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Interview: The Color Network On the Significance of Building Community, Teaching Diversity, and Facilitating Access for Artists of Color

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Art Colossal

#ceramics #sculpture #The Color Network

The Color Network website. All images © the artists

Let’s rewind to 1991. Ceramic artist and professor Bobby Scroggins, who was frustrated by the lack of access and recognition for artists and craftspeople of color—particularly Black artists—took matters into his own hands. At the conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), he sought out Black and Brown faces in the crowd and organized informal chats, inviting peers and colleagues to form a cohort. Soon, The Color Network was born.

The original organization ran until 2014. Fast-forward to 2018 when a conversation at the annual NCECA conference spearheaded by artists Natalia Arbelaez and April D. Felipe initiated a new organization with the same name. I sat down for an interview with three of TCN’s co-organizers, including Arbelaez, George Rodriguez, and Magdolene Dykstra, who put it best when she described the power of making resources available:

Educators and curators are well aware of needing to question the models they’ve been following and decenter previously prioritized groups. For me, as an educator, that’s the most exciting aspect of the database: there is no longer any excuse for any educator to say that they just don’t know any artists of color.

Read the interview.

Three people wear face masks and stand over a table where they are looking at various ceramic pieces.

Kiln opening at Watershed Residency, 2022, with Shaya Ishaq, George Rodriguez, and Yesha Panchal

#ceramics #sculpture #The Color Network

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