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Valley's largest clay exhibition kicks off at Delta College
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Valley's largest clay exhibition kicks off at Delta College

20th annual Visions in Clay features works from artists across country

The L.H. Horton Gallery presents the 20th annual Visions In Clay Exhibition and Awards Competition, the largest exhibition of ceramic works in the San Joaquin Valley.

The exhibition runs from Sept. 5 to Sept. 27, with an opening reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 5.

Admission to the Gallery exhibition and reception is free and open to the public.

Founded by the San Joaquin Potters Guild in 2002, Visions In Clay was turned over to the Horton Gallery in 2010. The exceptional show of craftsmanship and diverse style has been featured several times in the national magazine Ceramics Monthly.

Sarah Millfelt, executive director of Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is this year’s guest juror. She selected the works and awards for the exhibition. The selection was based on quality of craftsmanship, unique content and form, and technical skill.

This year’s exhibit features 57 works by 51 artists from around the country, including local artists Joe Mariscal, retired Delta College ceramics professor; Kayla King, 2017 Delta College graduate and 2019 San Francisco State graduate; and Tricia Hand from Tracy.

Many thanks to our award sponsors Laguna Clay and San Joaquin Potters Guild. To view the exhibition online and link to the artists’ websites, visit and go to Current Exhibitions. (Pictured at left: "Sphere #2" by retired Delta College Professor Joe Mariscal.)

Exhibition Juror Sarah Millfelt was born to act, yet never bought her Greyhound ticket to Hollywood. Instead, she opted to pursue studies at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls, where she earned her BFA in ceramics and photography. After 10 years of managing a casual wedding photography business, while simultaneously climbing the ranks within Northern Clay Center as a staff member in various capacities, Sarah became the Center’s youngest executive director in October of 2011. Part firefighter, fisherwoman, farmer, and Wizard of Oz, most day’s you’ll find her fighting office fires, reeling in grants, methodically growing support for the ceramic arts and cultivating the community’s love of clay, and ensuring the organization maintains its brains, heart, and courage, as well as its reputation for excellence, diversity, and nimbleness in response to the world around it. Sarah was the first non-maker to be celebrated in a social media campaign last year when #potsinaction through their #PIAbadasswomen campaign said of her, “Sarah has catapulted it [Northern Clay Center] to national prominence through her vision, charm, and ability to simply make things happen.”

In addition to her service to the ceramics community, she attempts to feed her love of all things Italian through annual visits to what she believes is her mother land, although confirms she may only possess small percentages of Italian make-up. Sarah is a mother to two, talented and beautiful boys, ages 13 & 15; she’s married to a local potter and professor, Mike Helke; she’s an obsessive gardener. When she’s not advocating on behalf of the ceramic arts or digging in the dirt, she can be found at Farrell’s Fitness, kickboxing daily at 5 am; reading cake baking books as feverishly as one would read romance novels; or in her kitchen baking up a storm and practicing her English accent, in preparation for potential inclusion on the BBC’s Great British Bake Off.

Visions In Clay Awards

Kazuma Sambe, Best of Show $800

Lauren Clay, 2nd Place $600

James Klueg, 3rd Place $400

Ryan Schulz, San Joaquin Potters Guild Founders Award $300

Dan Molyneux, Artist Classroom Demonstration Award $400


Joe Mariscal Stockton, California

Scott McClellan Columbia, Missouri

Brian Molanphy Dallas, Texas

Dan Molyneux Weaverville, California

Vince Montague Cloverdale, California

Kevin Myers Santa Ana, California

Kate Nelson Austin, Texas

Cathi Newlin Portland, Oregon

Nhien Nguyen Fremont, California

Rick Nickel Norfolk, Virginia

Brent Pafford Eugene, Oregon

Brian Peshek Granada Hills, California

Stephanie Reyes La Mesa, New Mexico

Kazuma Sambe Tempe, Arizona

Ryan Schulz Gainesville, Florida

Leslie Plato Smith Oakland, California

Greg Stahly Mount Pleasant, Missouri

Meghan Sullivan Appleton, Wisconsin

Cheryl Tall Carlsbad, California

John Tobin Chesapeake, Virginia

Derek Walter Chicago, Illinois

Barbara Weidell Luther, Oklahoma

Stephanie Wilhelm Micanopy, Florida

Dan Woodard (Redwood City, California)

Denise Woodward-Detrich Wahalla, South Carolina

Barbara Andio- Stevenson San Rafael, California

Kenneth Baskin Lake Charles, Louisiana

Brad Blair Parkton, Maryland

Shannon Blakey Columbia, Missouri

Ariel Bowman Flower Mound, Texas

Elaine Buss Kansas City, Missouri

Monique Castiaux San Francisco, California

Lauren Clay Huntsville, Texas

David Collins Temple, Georgia

Jay Dougan Durango, Colorado

Mari Emori Hayward, California

Linda S. Fitz Gibbon Woodland, California

Sandy Frank Sabastopol, California

Ianna Frisby Sacramento, California

Guillermo Guardia Lafayette, Louisiana

Vicki Gunter Oakland, California

Tricia Hand Tracy, California

Julianne Harvey Albuquerque, New Mexico

Berit Hines Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Pancho Jimenéz Campbell, California

Heather Kaplan El Paso, Texas

G.V. Kelley Gainesville, Florida

Douglas Kenney La Mesa, California

Kayla King Stockton, California

James Klueg Duluth, Minnesota

Chris Leonard McAllen, Texas

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