Program areas at The Clay Studio
The artist-in-residence program is an important creative engine at The Clay Studio. As a part of The institution since our founding in 1974, this is one of our foundational programs. Partially underwritten by an endowment, The program provides funded fellowships, Studio space, shared resources, and mentoring from The professional staff. Each artist has a solo exhibition, is part of group exhibitions, and participates in group critiques and Studio visits with visiting artists and curators. This professional springboard has propelled hundreds of artists on to successful artistic careers over The last nearly 50 years.
The gallery and exhibitions program at The Clay Studio showcases The work of over 300 local, national, and international ceramic artists annually. We annually curate and present multiple exhibitions - both solo and group shows - in our galleries, as well as lectures, panel discussions, and artist talks. The gallery is a leader in presenting contemporary ceramics, engaging audiences with relevant programming, and catalog publishing. During The pandemic our lectures shifted online and increased in frequency to serve people looking for connection through The arts - today we continue The practice with a hybrid series. These events create an opportunity for a broad audience from professional artists, to collectors, to beginning students to celebrate traditional and contemporary ceramics in thoughtful dialogue. These programs are free and open to The public and showcase our commitment to propel The field of ceramics into The 21st century and beyond.
Claymobile, our community engagement program, brings a "pop-up" ceramics Studio to schools, older adult facilities, community centers, events, and social service agencies throughout philadelphia. Since 1994 a total of 50,000 children have been served by our professional teaching artists. Through claymobile, we are providing arts education opportunities that use The tactile medium of Clay to nurture imagination, critical thinking, and persistence. Claymobile operates all year round, annually serving more than 4,500 children, youth, and adults visiting 95 partner sites across philadelphia. Additionally, our community engagement initiatives introduce 15,000 people to The world of ceramics through our hands-on activities and demonstrations at free public events around philadelphia each year. We have also begun an after-school initiative providing students in our immediate community after-school arts enrichment activities and homework assistance. The Clay Studio is rooted in The belief that people deserve access to high-quality arts opportunities, and The claymobile is one of The ways we bring them to The local community.
The Clay Studio excels in providing education opportunities to ceramic artists from those touching Clay for The first time through The highly experienced maker working independently. We offer all levels of instruction, including wheel-throwing, hand-building, surface decoration, sculpture, glazing, mold-making, and much, much more. We enroll 4,700 students in our classes and workshops each year, including one-day seminars, family workshops, summer Clay camps, and friday evening date nights. We serve as The primary Studio for more than 40 ceramic artists through our associates program, and nearly 1/3 of our students are advanced level ceramic artists. We strive to create an inclusive and supportive Studio environment where artists of all ages and abilities can learn and thrive.