Seven McKnight Artists

Seven McKnight Artists

Northern Clay Center invited everyone to their annual exhibition Seven McKnight Artists with a free summer event.

Seven McKnight Artists 

On view July 8 – August 20

Seven McKnight Artists provides the unique opportunity to view works by the 2022 recipients of the McKnight Artist Fellowship for Ceramic Artists, Tony Kukich (St. Paul, MN) and Ginny Sims (Minneapolis, MN), as well as the 2021 recipients of the McKnight Artist Residency for Ceramic Artists: Claudia Alvarez (New York, NY), Eliza Au (Lake Dallas, TX), Edith Garcia (2020 Recipient, Half Moon Bay, CA), Lynne Hobaica (Bakersville, NC), and Janina Myronova (Wrocław, Poland). This exhibition, supported by the McKnight Foundation, showcases the success of each artist’s fellowship or residency.

The McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation, advances a more just, creative, and abundant future where people and planet thrive. Established in 1953, the McKnight Foundation is deeply committed to advancing climate solutions in the Midwest; building an equitable and inclusive Minnesota; and supporting the arts and culture in Minnesota, neuroscience, and international crop research.

McKnight Summer Open House
Saturday, July 15, 1 – 4 pm, FREE

View the works of talented, established artists from Minnesota and around the world. Artists in the exhibition are Claudia Alvarez (New York, NY), Eliza Au (Lake Dallas, TX), Edith Garcia (2020 Recipient, Half Moon Bay, CA), Lynne Hobaica (Bakersville, NC), Tony Kukich (St. Paul, MN), Janina Myronova (Wrocław, Poland), and Ginny Sims (Minneapolis, MN). This exhibition, supported by the McKnight Foundation, showcases the success of each artist’s fellowship or residency. 

Join the Northern Clay Center's community of clay lovers for an open house and pottery sale. Partake in food, free hands-on clay activities, a Studio Artist Sale, and their second annual Collectors’ Sale. Mark your calendars and join us to celebrate the exhibition artists, the NCC community, NCC Studio Artists, and the amazing urban Seward Neighborhood that is our home!

About the Artists

Claudia Alvarez
Claudia Alvarez (New York, NY) tackles issues relating to violence, empowerment, endurance, and what each reveal about human nature through her drawings, paintings, and ceramic sculptures. Greatly impacted by terminally ill youth and elderly patients met during past work experience, her painted and sculpted figures continue to reflect both their strength and vulnerability through the depiction of fragmented narratives as reflection of human conduct, ethics, belief systems, culture, race, assimilation, and displacement.

Alvarez received her BA from University of California, Davis in 1999 and her MFA from California College of Arts (San Francisco) in 2003. Throughout her career as a maker, she has participated in residencies at locations including SASAMA International Ceramic Art Festival (Shizuoka, Japan), Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Omaha, NE), SOMA (Mexico City, Mexico), and FUTUR (Rapperswil, Switzerland). She has received multiple awards including those from institutions such as Art Matters Foundation (New York, NY) and Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund (New York, NY). Currently, Alvarez is serving as an adjunct instructor at New York University (NYC), visiting assistant professor at Pratt Institute, (Brooklyn, NY), and faculty at Greenwich House Pottery (NYC).

Alvarez has had works exhibited nationally and internationally in both solo and group exhibitions at venues including Nexus Gallery (Berkeley, CA), Museo de la Ciudad (Merida, Mexico), The Observatory (Dublin, Ireland), Keramik Museum (Westerwald, Höhr-Grenzhausen, Germany), FUTUR (Rapperswil, Switzerland), Centro Nacional de las Artes (Mexico City, Mexico), and the Edward Hopper House Museum & Study Center (Nyack, NY). Her works have been featured in books, catalogs, and periodicals around the world and included in the museum collections at El Museo Latino (Omaha, NE), Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Ateneo de Yucatán (Merida, Mexico), Sheldon Museum of Art (Lincoln, NE), the National Museum of Mexican Art (Chicago, IL), and the Museum of Nebraska Art (Kearny).

Eliza Au
Eliza Au (Lake Dallas, TX) is a ceramic artist who, through her work, investigates how past and present ornament in architecture engage the idea of sacred space while exploring the search for solitude. Utilizing CAD to create lattice tiles that join together to reference the building units of the brink, tile, and pillar, her work provides comment on the underlying or unconscious nature of order in both nature and human production.

Au received her BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (Halifax, Nova Scotia) in 2005 and her MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2009. Since the completion of her academic training, Au has held positions as an educator at institutions including the Emily Carr University of Art and Design (Vancouver, BC), Alberta College of Art and Design (Calgary), the University of Iowa (Iowa City), and currently holds the position of assistant professor in ceramics at University of North Texas (Dallas). During this time, she has continued the development of her work through focused time in residence at Greenwich House Pottery (NYC), the Corning Museum of Glass (Corning, NY), the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts (Helena, MT), and Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center (Skælskør, Denmark). Au has participated in numerous conferences and panels across the US and Canada, and has presented artist lectures internationally.

In addition to recognition through numerous awards and grants, her work and techniques have been highlighted in myriad publications. She has also been featured in group and solo exhibitions around the world at venues including Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery (Waterloo, ON), Harbourfront Centre (Toronto, ON), the Gardiner Museum (Toronto, ON), Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (Gatlinburg, TN), the Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland, OR), Mufei Gallery at The Pottery Workshop (Jingdezhen, China), and the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum (Mesa, AZ). Additionally, Au’s work can be found in the collection of the Korea Ceramic Foundation (Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea) Monmouth College (Monmouth, IL), Alfred Ceramic Art Museum (Alfred, NY), and the New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum (Taiwan).

Edith Garcia
Edith Garcia (Half Moon Bay, CA) has long embraced unconventional and experimental projects. Within her research-driven creative productions, she addresses the ideas of transience, the status of the object in contemporary art and theory, and the consciousness of our contemporaneity as a society. Her body of work has been exhibited throughout Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and Europe and has been the recipient of national and international awards, artists in residencies, and a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at the California College of the Arts. She has been featured in solo, touring and group exhibitions at national and international venues such as the Royal College of Art (London, UK), Gimpel Fils, (London, UK), British Ceramics Biennial, (Stoke-on-Trent, UK), Barbican Art Centre (London, UK), The Tampa Museum of Art (St. Petersburg, Florida), International Museum of Applied Arts (Torino, Italy) Transmission Gallery (Oakland, CA), Northern Clay Center (Minneapolis, MN), and Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MN).

Garcia continues to be actively engaged in critical research on the convergence of contemporary art, technologies, and our contemporary visual art and design culture with curatorial projects, publishing, and the realization of creative productions. Garcia received her BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MN) in 1998, MFA from the California College of the Arts (San Francisco) in 2004, and a research degree MPhil at the Royal College of Art (London, UK) in 2012. She has authored numerous articles for publication on visual and design culture, including VJ: Audio-Visual Art and VJ Culture, Laurence King Publishing (with creative collective D-Fuse); Ceramics and the Human Figure, A & C Black Publishers and The American Ceramic Society; and has been featured in publications including Confrontational Ceramics, Ceramic Review Magazine, American Craft Magazine, Ceramics: Art and Perception, Ceramics Monthly, and Breaking the Mould: New Approaches to Ceramics.

Garcia has conducted lectures and workshops nationally and internationally at venues including Westminster University (Harrow, UK), University of Ulster (Belfast, UK), Carleton College (Northfield, MN), Cardiff School of Art and Design (Cardiff, UK), and Minneapolis College of Art and Design, (MN). Garcia currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts as the Director of Communications.

Lynne Hobaica
Lynne Hobaica (Bakersville, NC) creates both sculptural and functional forms that create story and narrative. Inspired by the beauty and struggle of the human experience, her work is fueled through the contemplation of our individual awareness of mortality and its impact on the lens through which stories and life are experienced. Referencing characters from both personal and historical mythologies and fairytales, Hobaica instills gesture and emotion to connect with audiences and shares emotional experiences from both personal and shared stories.

Hobaica received her BFA in the history of art with concentration in ceramics from Syracuse University (NY) in 2010, and her MFA in sculptural conceptions and ceramics from Kunstuniversität Linz (Austria) in 2015. She has served as instructor at numerous venues and institutions including Moshier Arts Center (Bruien, WA), Bellevue College (Bellevue, WA), Odyssey Clayworks (Ashville, NC), and Hood College (Frederick, MD). Hobaica has continued to develop her own practice in her studio and through residency opportunities including Flower City Art Center (Rochester, NY), L’antica Deruta (Deruta, Italy), and Pottery Northwest (Seattle, WA). Additionally, Hobaica has led workshops and presentations at both national and international locations including Accademia di Belli Arti di Perugia (Perugia, Italy), Gasworks NYC (NYC), Hartford Art School (Hartford, CT), and Penland School of Craft (Penland, NC).

In addition to recognition through publication and broadcast, Hobaica has received numerous awards for her work including the ÖH Projekt Förderung Project Grant, the De Poi Award through the Seattle Perugia Sister City Association, the Blue Ridge Soap Shed Scholarship, and was named one of Ceramic Monthly’s 2020 Emerging Artists. Her work is represented at galleries spanning the US and has been exhibited through various group, two-person, and solo exhibitions at venues including Mesa Arts Center (Mesa, AZ), Gandee Gallery (Fabius, NY), Mir (Linz, Austria), Haystack School of Craft (Deer Isle, ME), Pigeon Toe Gallery (Portland, OR), Clay Center of New Orleans (New Orleans, LA), Pottery Northwest (Seattle, WA), The Clay Studio (Philadelphia, PA), Firehouse Gallery (Rochester, NY), and Charlie Cummings Gallery (Gainesville, FL).

Tony Kukich
Tony Kukich (Saint Paul, MN) creates paintings as well as both sculptural and functional ceramics. His current focus is on seemingly incompatible and discordant ideas that can exist simultaneously within the same person, balance and instability, worthlessness and preciousness, comfort and anxiety, knowledge and ignorance, etcetera. His most recent sculptural work began as reflections on illness and its ability to permeate and inexorably alter and shape the lives of both the individual and their loved ones. Having long made a conscious effort to avoid and compartmentalize his own experience living with and observing his partner’s long term illness, he decided that there was beauty to be found in the experience and this conversation in his work has continued to evolve with each piece steering the next transitioning over time from addressing specific and individual episodes to the greater arc of the experience and changes it brings to life.

Kukich received his BFA in ceramics and drawing from Bemidji State University (MN) in 1984 and his MFA in ceramics from Indiana University Bloomington in 1988. Throughout his career, Kukich has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors including Friends of Art Fellowship facilitated by Indiana University Bloomington in 1985, the National Society of Art and Letters Career Award in 1988, Grand Prize at Art in the Park (Bemidji, MN) in 1991, and Honorable Mention at the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Competition (Saint Paul) in 2019. Throughout his career as a maker, Kukich has held academic postings at several universities and institutions throughout the Midwest including Indiana University Bloomington, Interlochen Center for the Arts (Interlochen, MI), IU Herron School of Art and Design (Indianapolis, IN), Bemidji State University, Inver Hills Community College (Inver Grove Heights, MN), and Normandale Community College (Bloomington, MN).

Kukich’s work has been on exhibition in both group and solo exhibitions at venues across the country and around the world, including Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago, IL), Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, American Craft Museum (New York, NY), Everson Museum of Art (Syracuse, NY), Minneapolis Institute of Art (MN), Bingham Gallery (Columbia, MO), Saltstone Ceramics (Seattle, WA), Clay Center of New Orleans (LA), and the University Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg).

Janina Myronova
Janina Myronova (Wrocław, Poland) is a ceramic artist who creates narrative through figurative forms and composed backdrops. Utilizing a specific and distorted representation of the body, each composition shows a different personality and personal story to collectively reference a graphic novel and arcing story. Imparting her own emotion through linework, Myronova’s works are strategically charged with color to saturate and amplify their individual stories.

Myronova received her MFA from the Department of Ceramic Art at Lviv National Academy of Arts (Lviv, Ukraine) in 2012, an MFA in 2013 and PhD in 2019 from the Department of Ceramics and Glass at the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Fine Arts and Design (Wrocław, Poland). Continually developing her work and practice, Myronova has attended numerous residencies including opportunities at the New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum (New Taipei, Taiwan), Clayarch Gimhae Musem (Gimhae-si, Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea), Galerie Lefebvre et Fils (Paris, France), the Polish Sculpture Centre (Oronsko, Poland), and the International Ceramic Research Center (Guldagergaard, Denmark). During her time in academia and residencies, she has held the titles of head of ceramics studio at Instytut Dizajnu w Kielcach (Kielce, Poland) in 2014 and 2015, and assistant professor at the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Fine Arts and Design (Wrocław, Poland).

Myronova has received myriad awards and honors for her work including the Silver Award at First Yatai Lotus Mountain Prize (Changchun, China), the Franz Rising Star Project Scholarship (Taipei City, Taiwan), First Prize at the 7th Bienal Internacional de Cerámica de Marratxí (Spain), First Prize in the Those Who Come category of the 5th Ceramica Multiplex Ceramic Biennale (Croatia), and was named one of 2019’s Emerging Artists by Ceramics Monthly.

Ginny Sims
A maker of both functional and sculptural forms, Ginny Sims (Minneapolis, MN) looks to different moments in ceramic history and at the contextual information of that point in time for inspiration. Pairing these historical references with present day social and political experiences, her work has provided a source for dialogue regarding aspects of the body, domesticity and the capitalist system. Eager to further explore her work in a way that pushes both scale and concept, Sims’ aim is to return to installation-based work that is more reflective of and concerned with contemporary times.

Sims received a BA in political science with a minor in studio art from University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2001, a Trinity Certificate TESOL from Trinity College London/Windsor Institute (Barcelona, Spain) in 2004, apprenticed to potter Mike Dodd in Somerset, England in 2005, completed post-baccalaureate studies in ceramics at University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2006, and received her MFA from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2012. Between and beyond her academic training, Sims has participated in various residencies at locations including Red Star Studios (Kansas City, MO), Northern Clay Center (Minneapolis, MN), Grand Marais Art Colony (Grand Marais, MN), and the Women’s Studio Workshop Parent Residency (Rosendale, NY). Throughout her career, she has received myriad awards and grants including the Jerome Foundation Study and Travel Grant in 2015, Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grants in 2013 and 2020, an Artist Initiative Grant through the Minnesota State Arts Board in 2017, and Creative Support for Individuals through the Minnesota State Arts Board in 2022. Throughout her career Sims has conducted myriad lectures and workshops at institutions across the Midwest and currently teaches art history at Minneapolis College.

Her work has been exhibited in both group and solo exhibitions across the country and internationally at various institutions including Red Star Studios (Kansas City, MO), Anderson Ranch Arts Center (Snowmass Village, CO), Katherine E. Nash Gallery (Minneapolis, MN), Weisman Art Museum (Minneapolis, MN), Leedy-Voulkos Art Center (Kansas City, MO), Ogden Museum of Southern Art (New Orleans, LA), The Shop Floor Project (Cumbria, UK), and most recently at Nemeth Art Center (Park Rapids, MN) and 0fr (Paris, France). Additionally, Sims’ work has been featured in publications including American Craft Magazine, Ceramics Monthly, Food and Wine, and The World of Interiors.


Left: Lynne Hobaica, Our Holy Chi-nado, 2022, Porcelain, earthenware, mixed media, 14.5 x 7.25 x 6 

Right: Claudia Alvarez, I Am Here Now, 2022, Paper clay, brick, 10 x 14 x 26 

Find out what's up every week.

No spam. Just local art news and events straight to your inbox.