Pottery on the Hill celebrates its 10-year anniversary this year. The annual ceramic expo will be virtual, as it was last year, showcasing potters from around the nation in an art fair environment using online sales platforms. A silent auction to benefit Hill Center will kick off the event. The auction begins Nov. 4, and the virtual expo begins Friday, Nov. 12, at 5 p.m. Both the silent auction and sale end Sunday, Nov. 14.
Pottery on the Hill maintains its recurring theme of exhibiting functional handmade pottery produced by renowned professional ceramicists.
Benefit Auction and Finnegan Commemorative Mug Sale, Nov. 4-14
Despite signs that the US economy has begun to recover from the COVID pandemic, cultural institutions continue to feel the lingering financial impact of the global shutdown. Each of the 40 potters participating in this year’s Pottery on the Hill donated work to Hill Center’s benefit auction. Works include everything from cups to large vases. Hosted on Auctria, an online auction platform, bids can be placed starting Nov. 4. During the 10-day auction period, bidders are notified when a competitor has outbid them. This allows the chance to place a higher bid to win the desired ceramic piece. The auction closes on Nov. 14 at 11:59 p.m. Winning bidders will be notified on Monday, Nov. 15.
Dan Finnegan, Pottery on the Hill’s curator since the event began in 2012, made 50 commemorative mugs to benefit Hill Center. The one-of-a-kind mugs will be available for purchase beginning Nov. 4, coinciding with the benefit auction. Finnegan’s commemorative mugs cost $100 apiece and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
Pottery on the Hill Virtual Sale, Nov. 12-14
“This is the second year that our show has been moved online,” notes show curator Finnegan. “We will miss seeing all of your smiling faces but hope that you will continue to support the potters who create beautiful work to enhance your home and enrich your dining experience.”
One of the major benefits of hosting a virtual sale is that more potters can participate. In the past, in-person editions could only accommodate a limited number of participants at Hill Center, usually fewer than 20. Thanks to virtualization, twice as many potters can sell work.
“Moving Pottery on the Hill online is just another example of how, as a small arts and culture organization, we’ve been able to adapt our programming in this new COVID era,” says Diana Ingraham, executive director of Hill Center. “The virtual show allows us the opportunity to support the ceramics community who has been critical to making Pottery on the Hill one of the premiere shows in the nation.”
This year’s event is analogous to 40 potters opening their stores simultaneously to the public. Starting Friday, Nov. 12, at 5 p.m., visitors will have the opportunity to log onto the event site and visit each of the “stores” and purchase work. Access is granted through the event’s main website, www.potteryonthehilldc.org. The expo ends Sunday, Nov. 14, at 5 p.m.
Note that potters use different sales platform like Etsy or Square to process sales, so each store will have a slightly different look and feel.
Roster of Potters
The following potters will participate virtually in Pottery on the Hill 2021:
Bandana Pottery (Naomi Dalglish & Michael Hunt)
Bulldog Pottery (Bruce Gholson & Samantha Henneke)
Kyle Scott Lee
Gertrude Graham Smith
Studio Touya (Hitomi & Takuro Shibata)
In past editions, Pottery on the Hill organizers featured live, raku-style firing of ceramic objects in outdoor kilns and other types of demonstrations. In this year’s virtual edition social media will play a central role in providing information about the ceramicists and their process. The organizers are planning live demonstrations, mainly via Instagram, and will also feature studio tours and artist chats.
Pottery on the Hill 2021 takes place virtually at www.potteryonthehilldc.com; on Instagram at @potteryonthehilldc.
Events will be held on the following dates:
- Online Silent Auction and Benefit, Nov. 4-14
- Online Show and Sale, Nov. 12-14
Phil Hutinet is the publisher of East City Art, DC’s alternative art source. For more information visit www.eastcityart.com.