Quick, name a world-renowned pottery artist. Okay, so maybe pottery isn't the most popular or well-known form of art. But that only amplifies the importance of the Northern Clay Center's annual pottery Woodstock, the American Pottery Festival. And here's the name of a potting genius to keep in your back pocket should you ever need it: Warren MacKenzie. The Minnesota artist who lives and works just outside Stillwater is hands-down the most notable potter making an appearance at the NCC. MacKenzie is widely adored for his functional and beautiful constructions and his approach to selling art. Rather than slapping a steep price tag on his work because he knows it's in demand, he simply looks at his pots and decides what he would be willing to pay for them. MacKenzie, who has been working for more than 60 years, also no longer signs his pieces because he got angry that collectors were buying his work solely because he had made it. His art is so coveted, and so affordably priced, that the NCC is having festival-goers enter a drawing each day to win the chance to buy his pots, in addition to selling them through silent auctions. This year's shindig features master artists from more than a dozen states selling their wares and giving lectures and workshops to improve attendees' skill levels. Proceeds benefit the NCC. The event kicks off Thursday with a $5 opening lecture at 6:30 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 5, 5-9 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 6, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 7, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 2008