Who we are
The Northern Indiana Clay Alliance comprises regional artists, stakeholders, and individuals from all walks of life. Our goal is to have a board and membership representative of our region’s diversity as a whole.
Members drive our mission
NICA strives to offer a place for northern Indiana artists to gather, discuss ideas, and support each other. Our mission centers around providing opportunities for regional artists while preserving the 300-year history of clay in northern Indiana. However, you don’t have to be an artist to be a part of the Northern Indiana Clay Alliance. Whether you support our mission, are a hobbyist, or want to learn more about clay in the area, we’d love to meet you and help you plug in.
Board of Directors
Executive Director / Ex-Officio
Trevor Daugherty is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Northern Indiana Clay Alliance and a studio potter in Goshen, IN. Having been raised in northern Indiana with the region’s rich ceramic history as a backdrop, his passion for the arts and clay, in particular, developed at an early age.
Following a successful career in digital publishing focusing on consumer electronics, Daugherty turned his attention to his lifelong dream of owning and operating a ceramic studio. His work has been shown at regional museums, galleries, and colleges.
Trevor’s efforts as the Northern Indiana Clay Alliance Executive Director focus on bringing together artists in the region, providing opportunities, and shining a light on the work of Northern Indiana’s ceramic history.
Justin Rothshank is a studio potter working in Goshen, Indiana since 2009. Justin’s ceramic work has been exhibited and published internationally, including articles in Ceramics Monthly, American Craft, Studio Potter, The Log Book, and several books. He has been a presenter, panelist, visiting artist, and artist-in-residence at numerous universities, schools, conferences, and art centers throughout the United States and abroad.
In 2001 Justin co-founded the Union Project, a nonprofit organization located in Pittsburgh, PA, where he served as Associate Director and Principal Artist until 2009. Justin’s work at the Union Project was recognized with numerous historic preservation and social innovation awards from city, state, and national organizations. He is also a co-founder of the Michiana Pottery Tour, Indiana Clay Conference, and Northern Indiana Clay Alliance. Justin’s work is in numerous public and private collections around the United States.
Meredith McGriff is a folklorist, designer, scholar, and entrepreneur working to promote the arts in the Midwest. She holds a PhD in folkloristics from Indiana University, and has published articles and book chapters about folklore studies and contemporary ceramics.
Her book, The Michiana Potters: Art, Community, and Collaboration in the Midwest, was published in 2020 and highlights the work of a group in northern Indiana and southern Michigan as a case study to understand ways that professional artists can build a sense of community and support one another.
Currently her independent research focuses on collaboration and community development in the arts, exploring ways that professional artists, particularly potters and filmmakers, can build support for one another within their vocation and their region.
Norah Amstutz is a potter in South Bend, IN. Her family immigrated from Ukraine in 2000 and settled in Goshen, IN. She began her ceramic education working as an apprentice for potter Mark Goertzen in Goshen, IN from 2015-2022.
She received Bachelor’s degrees in Studio Art and English from Goshen College in 2019 and is now pursuing an MFA in Ceramics at the University of Notre Dame. She serves as Treasurer on the NICA board and hosts a stop on the Michiana Pottery Tour at her home studio and garden in South Bend, IN.
Amstutz has participated in over 15 wood kiln firings with Mark Goertzen, Justin Rothshank, and Bill Kremer. She works in a variety of clay bodies and firing atmospheres and her style combines feminine forms with architectural elements and botanical imagery.
Her surfaces are influenced by the old world sensibilities of her familial background and she is a devoted student of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
AnaLuz Sainz Rodriguez
AnaLuz holds dual Mexican and American citizenship and has lived many years in both nations. Thus she can bring a much-needed perspective on the nuances within her culture group, the societal and familial expectations, as well as the pressures and limitations all immigrants are likely to face.
AnaLuz became interested in the Ceramic Arts while taking classes at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. After taking every pottery class available at KVCC, AnaLuz made it her goal to collect multiple perspectives on what it takes to establish oneself as a studio potter, both in the United States and Mexico.
She undertook an internship with Troy Bungart, an established studio potter who has participated in the Goshen, IN community of potters and the Michiana Pottery Tour. As an intern, Ana Luz has made many contacts within the Arts Community. She has expanded and diversified her knowledge of ceramic materials and techniques as well as professional promotion and marketing.
Carrie Lee Bland-Kendall
Born in Bangkok, Thailand, raised in Berlin, Germany and Savannah, Georgia, and transplanted from Chicago to Goshen, Carrie Lee has worked as an actor, singer, and writer for over 30 years. Carrie Lee has worn many hats as a freelance creative. She recently debuted her Blue Skies cabaret about her life’s journey as an Asian American Army brat, and embracing the complexities of love, war, and everything in between.
Carrie Lee currently serves on the board of directors for the Elkhart County Symphony Orchestra, Northern Indiana Clay Alliance, Goshen ‘Tis The Season, works with the River Bend Film Festival, and is a proud member of the Thai Theater Foundation. Some other Arts organizations or BODs she has worked with in this region include, the Goshen Arts Council, GoShakes Theater, Elkhart Civic Theater, The Goshen Theater, Vibrant Communities.
Carrie Lee enjoys nurturing her creative family, Dave & Poppy Dee. They love living in Goshen, IN and make efforts to support the arts wherever and whenever possible. Learn more about Carrie Lee’s shows, music, and writing at carrieleebland-kendall.com.