Pottery on the Hill celebrates its ten year anniversary in 2021. This year’s edition, like the previous one, will not take place at Hill Center. The annual fall event will showcase potters from around the United States in an art fair, expo-style environment using online sales platforms to showcase work.
Concerns over the spread of COVID variants and other related factors led Hill Center to host this year’s edition virtually. Like last year, a silent auction to benefit Hill Center will kick-off ahead of the online expo. The silent auction begins November 4 and the virtual expo begins Friday, November 12 at 5 p.m. Both the silent auction and sale end Sunday, November 14. While virtual in format, Pottery on the Hill maintains its recurring theme of exhibiting functional handmade pottery produced by some of the nation’s most renowned, professional ceramicists.
Benefit Auction and Finnegan Commemorative Mug Sale: November 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 virtual Pottery on the Hill donated work to Hill Center’s benefit auction. These works include everything from cups to large vases. Hosted on Auctria, an online auction platform, bids can be placed starting November 4. During the ten day auction period, bidders are notified when a competitor has outbid them. This allows competitors the chance to place a higher bid to win the desired ceramic piece. The auction closes on November 14 at 11:59 p.m. Winning bidders will be notified on Monday, November 15.
Dan Finnegan, Pottery on the Hill’s curator since event began in 2012, made 50 commemorative mugs to benefit Hill Center. The one-of-a-kind mugs will be available for purchase beginning November 4, coinciding with the benefit auction. Finnegan’s commemorative mugs cost $100 apiece and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis until they sell-out.
Pottery on the Hill Virtual Sale: November 12-14
“This is the second year that our show has been moved online,” notes potter and show curator, Dan 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.”
However, 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, November 12 at 5 p.m., visitors will have the opportunity to log onto the event site and visit each of the potters’ “stores” and purchase work. Access is granted through the event’s main website PotteryontheHillDC.org. The expo ends Sunday, November 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.
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. Since this year’s edition is completely virtualized, social media will play a central role in providing information about the ceramicists and their process. The organizers are planning on doing 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:
Pottery on the Hill 2021 | Online Show and Sale | November 12-14
Online Silent Auction and Benefit | November 4-14