Northern Clay Center had to pause our ART@HAND programs during the spring and summer in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on entry into senior living facilities, hospitals, and day centers to preserve the health and wellbeing of residents and program participants. We know that higher-risk individuals have experienced extreme isolation in 2020, with the goal of preserving their health, but that does not make the emotional toll any easier.
Creativity brings people together. It moves people on an emotional level; it makes the mind and heart happy and healthy. It is such a joy to witness this taking place each week at Jones Harrison
—Susan Obermeyer, NCC Teaching Artist
In the spring and summer of 2019, NCC teaching artists Guillermo Guardia and Lucy Yogerst led clay classes at Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES) Adult Day in West St. Paul and at their new location on East 7th Street.
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.