On a rainy April day, teaching artist Claire O’Connor visited Aurora on France, Vibrant Senior Living and Care Center, in Edina for a clay session. Claire brought a decorated 3D flower dish project to brighten up this gloomy spring day.
These clay classes meet every other week and participants are able to create and decorate a project during each session! One of the residents has been coming to clay classes since she moved into Aurora on France. Clay classes with a Northern Clay Center teaching artist have allowed her to experience clay for the first time in her life.
Since the late 1990s, Northern Clay Center has been increasing access to high-quality ceramic arts in the Twin Cities. Myriad educational programs, including classes and education opportunities at our Seward neighborhood location, and specially-designed classes, demonstrations, and lectures at locations across the Cities, make access available to all.
This February through May, NCC teaching artists Chris Singewald, Risa Nishiguchi, and Susan Obermeyer brought clay opportunities to Jefferson Community School with art teacher Katie Busch, working with students grades 1 through 8 as part of our most extensive residency to date. During a total of 82 hours, clay passed through the hands of over 400 students.
During the winter and spring of 2017, NCC teaching artist David “Swen” Swenson worked closely with students in 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th grades at Anne Sullivan Communication Center, with additional work with Nabad 3rd through 5th graders, a class specially-designed for newcomers to the US. A majority of the students at Anne Sullivan are immigrants from East Africa or first-generation children of East African immigrants.
Are you looking for a dynamic volunteer position in the arts? Are you passionate about ceramic art? Share your knowledge and enthusiasm as a Northern Clay Center Tour Guide. NCC is accepting applications for its Volunteer Tour Guide Program through July 27th, 2018. The course provides a survey of Minnesota ceramics and the history of Northern Clay Center, and an introduction to myriad ceramics techniques, education theory, and touring techniques for all age groups. A background in ceramics is helpful, though not required.
Many warm-hearted and well-fed thanks to all of the participants in this year’s Chili Cook-off! Some were brave enough to sample chilis and vote; some contributed through volunteerism; some threw caution to the February winds and tried their hands at wheel-throwing and handbuilding; and then there were those who toiled, boiled, experimented, and schlepped their chili contenders in crock pots to be judged by friends and strangers alike. The event grows in size and popularity ever year, and we are grateful to all of you for this.
Looking back while looking forward—never an easy task, but a requisite one in the not-for-profit world. What have we done? What had we wanted to do? What’s next? Where do we hope to be? Fourth quarter of our calendar/fiscal year is all about finding answers to these questions.
In the last year, we’ve taken big steps to identify new ways that we can engage audiences, further diversify the field of ceramics, better serve artists, and respond to the changing needs of all of our constituents: