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Art School at Old Church Hosts 46th Annual Pottery Show & Sale Online December 4-6

Art School at Old Church Hosts 46th Annual Pottery Show & Sale Online December 4-6

(DEMAREST, NJ) -- The Art School at Old Church (TASOC) will host its 46th Annual Old Church Pottery Show & Sale – and this year, the nationally recognized show is moving online! The sale will take place from 6:00pm EST on Friday, December 4 through Sunday, December 6. Sales will officially end at 12:00am EST on Monday, December 7. This year, the Old Church Pottery Show & Sale will virtually welcome more than 500 handmade works by 31 world-renowned potters.  

The Old Church Pottery Show & Sale is a nationally renowned event among the clay community, and a destination for close to 1,000 shoppers each year. This year’s event will kick off with an opening night celebration on Friday, December 4 at 5:45pm. The show will also feature an online artist talk and instructional workshops running December 2nd-7th. All information, sale links, and links to activity on social media will be available at the landing page www.oldchurchpotteryshow.org. Presenting artists, a schedule of virtual workshops, and event sponsorship opportunities are listed below.  

The event began in 1975 as a fundraiser for The Art School. Long-time friends Karen Karnes and TASOC founder Mikhail Zakin wanted to connect their vibrant community of potters with the local area by offering the opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind works of art, with proceeds supporting the newly found non-profit cultural center.  

This year, in light of the shutdowns and limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Art School at Old Church is depending on this annual fundraiser even more. “When the show was started in 1975, the idea was that it was a fundraiser. It's remained our largest fundraiser throughout the past 46 years, and it's grown to become our national footprint,” The Art School’s Organizational Consultant and former Executive Director Lisa Beth Vettoso explains. 

“Beyond the fundraising implications, we just couldn’t cancel this long-held, beloved tradition and highly-anticipated opportunity for potters and art lovers due to the pandemic. It’s so much a fabric of our organization’s identity. So, we quickly planned a virtual alternative that in many ways even expands upon what we’ve done in the past!” 

The online shopping platform makes it more convenient for the holiday shopper to find one-of-a-kind, handmade gifts. Works range from functional items such as dishware and servers to decorative sculptural works. 


The Art School and the 2020 Pottery Show & Sale curators—Chris Gustin, Bruce Dehnert, and Aysha Peltz—added artist talks and workshops to round out the virtual experience and replicate the energy of the live event. Virtual attendees will be able to enjoy interviews with the artists, getting unique glimpses into their inspirations and methods, as well as instructional workshops. Visit oldchurchpotteryshow.org for continually updating information about these Artist Talks. 

Workshops will run December 2nd-7th, both bookending and running through the weekend of the show and sale. Workshop details and registration are available online.  

The Art School at Old Church recently welcomed a new Executive Director, Dr. Jerry M. James. A visual artist himself, Dr. James has worked as an adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts and as the Director of Teaching and Learning at the Center for Arts Education. 

“I am excited that this 2020 Pottery Show & Sale will be my first large-scale event ‘here,’ and I can’t wait to see all the work the artists have submitted! That said, I would be remiss not to mention that I am joining The Art School at a time when the organization is in real financial need due to the pandemic. I hope our community and beyond will consider purchasing some of the one-of-a-kind, handmade pieces that this year's potters have so carefully created. The 2020 Old Church Pottery Show is going to be a unique, enjoyable, and safe way to support the arts and The Art School at Old Church!” 

About the Curators 

Bruce Dehnert earned an MFA in ceramics at Alfred University. Prior to that, he studied English as an undergraduate. He currently works as both a writer and potter. Bruce has been published in journals including Studio Potter, Ceramics Monthly, and Ceramics: Art and Perception. He recently collaborated on Simon Leach's Pottery Handbook, praised as "an amazingly detailed, step-by-step text for all major processes in ceramics." He is currently Director of the ceramics program at Peter's Valley Craft Center.  

Chris Gustin also received an MFA from Alfred University. During his second year at Alfred, Chris met Karen Karnes. Her approach was inspirational to him as he began to make plans for life after school. Shortly after, Chris moved to Guilford, Connecticut and opened his first professional studio. In 1986, Gustin collaborated with Margaret Griggs, George Mason, and Lynn Duryea to form Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in an abandoned brick factory in Newcastle, ME. Later, he was invited to join the faculty at The Program in Artisanry at Boston University. This program became part of UMass Dartmouth, now one of the top ceramics programs in the nation. In 1999, Chris retired to a full-time studio practice in South Dartmouth where he lives with his wife, artist Nancy Train-Smith.   

Aysha Peltz received her BFA and MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. She is an active educator and has held a faculty appointment at Bennington College since 2006. She has also taught at many other institutions, including Alfred University, Harvard University, and the Kansas City Art Institute and has lectured at the Shelburne Craft School in Vermont, The Huntingdon Museum of Art in West Virginia and at the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in Jingdezhen, China. Aysha has exhibited consistently for over 20 years in a variety of venues across the country including the Clay Studio in Philadelphia; Pottery Northwest in Seattle, Washington; Worcester Center for Crafts in Worcester, Massachusetts; Penland Gallery in Penland North Carolina; and at The Art School at Old Church' Annual Pottery Show & Sale. Her work is in notable collections including the American Museum of Ceramic Art, The Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art, Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute, and the Huntington Museum of Art, where she received the Walter Gropius Master Award. Aysha has also been awarded an Emerging Artist Award at the National Council for the Education of the Ceramic Arts. Aysha owns Town Hill Pottery and the New England Hardboard Company with her husband and fellow potter, Todd Wahlstrom. 


2020 Artists 

Jessica Brandl, Helena, MT 

Tom Coleman, Henderson, NV 

Elaine Coleman, Henderson, NV 

Naomi Dalglish & Michael Hunt, Bakersville, NC 

Bruce Dehnert, Layton, NJ 

Sanam Emami, Fort Collins, CO 


Andrea Gill, VAlfred, NY 

Chris Gustin, Dartmouth, MA 

Maggie Jaszczak, Shafer, MN 

Nick Joerling, Penland, NC 

Michael Kline, Bakersville, NC 

David MacDonald, Syracuse, NY 

Candice Methe, Red Lodge, MT 


Matthew Metz, Alfred Station, NY 

Aysha Peltz, Whitingham, VT 

Peter Pincus, Penfield, NY 

S.C. Rolf, River Falls, WI 

Akira Satake, Asheville, NC 

Matthew Schiemann, St. Petersburg, FL 

Mark Shapiro, Worthington, MA 


Jane Shellenbarger, Rochester, NY 

Hitomi & Takuro Shibata, Seagrove, NC 

José Sierra, New Mexico 

Rob Sieminski, Phillips, ME 

Kevin Snipes, Philadelphia, PA 

Mike Stumbras, Kansas City, MO 

Shoko Teruyama, Alfred Station, NY 


Susan Tirrell, Pray, MT 

Jack Troy, Huntingdon, PA 


Old Church Pottery Show & Sale Online Workshop Schedule: 

  • Wednesday, December 2, 1:00pm-3:00pm: Building Form with Maggie Jaszczak 

  • Thursday, December 3, 4:00pm-6:00PM: Considering the Teapot with Mike Stumbras 

  • Friday, December 4, 1:00pm-3:00pm: Sgraffito with a Twist with Sue Tirrell 

  • Saturday, December 5, 12:00pm-1:30pm: Patterning the Table with Sanam Emami 

  • Sunday, December 6, 4:00pm-6:00pm: Round Bottom Pourers with Candice Methe 

  • Monday, December 7, 1:00pm-2:30pm: Pitcher Perfect with Matthew Schiemann  




Old Church Pottery Show & Sale 2020 Sponsorship Benefits Include: 

· Ad in our Pottery Show digital program 

· Featured logo placement on webpage and/or social media 

· Free attendance to an artist workshop of your choice 

· Special shout-out at Opening Night virtual toast 

Email Lisa Beth Vettoso at lisa@tasoc.org for more information about sponsorship levels. 

Founded in 1974, The Art School at Old Church is a non-profit cultural center providing community access to enriching experiences in the arts. The school offers art classes and workshops as well as free gallery exhibitions, cultural events, and outreach programs for special populations. It houses two art galleries: the Mikhail Zakin Gallery and the Café Gallery. The Annual Pottery Show & Sale is an opportunity to view and purchase one-of-a-kind works of art from nationally recognized potters. Proceeds from The Annual Pottery Show & Sale and from Our Thrift Shop, located in Westwood, NJ, benefit The Art School at Old Church. The Art School’s programs are made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as contributions from foundations, corporations, businesses, and individuals. 


originally published: 11/23/2020

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