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Surface Circus

March 12, 2022 @ 6:00 pm May 7, 2022 @ 5:00 pm

Online Application Deadline: November 19, 2021 
Surface Circus Entry Form

March 12, 2022, 6-8pm:  Opening Reception

Juried by Sue Tirrell

Hand-carved or screen printed, kissed by soda or blasted by wood ash, I’m a sucker for a well-executed ceramic surface. What makes the most successful surface though—the thing that will draw me across a room in a home or gallery—is the way a surface completes its companion form. Glaze, texture and graphics don’t exist or make sense on their own in ceramics. These elements complete the form, giving it context, narrative and function. While form plays a fundamental role in a completed piece, this exhibition celebrates the seductive, repellant, confounding, colorful, graphic and joyful ceramic surface. I look forward to seeing how each artist chooses to tell their own story through clay, glaze and fire. 

Sue Tirrell

Sue Tirrell was born and raised in Red Lodge, Montana; a small ranching and tourist community on the doorstep of Yellowstone National Park. She received an AA from Cottey College in Nevada, MO in 1995 and a BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1997. Her functional and sculptural work draws inspiration from her life-long experiences in Montana and the West, her fascination with animals and interest in folk art, vintage kitsch, western art and culture. Her work has been exhibited widely in the United States, as well as Canada and Australia. She has been a resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT; California State University, Chico; and the Custer County Art & Heritage Center in Miles City, MT. She has logged hundreds of hours teaching ceramics and multi-media workshops across the US and Canada in community art centers, college classrooms, retirement homes and one-room schoolhouses. Sue makes her home and studio on the banks of the Yellowstone River in Montana’s Paradise Valley.


Work must have been completed in the past two years

  • Surface Circus is open to ceramic artists who reside in the United States
  • Work must have been completed in the past two years
  • Clay must be the primary material
  • All works must be for sale
  • Notification of accepted artists will be posted on our website by January 15, 2022
  • Additional paperwork will be sent to accepted artists after notification


  • All applications must be received by November 19, 2021
  • No more than 5 images (including details) may be submitted
  • Images submitted must be of work available for the exhibition
  • Each image must be a JPEG (.jpg) digital file of at least 72dpi at 5×7 inches
  • If selected, higher resolution images may be requested for press and promotion
  • Each file name must be labeled with the artist’s three initials in this order: Last, First, Middle (use “X” if no middle initial) and the corresponding number from the Image information page. For example: Arthur Clay Potter would be “pac_1.jpg”
  • Upload images to our application and include a $30 application fee

For additional information or questions please contact: Mary Cloonan, Curator of Exhibitions mary.cloonan@baltimoreclayworks.org