Meet the Jurors: Jumpstarter Innovation Grant                  Spring 2024

Meet the Jurors: Jumpstarter Innovation Grant Spring 2024

Posted on Mar. 21, 2024

Meet the juror group for our Spring, 2024 series of Innovation Jumpstarter Grants. We are proud to work with these esteemed artists and curators!

Ben Eberle, Ceramic Artist and Teacher

“My current work is all functional pottery. I often describe my process like this: ‘I never make the same pot twice. ‘In fact, I’ve tried. Didn’t work. Instead, using a small collection of custom, textured wood blocks, I imprint, alter, and move each pot’s surface with the hope that it retains its material “softness” after the final firing. It’s a hard aesthetic to capture, and it keeps me constantly searching.

But it’s this constant searching that makes the process so engaging. Even after 60 years of working in clay, my mentor, Toshiko Takaezu, would find a surprise in every firing. It’s this inevitable element of the unknown that, I believe, keeps ceramic artists young. It keeps us hungry. We will never even come close to figuring it all out….and that’s a good thing. I love teaching, and always enjoy having the chance to run a workshop.”


Tess Lukey, Associate Curator of Native American Art at The Trustees of Reservations  

Tess Lukey is a curator, artist, and enrolled citizen of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head
(Aquinnah). She is the inaugural Associate Curator of Native American Art for the Trustees of
the Reservations. She received her MA in Art History from UNM and a BFA in Art History and
Ceramics from MassArt. She has completed fellowships at the Peabody Essex Museum in
Salem, MA, the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, and the Hibben Center for Archaeology
Studies in Albuquerque, NM. She has worked for the Society of Arts and Crafts and the
Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the John Sommers Gallery, the Maxwell Museum of
Anthropology, the Hibben Center for Archaeology Studies, and Old Sturbridge Village. She has
co-curated shows Collecting Stories: The Invention of Folk Art (2021-2022) and A Little Bit of
the Southwest (2022) at the MFA Boston, and more recently Beauty and Usefulness (2023) at
Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, MA. Lukey’s newest exhibition opening in June 2024, Across
Boundaries Across Barriers highlights a diverse collection of Native American art and
belongings from the perspectives of modern nations while simultaneously honoring their
In her spare time, she is also a traditional potter and basket weaver practicing in the techniques
of her own Indigenous community.



Jennifer Swope,  David and Roberta Logie Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston