ACGA Newsletter August 2023


ACGA 30th Annual Clay and Glass Festival

I extend my heartfelt gratitude for the incredible success of the 30th ACGA Clay and Glass Festival, held on July 15th and 16th. Your presence and unwavering support have helped to build our Festival into a Palo Alto tradition.

A special acknowledgment goes to our talented artists, 110 in total, including 18 new talents, whose limitless creativity illuminated the Festival and ignited inspiration in us all. To our treasured visitors and patrons, your purchases serve as a direct endorsement of our artists’ journey and our shared community; your support is cherished.

Each artist’s creation is a manifestation of their heart and soul, a unique piece that takes on its own life. Observing the connections formed between customers and these works is the pinnacle of my experience as an artist at the ACGA Clay & Glass Festival.

This is a moment to extend gratitude to our esteemed partners: the city of Palo Alto and the Palo Alto Art Center. Your steady support spanning three decades has been the foundation on which this Festival thrives. Let’s also acknowledge the invaluable contributions of the Festival Committee, the Marketing Team, and our Producer, Messenger Events. Your tireless efforts behind the scenes have played a pivotal role in ensuring the Festival’s continuing success.

As we reflect on this year’s Festival, we recognize that every event offers insights for growth. We have much to learn from this experience and are steadfast in our commitment to continuing to work on improvements. The thought of coming together again, surrounded by art and our wonderful community really gets us excited. Until that moment comes around, please take care and continue to nurture your creative endeavors!

With genuine gratitude,

Mari Emori, ACGA Board President, and Board of Directors


Kevin Scheer and Mari Emori - Clay & Glass Festival 2023Congratulations are due to the winners of the inaugural “People’s Choice Award”: Ren Lee – (Clay – Tied)

Kevin Scheer (Clay/New Artist- Tied)
Daniel Wooddell (Glass/New Artist).

This unique program has enriched our Festival experience, and we thank everyone who voted and celebrated their exceptional talents.

Pictured: Kevin Scheer and Mari Emori
Submitted by Mari Emori



Susie Rubenstein, ACGA Board Member
Susie Rubenstein, ACGA Board Member

I took my first ceramics class at Cabrillo College in 1975 and was immediately hooked. By the fall of that year I was at UC Santa Cruz in a major called “Arts and Crafts and their History”. It was open only to Juniors and Seniors with all their other prerequisites filled, the course of study being three quarters of ceramics for 2 years, a quarter each of drawing, painting, and printmaking, and the same for art history also for two years. Most of us spent all our time in the ceramics studio learning from Al Johnsen of Scott Creek Pottery whose teacher was Marguerite Wildenhain. The focus of our program was functional pottery and I have not strayed far from that in my own ceramic work.

By 1978 I was a member of the Santa Cruz Art Center and an apprentice to Al Johnsen in his Davenport studio. It was a pivotal time for me, learning about being a potter as a way of life, and I loved it, but a relationship had a stronger pull and for a time I was in northern California homesteading and ceramics was on the back burner. Discovering that as much as I was drawn to a rural way of life, it was a 24 hour job that wasn’t going to allow for ceramics for a long time, so by 1982 I was in southern California working in the Laguna Beach School of Art’s studio (currently Laguna College of Art and Design) and teaching part time at Irvine Valley College. In 1983 I returned to school to further my study at the Kansas City Art Institute, but after one semester in ceramics I transferred to the Fiber Department, and from there did my graduate work at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. It was not long after graduating that I returned to clay. Those years were tumultuous but important in that I found a source for integrating form and surface. I continue to look at textiles, translate some of the surface treatments to a ceramics process and am constantly grateful to have friends and colleagues in both disciplines.

As the need to generate income became a priority, I held many teaching jobs including at the Orange County High School of the Arts, Arts in Corrections (teaching inmates at several CA state prisons), Soka University, Saddleback College, and finally landing a full time position at Mt. San Antonio College where I was the lead faculty for the ceramics program. I retired in 2020 and now can work full time in my studio in San Juan Capistrano.

I’ve been a member of the ACGA for about five years and on the board for two. Although the pandemic was disastrous in so many ways, it did allow the ACGA to hold board meetings online, which has increased the representation of members throughout the state. I hope that my presence on the board and serving on the communications committee will help promote even more diverse representation, both geographically and in general membership. It’s been a great experience being part of this organization and I look forward to expanding our reach.


Terracotta Corridor

“Clay pipe was invented for specific uses; it never would have been invented for art.
It took a few ceramics geniuses to imagine new possibilities.”

— Tom Franco, Mission Clay artist-in-residence

Have you been introduced to the captivating world of the Terracotta Corridor? This expansive outdoor exhibition is now on display in Napa’s Rail Arts District and boasts 21 impressive clay pipe sculptures. Presented by Mission Clay Products and Rail Arts District Napa (RAD), it’s a fusion of artistry and industry that’s truly a sight to behold. Curated with care by Shelly Willis and John Toki, the exhibition features selections from 11 exceptional artists, including Alan Chin, Cameron Crawford, Ann Christenson, Carolyn Ford, Tom Franco, Robert Harrison, Susannah Israel, Lisa Reinertson, Patrick Siler, John Toki, and Rimas Visgirda. These artists brought their creations to life during residencies at the esteemed Mission Clay Art & Industry Program. Remarkably, a total of 21 sculptures made their journey to Napa, California.

I had the privilege of attending an enthralling presentation on the Terracotta Corridor by John Toki and Bryan Vansell, the visionary Founder and Director of the Mission Clay Art & Industry Program. This event unfolded during the California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art (CCACA) in Davis a few months back. Some participating artists shared their experiences during the presentation. Hearing their stories, challenges, and inventive solutions was fascinating. Can you imagine some artists had to complete the process of carving and glazing the 6 to 8 feet clay pipe extrusions within days due to the fast drying speed at the location of the residency program in Phoenix, Arizona? Following the enlightening presentation was a book signing for the recently unveiled exhibition catalog (the cover image above). This beautifully illustrated 80-page catalog delves into the history of the Art & Industry Program, the sculptures themselves, and the brilliant ceramic artists behind them, adding depth and dimension to the viewer’s journey.

What makes this exhibition unique is its ingenious concept and dynamic viewing experience. The exhibit harmoniously blends creativity and industry with the Mission Clay Products facility, renowned for its sewer pipe production, which also serves as the very origin of these extraordinary sculptures. This fusion transforms ordinary sewer pipes intended to be underground and unseen into impressive standing masterpieces. As John aptly noted, “Unique to the viewing experience is that artworks in most cases viewed in ‘in motion’—people traveling on the Napa Wine Train at 20 miles per hour, people on bicycles and scooters, and those running or walking or even driving around the city of Napa near the Vine Trail.”

Why not treat yourself to a day of artistic exploration? Experience the enchantment of the Terracotta Corridor in Napa and witness the transformative power of clay, passion, and imagination. I’m excitedly planning my visit. The exhibition is accessible along the Napa Vine Trail, Oxbow Public Marketplace, and near the Culinary Institute of America (Copia) until December 2023. You can see the location of the sculptures on this map.

If you want to know more about this amazing project, an exquisite exhibition catalog titled “Terracotta Corridor” is available now at the Napa Wine Train Gift Shop at 1275 McKinstry Street in Napa. If you are interested but can’t make it to Napa, the link to purchase the catalog will soon be added to the RAD website. Owning this catalog is like holding a piece of the exhibition’s magic.

And, make sure to check out these captivating short videos: Installation of Terracotta Corridor – Rail Arts District, Napa, CA. 2022; Mission Clay Art & Industry – Making Pipe Sculpture 2022.

LH Horton Jr Gallery presents VISIONS IN CLAY

August 28 – September 21, 2023
Gallery Reception August 31 • 5:00 – 7:00p.m.
Zoom Reception: September 9 • 11:30a.m.–12:30p.m.
Free & Open to the Public

STOCKTON, CA – Located on the campus of San Joaquin Delta College, LH Horton Jr Gallery presents the 14th Annual Visions In Clay Exhibition, August 28 – September 21, 2023. The Gallery Reception is planned for Thursday, August 31st, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Admission to the Gallery exhibition and reception is free and open to the public. In addition, the Gallery will host a Zoom Reception with artists from around the country, on Saturday, September 9, from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Visit the Gallery’s website for the Zoom link access. Joan Takayama-Ogawa, Professor of Ceramics and Product Design at Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles, was this year’s guest juror who selected the artwork and awards for the exhibition. The awards were given for a body of work in three award categories (Best of Show $800, 2nd Place $600, 3rd Place $400) sponsored by the Horton Gallery Foundation, and the San Joaquin Potters Guild presents a $300 Founders Award each year. There is a fifth award for $800 funded by San Joaquin Delta College for a Regional Artist-in-Residence selected by Ceramics Professor Shenny Cruces. The Regional Artist will present a ceramic art demonstration and artist talk to the ceramics and sculpture students. The awards will be announced at the Opening Reception on Thursday, August 31st.This year’s exhibit features 57 works by 47 artists from around the country, including 5 Delta College Alumni students, Abraham Alvarez, Bonny Barker, Samantha Holcomb, Zoe Nelson, and Melodie Sidhu. We are all so very proud of our Delta art students – Go Mustangs!

“Creative people know that what is ‘work’ is nothing of the sort. To understand what an artist does is to consider the whole of their existence. The dedication borders on obsession.”

— Joan Takayama-Ogawa

Visions In Clay was founded by the San Joaquin Potters Guild in 2002 through 2007, and turned over to the Horton Gallery in 2010 to continue presenting the ceramics based exhibition. Visions In Clay is the largest exhibition of ceramic works in the San Joaquin Valley. Elaine Quave Crossroads CactiVisions In Clay 2023.

ACGA members whose work (pictured above) was selected for the exhibit include Linda Fitz Gibbon, Vicki Gunter, and Ren Lee.

Press Release by Jan Marlese, LG Horton Jr Gallery, San Joaquin Delta College



This is the KMAF‘s 60th year! Several ACGA artists will be participating. Ceramics: Barbara Glynn Prodaniuk, Peggy Loudon, Fred Stodder, Lyn Swan, Justine Tatarsky. Glass: Cristy Aloysi & Scott Graham, April Zilber.

Breakfast is available 8:00-10:30 am and lunch from 11:30-4:30pm. Art Fair open 10am – 5pm every day. Shuttles run from the parking lots to the event.

More Information:

Kings Mountain Art Fair

Submitted by April Zilber

Kings Mountain Art Fair - Labor Day Weekend

This popular event benefits the Kings Mountain Volunteer Fire Brigade and Kings Mountain Elementary School.


This National Call For Entry Exhibition brings everyone to the table through ceramics that serve, featuring work from artists at all stages of their careers throughout the US.

Functional Fall: A Seat at the Table, Juror: Jessica Putnam Phillips

Clay Art Center, Portchester, NY, Sept. 1 – Oct. 16.

More Information: Clay Art Center

Submitted by Linda Fitz Gibbon

Linda Fitz Gibbon


For potters, there are few things as exciting as opening a kiln load of  freshly fired pots.

Being able to share that process with our customers is even better. For the last 25 years, we have hosted an event at our studio where we do just that.

But this is not just any kiln load full of pots it’s a load full of all one-of-a-kind pieces. This year‘s event will be on Saturday, August 19 from 1 to 5 at the Nichibei studio In Sebastopol. Seating is limited and reservations are required but if you’re interested in attending please email Cheryl or Mikio at

Nichibei Potters
Susie Rubenstein
Liz Lauter - Majolica


Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere as you explore the various booths and exhibits, interact with the artists, and discover unique treasures to take home. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a music lover, or looking for a fun weekend activity with the family, the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival is not to be missed. Mark your calendars and join us in Old Mill Park on September 23rd and 24th from 10-5:00. More information is available at Mill Valley Arts Festival.

Submitted by Susie Rubenstein

Out of the Fire - Pajaro Valley Arts Sudden Street Gallery

“Out of the Fire” at Pajaro Valley

Arts Sudden Street Gallery in Watsonville showcases artwork created or affected by fire, such as a kiln, welding, blown glass, and other methods. ACGA members Christi Aloysi and Scott Graham, Tamara Danoyan, Laurie Hennig, Chris Johnson, Cynthia Siegel, Randie Silverstein, and Bev Zerbib-Berda are among the 55 participating artists.

This multi-media exhibit explores artwork that utilizes fire as a transformative tool in the making of the work. The use and control of fire has been critical to the survival and advancement of humankind. For thousands of years, fire has been used for warmth, light, defense, ceremony, and communication. Fire has been used to transform elements into tools and processes that affect all areas of our lives. We are still in awe of both its productive and destructive qualities. We invite you to enjoy the transformative processes in this exhibit.

“Out of Fire” Exhibit opens August 9 at Pajaro Valley Arts Gallery. Opening Reception is Sunday, August 13 from 2-4pm at

37 Sudden St. Watsonville.

Bev Zerbib-Berda

Bev Zerbib-Berda - Celadon Bowl

Tamara Danoyan - Out of the Fire

Tamara Danoyan - Eco Printed Vessel

Tamara Danoyan - Out of the Fire

Randie Silverstein - Blessing Bowl

Sac Open Studio Exhibition

Verge Center for the Arts
Sacramento, California
Kick Off Party, Sept. 7, 6-9 pm
Exhibition Dates: Sept. 7 – 17

Linda Fitz Gibbon‘s Woodland studio will be open Sept. 9 & 10, 10 am – 5 pm.


“INTRUSIVE THOUGHTS” AT  h u g o m e n t o


Hugomento is excited to present “Intrusive Thoughts,” a solo exhibition of ceramic sculptures by California artist Vince Montague, on view now through September 2.

Making art and writing poetry is an intrusive-thinking area in Montague’s studio practice, a place of risk and freedom, an opportunity for him to welcome ideas and images into his atelier, to make sense of them if he can. Montague creates sculptures and writes poems out of his own obsessions, his own worries, his own doubts, traumas and encroaching preoccupations.

h u g o m e n t o
795 22nd Street,
San Francisco, CA 94107

Submitted by Vince Montague via Instagram





Ann Wagenhals has had two vases accepted to the “1000 Vases” (actually ~90 vases!) Paris exhibit during Paris Design Week. Her pieces–one pit-fired vase and one horsehair raku vase–titled together “Serenity, Motion & Joy” will be shown at Galerie Joseph in the Marais September 7-10. Ann is on Instagram @annwagenhals and her website is

1000 Vases is on Instagram.

Submitted by Ann Wagenhals



September 17th to October 8, 2023


Lee Middleman will host a woodfiring event in Aomori, Japan, September 17 to October 8, 2023, accompanied by 2 American and Canadian potters: ACGA members Miki Shim-Rutter and Chelsea Fried and Alan Lacovesty.  Lee has participated and organized over 10 such events since 2004.

Between 2002 and 2012, over 130 ceramic artists and potters from around the world participated in similar woodfire programs at Kanayama. The program focused on the exchange of techniques and ideas about ceramic art and wood fire. By working together and freely sharing information, the sponsors encouraged mutual understanding and cooperation among potters throughout the world.  Lee hopes this mini-program revives the tradition.

They will also explore the Jōmon ceramic history and Aomori culture.  The Jōmon pottery (縄文土器, Jōmon doki) is a type of ancient earthenware pottery which was made during Jomon period (c. 14,000 and 300 BC) in Japan. The term “Jōmon” (縄文) means “rope-patterned” in Japanese, describing the patterns that are pressed into the clay.  Fragments have been dated as early as 14,500 BCE.

This is Lee’s first return trip to Japan since Covid interrupted his strong interest in exploring Japanese ceramics and culture.  He will post activities and results on social media.

Submitted by Lee Middleman


Our communications tools now allow members to post their news items directly to the ACGA News Blog, for daily publication. Posts must be admin-approved and may take up to 48 hours to appear in the blog. Incomplete submissions may take longer. The web-based news blog is a living document and posts items in the order they are published. You can scroll through the entire history of the ACGA News here:

In addition, our monthly ACGA newsletter is emailed to approximately 5500 subscribers. This news is less time-sensitive than more immediate forms of communication such as the news blog and our social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook.

Social media is the most effective and most instantaneous way to reach your audience, provide a platform that can be posted to repeatedly and often. We encourage members to cultivate their own social media accounts on facebook and instagram, to build your own audience and market your wares. We are happy to amplify your message to our followers from time to time when the following conditions are met:

  • Captions must include who, what, where, when details.
  • Posts must relate to something a collector or student can engage with such as a gallery event, an open studio, or an upcoming sale. Posts that lack context will not be reposted.
  • We will not repost items projecting more than 2 weeks in the future.
  • Posts should be tagged @theacga to ensure we can find them

ACGA social media accounts have more than 17,000 followers, so following these guidelines could be valuable to you. News items must be written in grammatically correct form, include all details including names (first and last) of members involved, links to artist websites or social media, studio or gallery locations and hours of operation.

Be aware that we have over 350 members and will strive to be fair and equitable, and to showcase the wide variety of accomplished artists who comprise our group. Publication is not guaranteed, and is not a perquisite of membership. If you have an event with frequent updates or an extended window of time, we expect you to manage your news on your end and we may or may not repost at our discretion.



Date of Next Meeting: Monday, August 14, 2023, 5:30pm

All ACGA members in good standing are invited to attend our monthly board meeting on zoom. To receive a zoom invitation for the next meeting, email your request to Mari Emori,


This space is envisioned for future listings of upcoming calendar events. Since we have only just launched the submission process in this mailing, we do not have any current events at this time. Please follow the submission process outlined herein.

Professional Kiln Repair Service
NorCal Kiln Repair- “Professional Bay Area repair service since 2006”
· evaluation & repair: ceramic & glass kilns (gas & electric)
· tutorials: operation, safety, maintenance, custom programming
· evaluation & repair: pottery wheels, pug mills, slab rollers
· ventilation repair & installation / studio safety & setup consultations
· new & used kiln recommendations / appraisals: buying & selling
· ceramics troubleshooting: clays, glaze, construction, firing, etc.
Joseph Kowalczyk (Ko-väl-chick)
kiln & ceramics specialist
510 601-5053 ·

Address changes and Membership Changes – Please send all address changes to the membership chair EmilYanos,

ACGA’s Website – Check out our website

The home page now features an ‘artist of the month.’ Populate your own page, and update often. To create and edit your profi  le page, go to the For Members menu, choose Member login, and follow the instructions to find and edit your profile.
Need a website password? Email Emil Yanos at

We look forward to hearing from you!

Follow and Like us on FaceBook (@ClayandGlass) and Instagram (@theACGA)
The ACGA News is sent through MailChimp. If your email bounces you or you have been unsubscribed, you can sign up again – contact Communications Lead Ren Lee at:

Join the ACGA social media group

Link to the Google group:

To email all members via the ACGA Google group you must be a member. Address your clay/glass-related message to:
There are two ways that you can engage in google groups without a gmail account:
1. Via email only
With a non-gmail email address you can still participate in all of the google group activities by replying to emailsand/or sending an email to to start a new thread. You do not have to create any google accounts to do this. If you’re seeing this email, then you’re in the group and can respond to emails like this one that will be sent to the entire group.

More details on how to create and respond to google group messages in the FAQ!
2. Make a google account
While it’s not necessary to have a google account to participate in the google group, you can create one with your non-gmail email address to get access to the google group site, which just aggregates the ACGA google group conversations in one place that’s easy to review and search.

Board of Directors – 2023
2023 Officers
President: Mari Emori
Vice President: TBD
Secretary: Sally Jackson
Treasurer: April Zilber
Lee Middleman, Jan Schachter, Joe Battiato, Emil Yanos, Trudy Chiddix, Cheryl Costantini,
Chris Johnson, Ren Lee, Susie Rubenstein, Iver Hennig, Sonja Hinrichson, Vicki Gunter, Barbara Prodaniuk

Committee Chairs
Communication – Ren Lee
Exhibitions – Jan Schachter
Festival Liaison – April Zilber
Festival Jury Coordinator – Chris Johnson
Historian – Cuong Ta
Int’l Ambassador – Barbara Brown
Membership Coordinator – Emil Yanos