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Nice Try: An Exploration of Practice in an Age of Instant Gratification

September 16 - October 30, 2021
3015b Georgia Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

In honor of the back-to-school season, but, also is pleased to present, Nice Try: An Exploration of Practice in an Age of Instant Gratification, a durational performance project resulting in an accumulation of ceramic vessels from the founders of but, also. We are dedicating time to slow down and learn; taking the time to take time. The performance is on view and the objects are on sale from September 16- October 30th, 2021 at but, also’s temporary space at 3015b Georgia Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 and online at We will be adhering to Washington, DC’s Covid-19 protocol with private appointments available through our online booking system and walk-in hours that will be announced weekly.

With trying as the aim, failure as a method and necessity, and clay as the means to an end, our emphasis in Nice Try: An Exploration of Practice in an Age of Instant Gratification is on the practice of learning. Our methods are specifically counter to the mainstream urge to multi-task and only present perfection. The process is the pursuit of perfection, trying to create forms on a pottery wheel over the course of a month. We all know that perfection is not going to happen, potters dedicate their lives to this pursuit, but we are going to Try and it is going to be Nice.

The vessels in the show will be made by Nancy Daly and Rex Delafkaran who will each be making their own edition. The Daly Edition will be a series of forms all using the exact same amount of clay, with the rule that every piece must be exactly the same. Each piece will be numbered and sold, increasing in value as the edition grows. Purchasing a vessel from this edition is purchasing a step in the beginning stages of the learning process of an artist working outside her medium. The Delafkaran Edition will consist of a series of forms all using the exact same amount of clay, the exact same glaze, for the exact same price, with the rule that every piece must be different from the next. While the Daly Edition will repeat a single form, the Delafkaran Edition will explore the breadth of vessels that can be thrown on a wheel.

Daly took a hand building class in 2003, where she got way too conceptual and made some ugly things that now haunt her childhood home. She also had a significant stint as a pinch pot maker in the mid-nineties. She has never used a pottery wheel. Her first pot for sale will be her first pot made on a wheel. Delafkaran earned a degree in Ceramics & New Genres at an art school with a conceptual bent meaning, time was predominantly spent moving clay from one place to another with her mouth in front of an audience and sculpting tongues. This is not that. She has just enough experience to know that throwing identical vessels is going to be difficult. Nancy does not.

Nancy Daly is a Washington, D.C. based interdisciplinary artist whose work examines how the development of the online social world is affecting identity and social behavior. She earned her MFA in Photographic and Electronic Media at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and holds a BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in Graphic Design from James Madison University. Nancy is an alumni of the Hamiltonian Artists Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C. (2014-2016) and maintains an active studio practice at Stable Arts. Since 2011 she has had 11 solo exhibitions and exhibits nationally in addition to teaching and working in arts administration. Daly has been a D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities Fellowship Program grantee from from 2016-2021.

Rex Delafkaran is an Iranian-American interdisciplinary artist and dancer from California, currently based in Washington, D.C. Delafkaran holds a degree in Ceramics and Performance Art from the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). Using movement and objects she explores ideas of failure and function, intimacy and language. She has exhibited work and staged performances at the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum (Washington, DC), IA&A at Hillyer (Washington, DC), Transformer Gallery (Washington, DC), Panoply Performance Lab (Brooklyn, NY), Southern Exposure Gallery (San Francisco, CA), and the Textile Museum at The George Washington University (Washington, DC) among other venues. Often working collaboratively, Delafkaran curates independently, teaches movement and ceramics practices, and continues to perform and exhibit nationally and internationally.

Monday Nov 5 2018