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Claytopia takes over Minnesota (and other awesome art happenings this week)

Yeah man, that's a clay artwork. See it at SooVAC.

Yeah man, that's a clay artwork. See it at SooVAC. "Empire Juice," Donte Hayes

Clay art is everywhere this week.

The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts is holding its conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center, and there are ceramic and clay exhibitions happening all over town. Here are just a few you should consider checking out.

"Strange Place"

"Strange Place" Jason Lim, 'Landscape Studies 7'

Strange Place: Performance, Closing Reception, and Artists’ Talk

Where it's at: Law Warschaw Gallery, Macalester College, 130 S. Macalester St., St. Paul

What it's about: Singapore-based artist Jason Lim will be conducting a performance installation, titled Under the Shadow of the Banyan Tree, for seven hours a day at Law Warschaw Gallery. The piece, which involves shaping and accumulating clay into a banyan tree sculpture, has previously been performed in Indonesia and Singapore.

Why you should go: Jason Lim hovers between performance and the art of making with this durational performance piece that meditates on the body and habitat. It should be a fascinating experience to watch, or you can come for the closing reception at its conclusion.

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; the closing reception is from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday

Edith Garcia

Edith Garcia

Visiting Artist Lecture: Edith Garcia

Where it's at: MCAD Gallery, 2501 Stevens Ave., Minneapolis

What it's about: In conjunction with Edith Garcia's solo exhibition at MCAD, “Fabricating the Real,” the sculptor, installation artist, curator, and writer will give a visiting artist lecture.

Why you should go: In “Fabricating the Real,” Garcia pays homage to Minnesota's landscape as she explores notions of ephemerality and transcendence. Her lecture is a chance to hear from the MCAD graduate, now a professor at University of California Berkeley and the California College for the Arts.

When: 1-2 p.m. Wednesday

"Empire Juice," Donte Hayes

"Empire Juice," Donte Hayes

NCECA Juried Student Exhibition

Where it's at: Soo Visual Arts Center, 2909 S. Bryant Ave., Minneapolis

What it's about: Claytopia visits SooVAC for this show of graduate and undergraduate artists in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Jurors Linda Nguyen Lopez and Steven Young Lee chose works that feature clay as their main medium, but artists featured play with form and push what ceramic art means.

Why you should go: Here's an opportunity to see the next generation of artists working in clay from all over North America.

When: 5-9 p.m. Thursday

"The Earth is Broken, the Earth is Whole"

"The Earth is Broken, the Earth is Whole"

The Earth is Broken, The Earth is Whole Opening Reception

Where it's at: Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins

What it's about: Forrest Lesch-Middelton, Arash Shirinbab, Nooshin Hakim Javadi, and Pedram Baldari use art as a tool for intercultural exchange in this exhibition, which also features a performance component. The show incorporates ceramics, calligraphy, media, food, performance, and installation.

Why you should go: Hopefully this event will get you thinking outside of political and artistic silos as artists bring in traditions from the Middle Eastern and Western cultures for an interplay of thought and ideas.

When: 6-9 p.m Thursday (performance 6:30 p.m.-7 p.m.)