The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts holds its 53rd annual conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center from Wed., March 27 – Sat., March 30.  Elsewhere around the Twin Cities and metro area, there are plenty of free events associated with the clay madness. Here's a guide to five other clay-ish events to catch.

Aaron Becker: “Mental Spaces”

Porch Gallery (3306 Park Ave., Mpls)

Opening reception: Thurs., March 28 from 7-10 p.m.

Hours: March 27-30 from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Porch Gallery, the quirky gallery on Mark Schoening and Dawn England’s porch, hosts artist Aaron Becker’s exhibition “Mental Spaces,” a pairing of pots with dreamy sculptures of imagined interior spaces.

Above: Image via @stcroixvalleypotterytour's Instagram 

Pot Spot exhibition by the St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour

Silverhouse Studio (2519 27th Ave S., Mpls)

Opening reception: Thurs., March 28 from 5-9 p.m.

Hours: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Wed., March 27; 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Thurs., March 28; 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Fri. March 29; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sat., March 30.

The St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour hosts this special exhibition in the Twin Cities. It includes work by 63 potters, such as Guillermo Cuellar, Robert Briscoe, Linda Christianson, Ani Kasten and the world-famous Warren MacKenzie, who recently passed away.

Little Red Quartet

White Page Gallery (3400 Cedar Ave. S, Mpls.)

Opening reception: Thurs., March 28 from 5-9 p.m.

Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Wed. March 27; 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Thurs., March 28; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Fri., March 29 and Sat., March 30; 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sun., March 31

The gallery space is recreated as a place to think and interact only with ceramics.

The Earth is Broken, the Earth is Whole

Redepenning Gallery, Hopkins Center for the Arts (1111 Main St., Hopkins)

Opening reception: Thurs., March 28 from 6-9 p.m.; performance from 6:30-6:50 p.m.

Artists Forrest Lesch-Middelton, Arash Shirinbab, Nooshin Hakim Javadi and Pedram Baldari work wtth ceramics, calligraphy, food, performance and installation to ask questions about migration, globalization, and cultural exchange between the West and the Middle East.

Accumulation

Catherine G. Murphy Gallery, St. Catherine University, 2004 Randolph Av., St. Paul. 651-690-6644 or gallery.stkate.edu

Exhibition ends March 30.

Hours: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Fri., noon-6 p.m. Sat.-Sun.

Artists Judy Onofrio and Monica Rudquist have a history of exhibiting work in the same group exhibitions, but now they’ve got a show all their own. Their two-gallery joint exhibition at St. Catherine University is a visually opaque journey through sculptural form — everything in the show has an off-white coloring to it, but the materials they use are entirely disparate. Onofrio recycles buried bovines’ bones (try saying that fast three times) to construct objects that look like large, nonfunctional bowls, oval portraits, and even a pile of twigs, but with teeth, hips, ribs and spinal cord bones jutting out. Across the hall in a separate gallery, Rudquist transforms clay into an abstract wall installation that looks like twisted leaves. She also carves ceramic bowls and then slashes them into thick slices.