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CERAM-A-RAMA gala weekend celebrates clay ASU’s Ceramics Research Center

September 26, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. – Live and silent auctions a gala celebration, lectures by renowned ceramists, private tours of studios and collections, and a sneak preview of ceramic work from the infamous Funk movement; these are among the events planned to celebrate the second anniversary of the Ceramics Research Center (CRC) at Arizona State University.

Ceramics aficionados from across the country will converge on Tempe, Ariz., Feb. 27-29, 2004, to immerse themselves in a weekend of ceramic celebration. Gala guest of honor and internationally recognized ceramist Patti Warashina will present a lecture on the influences of funk in her work. Other recognized artists and curators in the ceramics field will participate in a panel discussion.

Tours of significant private collections and studios will be available to those purchasing weekend package tickets. Those interested in adding to their own collections will enjoy the silent auction, featuring approximately 100 pieces, and the live auction, with about 30 pieces. Works in the auctions will be available for viewing online at after the New Year.

Speaking of the packed three-day event, curator of ceramics Peter Held said that the extraordinary event was a must for those who appreciate ceramics.

“This will be a memorable weekend for anyone interested in the ceramic arts; an incredible array of activities that celebrate the expressive potential of clay,” Held said.

In conjunction with the gala weekend will be the third annual self-guided tour of numerous Valley of the Sun ceramics studios. This free event has become a “must-do” on the ceramics calendar in the Phoenix area.

The gala weekend planned for February 2004 also includes a sneak preview of Humor, Irony and Wit: Ceramic Funk from the Sixties and Beyond, which will open to the public on Feb. 29. Drawn from the Ceramics Research Center’s permanent collection as well as other private and public collections, this exhibition will unfold the compelling and often humorous story of the development of Funk ceramics that emerged from the San Francisco Bay area during the 1960s. Featured artists include Robert Arneson who led the charge of this movement, as well as some of his notable students including David Gilhooly, Peter Vandenberge, Chris Unterseher, Richard Notkin and Margaret Dodd.

Prices for the gala weekend events are priced as follows:
Three-day weekend package:$450
Dinner, auction and lectures:$175
Lectures only:$ 10

The Ceramics Research Center, which opened at the ASU Art Museum in March 2002, is one of only a handful of facilities in the world that combine access to an extensive ceramics collection, significant archival research materials and exhibition space. It has already become a national and international destination for the study and enjoyment of ceramics.

The center houses the ASU Art Museum’s extensive ceramics collection, comprised of more than 3,000 pieces and featuring what is believed to be the country’s largest and best collection of 20th century and contemporary British and American ceramics.

For more information about the gala weekend schedule or to purchase tickets, members of the public should contact the ASU Art Museum at (480) 965-2787.

The Ceramics Research Center is part of the Arizona State University Art Museum, which was named “the single most impressive venue for contemporary art in Arizona” by Art in America. It is a division of the Herberger College of Fine Arts at Arizona State University. To learn more about the museum, visit

Media Contact:
Jennifer Pringle