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Ceramics tries to make itself cool: The craziest convention in Houston yet?

Feel like you've been seeing ceramics everywhere you look recently? It's no coincidence: The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts is holding its annual convention in Houston Wednesday through Saturday, and the organization signaled its impending arrival for months with gallery shows all around the city

And this isn't your grandma's fine china, either — the works on display are contemporary representations of what's going on in the world of ceramics, works of cutting-edge craftsmanship with a fine art focus. 

Many conference events will be free and open to the public through the rest of the week at the George R. Brown Convention Center (GRB), but as the 200-plus hours of programming and hundreds of on-display exhibitions are sure to overwhelm, we've got you covered with the basics.

 This isn't your grandma's fine china, either.   

CultureMap asked Jeff Forster, ceramics department head at the Glassell School of Art Studio School for Adults and NCECA's on-site co-liaison for the 2013 event, to give us a run down of what not to miss. 

Projects Space 

"These are the selections from a juried call for proposals for projects to be built on location. Each artist gets a 10' by 10' or 20' by 20' space to work with for the duration of the conference, and guests can interact with the artists and watch projects progress over the next three days," Forster says. 

Open Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., GRB Hall B3

Annual Dance featuring Brave Combo

You've likely heard the trademark polka-fusion sound of this Denton-based band — but probably never in a setting quite like this. "Brave Combo appeals to a diverse aesthetic," Forster says. 

Begins Friday at 9:30 p.m., GRB Grand Ballroom A/B

Hundreds of local exhibitions

"At Winter and Spring Street Studios, there are several shows in one consolidated hot spot. The Museum District is hosting a handful of shows in close proximity, too — those happen to be some of my favorites," Forster tells CultureMap.

Times and dates vary. Find more information here.

21st Annual Cup Sale

Like the Houston Food Bank's annual Empty Bowls fundraiser, NCECA's annual cup sale is a great way to collect small works of one-of-a-kind art while supporting a good cause. Proceeds support the NCECA Fund for Artistic Development.

Sale starts on Friday at 8 a.m. and lasts until 2 p.m. (or until cups are sold out), GRB Room 350 D-F

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