Participating Artists

To make the VisArts Chili Throwdown happen, the Visual Arts Center of Richmond needs lots and lots and lots of handmade, ceramic bowls. VisArts clay artists spend hours throwing, firing and glazing bowls for the event. When you buy a ticket to this event, you’ll take home a ceramic bowl made by one of nearly two dozen potters.

Noah Hoffman is the featured artist for VisArts’ 9th Chili Throwdown. A native of Chesapeake, Va., Noah began making pots in his first year of high school. He was so drawn to the craft, he’d leave his other classes early to spend time in the studio. Though his parents advised a career in engineering, Noah says he knew he wanted to make pots and teach others to do the same. Inspired by his brother’s decision to move to Richmond, he decided to do the same to enroll in Virginia Commonwealth University’s Ceramics program.

“I decided to go to art school – not too far from home and a good opportunity to dive deeper into the craft,” he says. “I learned a lot during my time there – the program was extensive and exploratory.”

Though he enjoyed learning and growing as an artist, he did not complete the program.

“But I never gave up,” he says. “I just couldn’t stop thinking about what to make of this world or what to make of myself.”

Noah says pottery is a way to share his experiences of trying to navigate the world.  “I have a lot of anxiety and I struggle to get out of bed everyday – many days I don’t,” he says.  “But I always find myself at some point in time heading to the studio.” Doing so can be challenging at times, he says, because figuring out where to start doesn’t always reveal itself right away.

A key question he asks himself when creating is:  “How do we create a life worth living?” When his hands are in clay, Noah says he feels most comfortable because he is creating a new reality for himself. “It is about transforming the self and from that the world around us starts to change.”

Other artists contributing to the inventory of bowls available at the event include:

  • Jess Cullen
  • Sarah DiDomenico
  • Kathi Harris
  • Karen Hull
  • Dan Kaczka
  • Paul Klassett
  • Abby Lee
  • Joan Lewis
  • Christine Orr
  • Steven Palmer
  • Al Pellenberg
  • Kourtenay Plummer
  • Cindy Shelton-Eide
  • Jeff Vick
  • Ellen W
  • Kathleen Taylor Wallen
  • Nga Nguyen-Weaver
  • Holly Zajur