Event Details

Annual Flower City Pottery Invitational

OCtober 13-15, 2017 | Rochester, NY

Mark Shapiro

Flower City Arts Center (previously the Genesee Center for the Arts & Education) is proud to welcome, for the third year, 21 premier ceramic artists from across North America for a long weekend celebrating the best in contemporary clay. The event includes a special artist reception, sale, pottery exhibitions, demonstrations, workshops and talks by the visiting artists.

This is a unique opportunity for collectors, clay enthusiasts and anyone who appreciates finely-crafted, handmade work to meet and talk with masters of the field and see a large body of their work. Whether you prefer contemporary design or rustic tableware, hundreds of hand-crafted pots will be exhibited and available for purchase, and their makers will be on site to talk about and demonstrate their work. For those of you who are new to contemporary ceramics, this is the perfect opportunity to see the range of work being made with this extremely versatile material.

Not in Rochester, but interested in purchasing work by any of of the 2017 artists? We will have personal shoppers available for 15 minute appointments on Sunday, October 15th beginning at 11 am EST. To secure an appointment, email ceramicstudio@rochesterarts.org.


Planning for the Flower City Pottery Invitational began in early 2014 when area potters Matt Metz and Richard Aerni discussed bringing fellow esteemed ceramic artists together for a weekend exhibit, following the example of similar shows like the Old Church Pottery Invitational in Demarest, NJ and the popular American Pottery Festival in Minneapolis. Rochester seemed like the perfect city to hold a similar event, being in the middle of a clay mecca, with RIT's School for American Craft and Alfred University close by, as well as strong clay programs in Syracuse and Buffalo. Metz and Aerni partnered with Flower City Arts Center and, together with artist Peter Pincus, invited colleagues from around the country to participate in the inaugural event October 2015.

Previous Events

For information about previous events, please visit our past websites:


Adero Willard, Andrea Gill, Becky Lloyd, Brian Jones, Carolyn Dilcher-Stutz, Dan Finnegan, Doug Peltzman, Jenny Mendes, Julie Crosby, Kristen Kieffer, Lorna Meaden, Mark Pharis, Mark Shapiro, Mary Barringer, Matt Kelleher, Matt Repsher, Matthew Metz, Peter Pincus, Richard Aerni, Shoko Teruyama, Steve Godfrey


Thursday, October 12, 2017

9:30am-4:30pm Lorna Meaden Workshop

Lorna will demonstrate throwing functional forms with porcelain. The surface of the pots will be altered, stamped, and drawn on. This all day demonstration workshop will touch on cups, bowls and plates, and then move on to pouring pots, spoons and serving pieces. All levels are welcome! There will be a one hour break for lunch, not included.

Advance registration is required. $60 Members, $65 Non-members

FRIDAY, October 13, 2017

9:30am-12:30pm Matt Repsher Workshop

Matt demonstrates how he creates his forms, makes decisions about patterns and carves his unique pots in this 3-hour workshop. Open to all levels!

Advance registration is required. $25 Members, $30 Non-members

1:15pm-4:15pm Mary Barringer Workshop

Mary Barringer

Handbuilding Techniques with Mary Barringer

Mary will demonstrate several handbuilding processes – slab, coil, press molds, pinching – exploring different ways of arriving at a form, and different approaches to surface texture to define or enhance the form.

Advance registration is required. $25 Members, $30 Non-members

6-8:30pm preview sale & Opening reception

Join us for a special evening to welcome the artists. Meet our 2017 nationally-recognized visiting artists and have the first opportunity to view and purchase their work! Purchase your tickets now online. Sign-up for our newsletter to be the first to know about special events!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

10-5pm Exhibition & Sale open to the public (free admission)

Free Demonstrations and Artist Talks* – 2nd Floor, Sunken Room

10:15 Mark Pharis gives two short talks: Bauhaus Tradition & Use of CAD & Ram press

11:30 Andrea Gill lectures about the ideas and techniques behind her new work

12:45 Matt Kelleher demonstrates making a handbuilt pitcher

2:00 Lorna Meaden demonstrates how she makes spouts and handles

3:30 Brian Jones talks about his podcast and Mark Maron while he demonstrates

*Registration not required, but seating is limited

Sunday, October 15, 2017

11-4pm Exhibition & Sale open to the public (free admission)

Free Demonstrations and Artist Talks* – 2nd Floor, Sunken Room

11:15 Steven Godfrey speaks about his work

12:45 Mark Shapiro lectures on Early American stoneware and Postwar studio pottery

2:00 Matt Repsher demonstrates mug making

*Registration not required, but seating is limited

Plan Your Visit

Flower City Arts Center is located just outside downtown Rochester, NY at 713 Monroe Avenue, less than 1/8 of a mile off the 490 Interstate. Monroe Avenue begins downtown at the Strong Museum and is an eclectic area of eateries and small shops. Local cultural and shopping attractions like The George Eastman Museum and the Park Avenue neighborhood are just blocks away.

The historic, brick firehouse building that houses Flower City Arts Center dates to the early 1890s, with both stories dedicated to arts programming. On-street parking is available on Monroe and Wilcox Street, or visitors may park directly across Monroe at the Blessed Sacrament Church lot when it is available. Flower City Arts Center is fully accessible for wheelchair users with a reserved parking space at the front of the building, a front entrance ramp, elevator, and restroom.

Through a partnership with Comfort Inn on Monroe Ave, we are able to offer our guests a discounted room rate at a hotel with a very convenient location. The hotel is right up the road at 2729 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY, and is near a variety of restaurants and shops. Standard rooms that consist of one king bed or two double beds will be discounted to $110 per evening when you identify that you are staying with Flower City Arts Center. To reserve a room, please visit their website or call 585-273-8410.

Get Involved

Be A Volunteer

Whether you're super-organized and would like to help with set-up, or you're an empty nester with extra room to house a visiting artist for the weekend, we need your help!

Please contact Audrey Shaughnessy at (585) 271-5183 or grants@rochesterarts.org or use the SignUp.com button link below to choose your volunteer shift!


Become a Sponsor

Sponsorship for the 2017 Flower City Pottery Invitational is available at various levels.You can view our Sponsorship Packet HERE. Contact Kate Whorton at (585) 271-5183 or ceramics@rochesterarts.org to confirm the level of support that fits best with your needs.


Harter Secrest & Emery LLP

Main Street Arts


Rochester Area Community Foundation

Standard Ceramic Supply Co.



Bailey Pottery Equipment

Memorial Art Gallery Fine Craft Show

The Artful Gardener

Turk Hill Craft School