Christopher Staley, Penn State Distinguished Professor of Art, has been appointed president-elect of the 5,000-member National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). He will serve as president-elect until the March 2016 NCECA conference, at which time he will assume the role of president for a two-year term.
Staley takes on the president-elect role mid-term after Paul Sacaridiz stepped down in June to focus on his new position as director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.
“[After Paul stepped down] NCECA immediately went to work on identifying a respected leader in our field who had the will, ability and vision to contribute to the organization through the remainder of the president-elect term and cycle on to become its next president,” the council said in an official statement.
Staley joined the Penn State School of Visual Arts faculty in 1990. In 2007 he received Penn State’s Graduate Faculty Teaching Award, and was named a Distinguished Professor in 2008. As the 2012–13 Penn State Laureate, Staley continued to expand the reach and impact of his role as a teacher by developing with filmmaker Cody Goddard a series of videos on creativity designed to bring greater awareness to art’s integration with learning and the world.
Staley said he is honored and excited to lead NCECA. “Can you imagine if NCECA never existed? It is hard to do this given how much NCECA has contributed to students, makers and teachers in the ceramic arts. It has existed and prospered for 50 years because of the service of so many devoted individuals in our field. Under the excellent leadership of Executive Director Josh Green and the existing dedicated and talented NCECA board members, I am honored to have been asked to be president-elect. It is with humility and enthusiasm that I look forward to serving NCECA to the best of my abilities.”
Staley’s works are included in the International Museum of Ceramic Art, Fuping, China; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; and the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art, Washington D.C., among others. A past director-at-large for NCECA, Staley has served on the board of the Archie Bray Foundation, and at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts as its chair. In addition to his work as an artist and educator, Staley has also been highly influential as a speaker and writer. He believes that sincerity plays a critical role in learning and the creative process. “The essence of making pots for me is about being human. It’s about fragility and strength. It’s about the intimate moment when the handle of a cup touches the hand. Pots are about potential.”
For more information on NCECA, visit nceca.net.