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Community Activities

American Craft Council

Go to their website. At the time it was a New York board. It has since moved here. It was a board made up of interdisciplinary makers and teachers and collectors. It was an affirmation of people who had devoted their lives to promoting handmade artistic objects.

Learn more at www.craftcouncil.org


Franconia Sculpture Park

Located in the scenic St. Croix River Valley, Franconia Sculpture Park is a nonprofit arts organization operating a 43-acre outdoor sculpture park, active artist residency, and community arts programming. Franconia was founded in 1996 by a small group of professional artists, including current Artistic Director/CEO John Hock, who envisioned a supportive artist residency community and open-air sculpture laboratory accessible to all. Today, this vision has been achieved through an active artist residency program that serves 40 artists each year and arts learning programming that serves over 100,000 annual visitors. Franconia provides an intriguing and exciting place to discover an ever-changing exhibition of monumental sculpture, and the opportunity to meet artists-in-residence who invite you to engage with their creations.

Franconia Sculpture Park has been a result of my being married to a sculptor and his vision of taking down the formal walls of a museum to expose the community at large to the idea of art and sculpture and providing artists with a venue of working inexpensively or for free with assistance on making sculpture. It’s been a thrill to see people that would never go to a museum ordinarily pull their truck over and ask about something they saw while they were driving down the highway – and then return with their families.

Learn more at www.franconia.org


Island Academy Ceramics School, Antigua

My husband and I have spent over 20 years on the island of Antigua. We have become familiar with a school with an International Baccalaureate program called Island Academy. A few years ago, we were touring the classrooms with our children and it became extremely evident to me that every classroom in the school is extremely creatively based. The art and music programs were both exceptional, and I noticed that there was no ceramics incorporated in their program. As there are many natural clay deposits on the island of Antigua, it seemed lake a natural partnership/collaboration/fit to introduce a ceramics program to the art department. In 2014-2015, we built a separate studio for ceramics and music (half each). I taught adult education and students, as well as having local ceramists teach classes. Last year, we hired a full-time ceramist from England to teach the program (with local artists as well). In the future, we hope to bring in visiting artists to put on special workshops for both child and adult education programs.

Learn more at www.islandacademy.com


Minnesota Center for the Blind

My very first experience with ceramics was in a small town in Colorado. My teacher blindfolded me to help me understand the truth of how things feel instead of how they look. It was after that experience that I began to consider the idea that there could be a real opportunity for me to… From that experience, I thought: Why not teach people ceramics who can’t see? They’re actually at an advantage. At that point, Continental Clay donated wheels, materials, and a kiln for me to launch a program at Minnesota Center for the Blind.

Learn more at ???


Northern Clay Center

Northern Clay Center was the brainchild of ceramist Peter Leech. He invited a small group of us to be on one of two committees – either the board for raising money or the advisory board to define what the community needed in a clay center. I served on the advisory committee for a few years, and we decided that MN needed a venue for the following things:

  1. a place to work – if you graduated from the university, where did you go? Studios are expensive, kilns are difficult to come by…so this would provide studio space
  2. a teaching facility – there are many, but each one is unique. this doesn’t offer college credits, but it offers exposure to all different types of ceramics
  3. an exhibition space – to show the bigger picture, ceramics from all over the country and sometimes all over the world; a sales gallery eventually also evolved out of this venue

It’s been in existence for x years, and it’s highly successful.

Learn more at www.northernclaycenter.org


St. Croix Pottery Tour

In 2017, the St. Croix Pottery Tour celebrates its 20th Anniversary. Begun in 1993 as an outgrowth of potters’ individual studio sales, “The Tour” has maintained its welcoming “open house” hospitality. Since then, the tour has grown from 100 visitors to nearly 7,000 visitors annually, making it the premier pottery tour in the United States.

“The Tour” has earned a reputation as a source of high-quality, functional pottery and an intriguing array of distinctive, ceramic expression. Visiting potters repeatedly say that they enjoy the knowledgeable and appreciative audience that they find in Minnesota. In 2017, the potters will come from seventeen states and England. Their work ranges from everyday functional to decorative and/or sculptural, from rustic to refined, from whimsical to sublime.

As a way of saying “thank you” for the enthusiastic support we experience with this event, a portion of the proceeds each year is donated to arts and educational projects.

Learn more at www.minnesotapotters.com


Weisman Art Museum

Since its origin in 1934, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum has been a teaching museum for the University of Minnesota. Today, education remains central to the museum’s mission to make the arts accessible  to the University and public communities. The Weisman Art Museum is  a venue for understanding the artistic community and how we present art to the academic world – with fun and flare.

Learn more at www.weisman.umn.edu