All Ohio Contemporary Ceramics Competition, Show In Zanesville Oct. 7-8

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Everyday thousands of people travel through the Holland Tunnel, connecting New Jersey and Manhattan. Whether they are staring from the driver’s seat of their car or through the smudgy windows of a New Jersey Transit bus, they take in the intricate tilework that lines the innards of the tunnel – which reads “NEW JERSEY” and “NEW YORK CITY” in block lettering.

Those tiles came a long way to the Big Apple. In fact, they had their humble beginnings in the beating heart of the ceramics industry that has existed for decades in Southeast Ohio.

In 2014, Christine Golden of Flagstaff, AZ, received the very first $20,000 Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics for her stunning Kids in the Garden 2. The prize is the largest for the best of show in contemporary ceramics in the Western hemisphere.

Although another Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics won’t be given until 2017 – this weekend marks yet another remarkable ceramics event in Zanesville. The All Ohio Contemporary Ceramics Competition and Show will take place Oct. 7-9, featuring Ohio-centric art and artists from all over the state.

According to David Mitzel, director of Appalachian Hills of Ohio Territory, an arts organization that is in charge of organizing this weekend’s event, there will be nearly 60 artists taking part in the arts gathering over the course of Friday and Saturday.

“This event takes a totally different approach to ceramic competitions,” said Mitzel. “We have artists coming from all over the state, from colleges, universities – amateurs and professionals.”

Mitzel said that as soon as the artists get into Zanesville, they will be photographed alongside their artwork for inclusion in a nicely bound catalog booklet that will be distributed Saturday. The delivery of entries for contestants starts at 9 a.m. tomorrow at the Yan Sun Art Museum, 604 Main Street, Zanesville, and closes up at 4 p.m.

The show and sale, which also takes place in the museum, opens up directly after the very end of the delivery of entries, at 5 p.m.

“As artists come into Zanesville, they’ll also be greeted by the over 200 artists that are taking part in Zanesville’s monthly First Friday event,” said Mitzel. Some of the galleries that are taking part in the First Friday event include the Zanesville Appalachian Arts Project Gallery (ZAAP) at 625 Main Street; Studio 202 on the alley between the third and fourth streets from Main to Market and the home of artists in residence Arthur and Amy Kettner in the old pioneer school, across the street from the St. Nicholas Church – as well as many others.

The show and sale will continue on into Saturday morning, with the awards ceremony commencing at 6 p.m.

“Unlike a lot of other competitions, where an artist would submit their work, wait several months to see if they had been selected and another couple of months until they were notified whether their work had won anything, five people will actually leave Zanesville this weekend with cash prizes,” said Mitzel.

The prize for first place is $2,500, $1,000 for second place, $500 for third, $250 each for two honorable mention prizes and a $500 artists’ award selected by attending artists. The judge for the event will be Christine Golden.

“In some ways this event really is revolutionary,” said Mitzel. “We really want to bring a new light to Zanesville, artistically and economically.”

For more information and a complete schedule of this weekend’s events, visit