Words with a Curator: Alex Kraft

As the Makers Curate/Curators Make and 50 Women: A Celebration of Women’s Contribution to Ceramics exhibits rapidly approach, we spoke with one of the curators, Alex Kraft.


Kraft is a professional working ceramic artist herself, as well as an educator. Her vision for the 50 Women Exhibit first appeared when she and another curator, Anthony Merino, realized that neither of them could name an exhibition that highlighted women in ceramics:

Tony and I were chatting at the 2013 NCECA and could not recall a previous exhibition that dealt specifically with women’s contribution to ceramics. We each researched further and were still unable to find any exhibition that showcased the breadth of women’s work in clay. We made it our mission to fill this gap and 50 Women: A Celebration of Women’s Contribution to Ceramics was born. The podcast we recorded with Ben Carter of Red Clay Rambler may be of interest to you and readers.

Kraft calls the contributions women have made to ceramics, “beyond calculation.” The 50 Women exhibit will recogniez a cross section of women working in clay today, presenting the art of fifty contemporary female artists. Their work falls both inside and outside of contemporary practice and includes sculpture, pottery, tile, and installation. As Kraft explained:

“The diverse group of artists selected has a varied range of experience, training, and recognition within the field of ceramics. In order to showcase the widest range of possibility, we have intentionally chosen artists working in a broad spectrum of the ceramic material with varying formal and content driven concerns.”

The 50 Women Exhibit will be a landmark exhibition at the 50th anniversary of the NCECA conference. It is the first large-scale exhibition of women’s contributions to ceramics, and aims to showcase the unprecedented amount of highly skilled women in ceramic arts. “Public recognition of ceramic arts is increasing. Ceramic arts are BLOOMING,” said Kraft. “This show is to document the past, to celebrate the present, and to look forward to an exciting expanding future.”

The exhibition will take place at the American Jazz Museum from March 16 – May 13. Gallery hours vary.