


Newsletter Submissions 6-19.docx

send your newsletter information to denisetennen@centurylink.net



by Donna Ray

Why meditate on self? It’s a way of taking stock in your activities and lifestyle through self- examination and monitoring your own moods in creating your art. Do you know where you are going with your art and what does it mean to you? I believe we need to learn how to slow ourselves down. Even if you are trying to meet a deadline.  We sometimes go through our entire lives taking care of everything except ourselves. We as women speak our own magic with our simple collaborations using art. I strongly believe meditation and collaborations occurring throughout every chapter in your life is very important growth for an artist. Some are individual, duo, multiple organizations working with groupings of artist: that’s collaboration at a higher level.

 I have attended several workshops, gallery openings, and conferences this year and encountered many artisans practicing in different fields other than ceramics. Being in the presence of multiple works of arts from various disciplines & felt these powerful collaborations.

I am writing about some women in art who inspired me to meditate on my life as an artist. Favorite speaker (The Americans For Arts Conference.) who delivered the Saturdays keynote Musician /Businesswoman Chandrika Tandon reminded me to take time to rest up mentally before I start my day. WE need to work on creative ways to relax and fit meditation into our daily lives. It’s important to focus on your dream of your own creativity path. Set small goals and challenges throughout every stage level of your life. You do not have to get or have everything right away. As an artist, music was her foundation. She came to the United States and the most important thing she felt she had to purchase was an expensive guitar to learn to play her music. 

She valued that guitar more than she valued having a bed to sleep in and furniture. Fact is that was some serious devotion to her craft as in artist in a foreign country. She went on to utilize Indian musical chant /song talents into a Grammy nomination (Soul Call 2009).  Her love of foreign American pop songs played during her childhood from a radio kept the dream alive. Simple is good: her music was more important to her than working in the corporate world. Later, she had no problem donating 100 million back into education &arts. This is an example of International collaborations and hanging onto deep meditations of becoming the artist.

Congresswoman Betty Mc Collum DFL 4thDistrict Minnesota, Is a strong supporter and lobbyist for continuation of funding for the arts programs.  Trump battled in Washington to close the National Endowment for the arts and reallocate the funding to other more “important” agencies than arts and education. It was her personal dedication, past experiences & past meditations in teaching youth, coupled with her love of the arts. She gracefully worked with her constituents and did not allow the politicians across the aisle to bully her out of her goals.  Built stronger collaborations many citizens nationwide that helped raise 167 million dollars to keep the arts alive. 

Leslie Barlow’s art is about her relationships with her families and friends. She is a painter and works with fabric, photographs, and paints to tell her stories about her heritage. Both her grandmothers were single mothers and of different races. Through her deep meditations about her bi-racial roots, this painter’s journey became a highly, therapeutic methodical approach.   Paintings depict her grandmothers throughout different stages of their lives, as she recalled through memories and photograph. Her Collaborations arrived in the form of a duo gallery show Two/Too with a senior mentor artist Ta- Coumba Aiken. In my opinion it’s important to participate in shows. Meet new artists to gather information about yourself as an artist from audience viewpoints.  I am pleased to have met Leslie. She is a generation behind me. I have much to learn from this great painter.  In observation her associations travel far into the art communities.   

The very last collaboration of artists I would like to write about is the show I had been wanting to visit since June 2019. Read on and Enjoy! 

Hearts of Our People native women artists.I love these 8 galleries of exhibits. It represents organization and collaboration at all levels. It is a landmark exhibit. Twenty-one Native American Women and a few Non-Native got together. The place Minneapolis Institute of Art. Mission: establish an advisory group to gather historical facts about Native Women artist from past to the present.  It is important to remember that art tells stories from many perspectives. The art in this exhibition was not just about paintings, potteries or beaded textiles it was about overlooked Native American Women in the various fields of art and their contributions to art and the society we live in today.

 These were national & international tribes across America and Canada telling the histories of their art. Its meaning to the tribes and the usage of every part of the land, agriculture fields & seeds, hunted animals, mother earth soil, natural resources water, air to produce their arts. Important fact, nothing went to waste: all organs and urine were also used in creating art. All art created had purpose and meaning in the patterns, symbols, colors, materials used, the fabric and how it was treated. All pottery  had meaning associated with the kind of clay. Baskets: the kind plants, or dried corn husk they were made from and which tribe and the geographic location where they hunted and gathered. Basket patterns are the precursors of pottery designs seen on lots of ceramic pieces. 

There were more Native American Women making the art then Native American men. The men hunted the women made art. All art forms were represented in this exhibit’s music, meditation, stories narrative videos, paintings, wood works, basket, weaving ceramics pottery dating back to centuries. Metal & jewelry. Ceremonial clothes & bead work. Everyday items made from all the earth could offer. Everyday house items blankets, the pot to cook & store food the chair to sit the place to live.  This show was curated by women and the book 334 pages; (of the same title as the exhibit) was written by women. 

Conclusion   I will never look at art the same again. It is to be used and the question is what secrets it holds.  What did it come from and who made it historically.? Which African tribes am I associated with? I am not sure. However, I do know the Native American Blackfoot and Cherokee. When my ancestors arrived and interbred, what art forms they shared and collaborated on will be a future research project for me.  



The Women's Art Institute 20th Anniversary Exhibition

Includes work by MNWCA member Claudia Poser

Catherine Murphy Gallery

College of St Catherine

2004 Randolph Avenue

St. Paul, MN

September 7-October 19, 2019

Opening Reception Celebration: Saturday, September 14, 5-7p.m.

Toast and remarks at 6 p.m.

Sixty artists, all past participants of the Women's Art Institute, present their visual interpretation of the question "What is forbidden?" through a variety of media ranging from painting and ceramics to installation and performance, these artists pay homage to their past experiences during the summer studio intensive while considering their current perspectives as contemporary artists.


featuring ceramic work by Kimberlee Joy Roth

4806 Chicago Avenue

Minneapolis, MN

August 2019

Roth's gorgeous porcelain pieces are stacked and layered on painted wood. They are feminine, bold and modern. 



Truax will create and exhibit ceramic sculptures based on abstractions of the local environment and incorporating local and recycled materials. She will also hold a workshop and open studio in Pickwick, Minnesota

Check future MNWCA newsletters for details on her culminating exhibit at Riverland Community College in January of 2020.



5004 34th Ave S

Minneapolis MN

Shared studio space available in 1100 sq ft studio space in South Minneapolis. Studio equipped with wheels, slab roller and plenty of tables for working. Three electric kilns and pug mill available for use too. $300 per month 


Contact Jennie Tang: jennie@theworkshopmpls.com


To submit information for the newsletter:

  1. Send your info to denisetennen@centurylink.net
  2. For your event: Include your name and what/when/where.Contact info if you want people to be able to get in touch with you. A good visual is always nice to have.  Please use this template as your guide Newsletter Submissions 6-19.docx. Any submissions that do not follow these guidelines may not be included in the newsletter.
  3. For items offered for sale or give-away, or for items sought, be sure to include your contact info

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  1. Newsletter will be published on the 15th of the month
  2. Send your submissions by latest the 10th of the month of publication