Celebrating Ceramics: Potters Market Invitational set for September 15 in Charlotte

A taste of Seagrove, the Catawba Valley, and other well-known centers of North Carolina pottery will visit Charlotte when the 8th annual Potters Market Invitational sets up its tent on the grounds of Mint Museum Randolph on September 15.

Forty outstanding North Carolina potters have been invited to participate in this year’s event, presented by the Delhom Service League, an affiliate group of The Mint Museum dedicated to the support and study of ceramics. The event typically lures over 1,200 collectors and enthusiasts, many of whom line up hours in advance of the opening to make sure to gain access to the day’s best treasures.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to share our enthusiasm for this important art form with the Charlotte community and the region, and to give residents a chance to engage with some of our state’s most significant artists and their work,” said Lee Abbott, chairperson of this year’s Potters Market. “The Mint Museum already boasts the largest collection of North Carolina pottery in the United States, and we look forward to future opportunities to put a strengthened focus on ceramics at Mint Museum Randolph.”

A $10 admission fee includes access to the event, running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., as well as admission to both locations of The Mint Museum (admission is reduced to $8 after 2 p.m.)*. The event is still selling $100 individual sponsorships which grant early admission at 9:15 a.m. and a greater chance to acquire the most-desired items. For $150, individuals can also be admitted to a Potters Party being held Friday, September 14 from 7-9 p.m. at Mint Museum Randolph, where they will have the opportunity to mingle with the potters.

PMI tickets go on sale online Aug. 1 at mintmuseum.org/delhom-service-league.html, or are available at the door. More information is available at 704.337.2010 or by emailing PottersMarketInvitational@gmail.com. The event also includes live folk music and pottery-making demonstrations. Funds raised go toward acquisitions of pottery and library materials for the museum.

The honorary chair of this year’s market is Herb Cohen, a league member whose work is featured in the exhibition Sophisticated Surfaces: The Pottery of Herb Cohen, on view at Mint Museum Randolph through January 6, 2013.

Also on view at Mint Museum Randolph through January 6 is the exhibition A Thriving Tradition: 75 Years of Collecting North Carolina Pottery, which contains many significant acquisitions obtained through the help of the Delhom Service League and its individual members. An example is a ceramic sculpture of a rabbit, “Alice Goes to Washington,” by Carol Gentithes, which contains images of Barack Obama, Martha Stewart, George W. Bush, Jay Leno, and other figures emblematic in current culture. “Like a classical language, the vocabulary that I create has many layers of meaning. I leave it with the viewers to derive their personal interpretations,” Gentithes has said of her work. Gentithes is one of this year’s participating potters, who also include Judith Duff, designer of a vase purchased at the 2009 Potters Market Invitational that became the primary image for this year’s event; and Ben Owen III of the legendary Owen and Owens families of North Carolina potters. First-time participating potters this year include Julie Wiggins, Steven Abee, Ross Edwards, Becky and Steve Lloyd, Joy Tanner, Alex Matisse, and Frank Neef. A complete list of potters is available at mintmuseum.org/happenings/18/delhom-service-league-8th-annual-potters-market-invitational.

Recently, Mint Museum Randolph opened two more permanent-collection exhibitions that illustrate the depth and breadth of the Mint’s ceramics collection: Classically Inspired: European Ceramics Circa 1800, and American Ceramics, 1825-1875. Find more information about them in the attachment.

Corporate sponsor for this year’s Potters Market Invitational is Subaru South Boulevard. Top-level individual sponsors are Bill Musgrave, Betsy Brand, Herb Cohen and José Fumero, Jane M. Conlan, and Sarah Belk Gambrell.

*Note: Visitors must purchase their PMI ticket first in order to gain free museum admission on the event date.


Delhom Service league is an affiliate group of The Mint Museum dedicated to developing interest in ceramics by studying the work of experts and by supporting the ceramics collection of The Mint Museum. It is named for M. Mellanay Delhom and her outstanding collection of historical pottery and porcelain, which entered the museum’s collection in 1965. The league offers monthly programs that are open to the public, on the third Tuesday of the month from September through May, and holds study and research classes on Monday afternoons. The league, consisting of both potters and ceramics enthusiasts, supports acquisitions of pottery and library materials for the museum.


As the oldest art museum in North Carolina, and the art museum with one of the largest collections in the Southeast, The Mint Museum offers its visitors inspiring and transformative experiences through art from around the world via innovative collections, ground-breaking exhibitions, riveting educational programs, and profound scholarship. The Mint Museum is a non-profit, visual arts institution comprised of two dynamic facilities: Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph.

Located in what was the original branch of the United States Mint, Mint Museum Randolph opened in 1936 in Charlotte’s Eastover neighborhood as the state’s first art museum. Today, in a beautiful park setting, intimate galleries invite visitors to engage with the art of the ancient Americas, ceramics and decorative arts, fashion, European and African art, among other collections. Resources include a reference library with over 18,000 volumes, a theater featuring lectures and performances, and a museum shop offering merchandise that complements both the permanent collection and special exhibitions.

Mint Museum Uptown houses the internationally renowned Craft + Design collection, as well as outstanding collections of American, contemporary, and European art. Designed by Machado and Silvetti Associates of Boston, the five-story, 145,000-square-foot facility combines inspiring architecture with cutting-edge exhibitions to provide visitors with unparalleled educational and cultural experiences. Located in the heart of Charlotte’s burgeoning center city, Mint Museum Uptown is an integral part of the Levine Center for the Arts, a cultural campus that includes the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture, the Knight Theater, and the Duke Energy Center. Mint Museum Uptown also features a wide range of visitor amenities, including the 240-seat James B. Duke Auditorium, the Lewis Family Gallery, art studios, a restaurant, and a museum shop. For more information, visit the NEW mintmuseum.org.