Clay Art Center Celebrates Black History Month

Clay Art Center
Celebrates Black History Month
With an Online Invitational Exhibition
The Sustaining Presence:
Stalwarts of African American Contemporary Clay
Guest Curated by Syd Carpenter
Online: February 1 – March 1, 2023

This February marks the 47th annual Black History Month, a celebration of the achievements and advancements of Black Americans who have contributed to the history of the United States. We are excited to honor Black History Month by providing an online invitational exhibition “The Sustaining Presence: Stalwarts of African American Contemporary Clay” guest curated by Syd Carpenter, that celebrates Black ceramic artists from across the US, throughout February.


Guest Curator Syd Carpenter States: "The African diaspora has influenced globally diverse expressions in music, dance, theatre, literature and the visual arts for more than a century. From the majestic and poetic works of Dave Drake in the 19th century to celebrated works of Simone Leigh in the 21st, Black clay artists have been a consistent community of innovative clay productivity. From pure abstraction to explicit representations of the experience of being Black in America, the presence of Black artists is here represented by notable stalwarts who have continued to creatively enhance the field. Many beginning their careers in the late 60’s and early 70’s, their work reflects the ongoing vibrancy, technical brilliance and creative insight of this group of artists."


Participating Artists include: Earline Green, Winnie Owens Hart, Malcolm Mobutu Smith, Sana Musasama, Bobby Scroggins, Kevin Snipes and Lydia Thompson 


Guest Curator Syd Carpenter lives In Philadelphia. Pennsylvania. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, James A Michener Museum, Tang Museum of Skidmore College, and Fuller Craft Museum. She is a Professor of Studio Art, at Swarthmore College, PA.


View the exhibition online at

A Virtual Artist Talk will take place with participating artists from the exhibition. Date to be announced – please check back on our website for updates.

Additional Black Ceramic Artist Content on our Website


Concepts in Clay: Artists of Color
Online Virtual Exhibit

Co-Curated with Paul Briggs

Best of Westchester Winner: Best Art Exhibition 2021

Concepts in Clay(which opened in 2021) features works of celebrated Black ceramic artists from across the US, and brings together a collective voice that speaks about a variety of themes and processes as part of the continuum of artists of color working in clay in the US today. Clay is the vehicle that amplifies these voices, and within this collection, these artists not only share their work with us, but their thoughts on what present-day America means to each of them.


The artists selected here make clay works that are wide ranging in the treatments of surfaces, processes, forms, materials and subject matter. This collection also investigates a variety of themes unique to the Black experience in America, from human relationships and interactions, identity and image of self, social justice and activism, to the outward expression of inner experiences.


Featured artists include: Adero Willard, Kyle and Kelly Phelps, Morel Doucet, Paul Andrew Wandless, Syd Carpenter, Donte Hayes, Lydia C. Thompson, Nathan Murray, Paul Briggs, and Rich Brown


View the Exhibit Online:


Black Ceramic Artists Talks in our Online Virtual Library


Browse our online catalogue of past Virtual Artist Talks and Demos by some of the top Black ceramic artists in the US such as Vinnie Bagwell, Paul Briggs, Rich Brown, Wesley Brown, Syd Carpenter, Earlene Cox, Donte Hayes, Sana Musasama, Kyle and Kelly Phelps and Paul Wandless along with a panel discussion “The Role of Art in the Fight for Social Discussion”. Our virtual library is free to access anytime to learn from these ceramic artists in their insightful videos.  Visit our website to watch videos:


Clay Art Center Anti-Racist Agenda Commitment Statement


Clay Art Center believes that the arts can touch and enrich lives and play a significant role in social change. We believe that Black Lives Matter, and we will work towards ensuring that diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion are a part of our core values. We will offer stimulating and culturally diverse programs in our studio practice, exhibitions and education to better serve diverse communities. We will engage with these communities and institutions to understand, evaluate and ensure how we can best succeed at achieving diversity, accessibility and inclusion. We will actively work to ensure that we have the resources to accomplish these objectives. To learn more visit our website:


Clay Art Center is a nationally recognized non-profit center for the advancement and practice of ceramic arts offering exhibitions, clay classes for adults and children, studio spaces for clay artists and outreach programs in the community.  It is located in the heart of Port Chester at 40 Beech Street, Port Chester, NY 10573. Join Clay Art Center for virtual & in-person classes, exhibitions and shop at