South Texas College’s 15th Annual Ceramic Showdown: Luck and Skill. Collaborations over Space and Time.

The South Texas Ceramic Showdown, a two-day event featuring three artists, is celebrating its 15th year at STC. 

South Texas College is hosting its 15th Annual South Texas Ceramic Showdown, titled “Luck and Skill: Collaborations Over Space and Time.” The event will feature two days of demonstrations, art talks, a reception, and two exhibitions. The exhibit will be displayed at the STC Pecan Campus Library Art Gallery from June 5 to July 31, 2024. Collaborative works from universities and community colleges will also be displayed at the Art Department Gallery in Building B from June 5 to September 6, 2024. The galleries and ceramic studio are located at 3201 West Pecan Blvd, Building F and B in McAllen.   

The schedule for the event is as follows:

Wednesday, June 5, 2024—
9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Clay Demonstration at STC’s Ceramic Studio, Bldg. B115
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Photography Artist Talk – Gordon Fong, Bldg. F102
2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Clay Demonstration at STC’s Ceramic Studio, Bldg. B115
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Opening Exhibition Reception, STC Bldg. F & Bldg. B 

Thursday, June 6, 2024—
9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Clay Demonstrations at Ceramic Studio, Bldg. B115
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Ceramic Art Talk with Larry Yáñez and Angelina Aispuro, Bldg. B115 

The event will showcase a collection of artworks by Arizona-based ceramicists Alma Aispuro, Larry M. Yáñez, and photographer Gordon Fong. The exhibition will also feature ceramic pieces from nine universities and community colleges from across the United States, including works by students from STC. 

“After a one-year layoff, we are back in action for another round of ceramic collaboration.  ‘Luck and Skill: Collaborations Over Space and Time’ is our show title, and we do have some fingers crossed with time and space being a pair of variables to collaborate with as well.  Or are they constants?  Some Jaguare’d up work is still being glazed and fired as the semester ends at South Texas College, and pieces from Utah to Wisconsin to Pennsylvania hopefully will arrive on time in the right number of pieces to share soon,” said Chris Leonard, STC ceramics instructor and exhibit/workshop co-organizer. 

Participating institutions in the collaborative ceramic constructions include College of the Sequoias, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Lawrence University, Southeast Missouri State University, South Texas College, Texas A&M-Kingsville, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, University of San Antonio, and Weber State University. 

“We are really excited to have a pair of ceramic artists from Yuma Arizona, Alma Aispuro and Larry Yáñez, along with photographer Gordon Fong who is connected over time and space to Larry Yáñez in multiple mediums. These folks are genuine story tellers, and it should be our pleasure to share in their stories and the experience of their long and winding road though more than a half century of connected art making,” said Chris Leonard. 

About the artists:
Alma Aispuro is a ceramic artist who works with bronze and jewelry, living and working in Yuma, AZ. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Northern Arizona University. Aispuro has been featured at the Yuma Art Center and the Museum of Northern Arizona. She has also participated in the Flagstaff Open Studios, an annual event where many area artists open their homes and studios to the public, offering demonstrations and selling their art. 

Larry M. Yáñez is an accomplished ceramic and multimedia artist who draws inspiration from his Mexican-American heritage. Born in Yuma, Arizona, his diverse use of mediums allows him to offer a profound interpretation of the daily experiences within a society shaped by a blend of cultural influences. His ceramics resonate with Chicano cultural symbols, capturing a multifaceted identity. Through his art, he invites viewers to glimpse into tradition meeting modernity, and heritage intertwining with contemporary life. 

Gordon Fong is a photographer who received his BFA from Arizona State University. Now retired, Fong has a long history in marketing and creating artistic campaigns for industry. Among many accomplishments, he served as the manager for art direction at Rio Salado College for twenty years. Fong also served in the US Army, where he worked as a drafter, photographer, map designer, and graphic artist.

The South Texas College Library Art Gallery Program organizes exhibitions and programs to engage students’ understanding of art and its role in culture, support the academic curriculum, and inspire continued education through direct engagement with artists, scholars, and original works of art. 

For more information, contact Gina Otvos at (956) 872-3488, or visit